My Run Happy story: Santosh Rai

Posted by Athletics Weekly | May 28, 2014 |

The latest winner in our Brooks competition series, Santosh Rai tells AW what makes him Run Happy

At just six months old, my daughter Newa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a serious medical condition where there’s a build-up of excess fluid in the brain, causing the head to swell. It was so painful for me to watch my daughter go through surgery, that I took part in the British 10k in 2009 to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital where she was treated.

Angled Polaroid Santosh

My daughter’s health issues brought it home to me how vital health is to our happiness, but training for the race also made me realise what a great sense of well-being I got from running.

I decided to use my own experiences to campaign for better health in my home town in Nepal and to try to help other families there with sick or disabled children. With a small group of friends, I started the “Dharan Run” in 2011. The initial run attracted just 25 runners, but the latest event attracted over 1000!

In the meantime I have continued to run, becoming a regular at the Gunnersbury parkrun. Running has become a daily habit that has allowed me to live a happier and healthier life.

Angled Polaroid 1 santosh

My next mission, with the help of my club-mates at Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC, is to start my own parkrun in Northala Fields, my local park, so that I can get the Nepalese community in my neighbourhood “up and running”.

I get such a great sense of achievement from encouraging other people to take up running for their own health, especially in combination with fund-raising for good causes. That’s what makes me “Run Happy”.