Huge Increase in Oshwal Runners for 2004 London Marathon

London_Marathon_Runners_2004.jpgBritish Oshwals’ craze for running marathon truly took hold this year with a huge increase in the number of participants for this year’s Flora London Marathon on April 18th.

A sizable group, many doing the marathon for the first time, was lead by Piyush Gudka, veteran of a major marathon on each continent in under 11 months and numerous London Marathons.

“I have been trying to encourage the ethnic minority to take up exercise, physical fitness, and running since I have been involved in it for 10 years now,” says Piyush.

He continues: “This is the first year we have managed to enlist 17 participants, 13 of whom trained together every Sunday. This crazy bunch included the following Oshwals:

Name, Age, Area, No. of Marathon
1. Mr Amit Shah, 20, Kenton, 1st Time
2. Mr Romal Shah, 28, Friern Barnet, 2nd Time
3. Mr Neerav Shah, 31, Stanmore, 1st Time
4. Mr Anuj Shah, 35, Edgware, 1st Time
5. Mrs Jayshree Shah, 40, Sudbury Hill, 1st Time
6. Mr Sanjay Shah, 40, Harrow, 3rd Time
7. Mr Kaushik Shah, 43, Harrow, 2nd Time
8. Mr Harish Shah, 47, Whetstone, 1st Time
9. Mr Rasiklal Shah, 47, Kenton, 1st Time
10. Mr Piyush Gudka, 48, Stanmore, Just Forget It

This follows hot on the heels of a husband and wife team (Rashmita Shah and Kaushik Shah, above) and Diptan Gudka who ran last year in aid of Shishukunj Project (Food for Children) as well as Romal Shah, who ran as “Bandit” in marathon speak.”

Marathon running involves motivation of mind, body and spirit, and every runner has a truly moving story behind his / her decision to participate in the London Marathon.

Ask these runners about their diet and nobody will say that they really cut out any of their favorite foods – be it chevdo, ladoos, jalebis, delicious cheese cakes, donuts, chocolates, etc.
In fact the runner’s normal vegetarian diet of rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, cereals, lentils, fruit and vegetables, all rich in carbohydrates and proteins is ideal fuel for the grueling 26.2 miles. This is the beauty of long distance running – eat what you like, but burn it off on your runs.
The runners were certainly consuming more food as they trained, but none of them are either rolly pollies or matchsticks. They are pure and simple born crazies.

There was real camaraderie amongst the runners with regular exchange of experiences on training techniques, physical and mental preparation, and encouragement to go the extra mile.
This team spirit led them to cover distances up to 24 miles, and running in snow in February. This is one of the most beautiful experiences none of the runners is going to forget.

Since the London Marathon is held in spring the preparation has to be done in the cold winter months. However, for these hardy runners Sunday morning meant meeting their fellow runners at 6:15am in Stanmore for their endurance practice runs, come rain, shine, wind, frost or snow.

This year’s marathon was cold, wet and windy, making it one of the toughest. However, this was not going to dampen the spirit of our resilient runners. They battled through whatever the elements could offer and the team of 13 runners finished with the fastest in 3 hours 42 minutes and the slowest in 5 hours 41 minutes. Considering the weather conditions, the runners performance was really admirable. Moreover, all the runners were collecting money for their favorite charities – Shishukunj (Food 4 Children), SEWA International and Get Kids Going.

The most important thing to remember about marathon running is the satisfaction of:

Participating in the race
Enjoying the fantastic atmosphere
Accomplishing “mission impossible”
Collecting lots of money for charities
Endurance achievement of a lifetime

Of course, if you are in the class of Paul Tergat (World Record Holder), Samuel Korir (2nd fastest marathon runner in the world), Evans Ruto (2004 London Marathon Winner), etc. the additional benefit is earning a few thousand dollars en route.

Talk to any of our superb London Marathon participants and you will hear the words:
“It is an experience of a lifetime – priceless memory to be treasured forever”.
Nothing beats doing the Marathon yourself – no talk, no TV, no dreams.

Piyush very often says:

“A marathon is a race without
race, color, religion, sex, prejudice, nationality, hate,
where everyone starts as an equal, and everyone finishes as a winner.”

This is true human spirit.

The experience for each and every runner was so overwhelming that most of them want to carry on running and participate next year in the London Marathon again. Some have also set their sight on other marathons around the world. Remember, as the famous saying goes:
Where There is a Will, There is a Way.


A. Team photograph (in jpeg or gif format) available on request from Piyush Gudka

B. More information on the Flora London Marathon available at

C. For more information on the runners, interviews, team activities and training contact Team Leader: Piyush Gudka
Telephone No: 07958 553 101