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18 Oct 2021, Edition - 2288, Monday

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Coimbatore

Retired policeman runs 40,030 km for a cause

U Bharath

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Age does not stop M Samidoss, a retired police sub-inspector (CB-CID) from taking on the cause of creating awareness on drug abuse, smoking and ‘clean India’. And it’s no ordinary campaign. The 61-year-old is set to run 40,030 km, the circumference of the Earth, for the purpose.

Samidoss, who started the running campaign from his home at SIHS colony near Coimbatore airport, runs 15 kms a day and today covered Chitra, Chinniampalayam, and Thennampalayam as part of his route. He schedules and covers various stretches in the city for his run, day after day.

I started running from April 20 and have so far covered 1,154 kms in 104 outings. I run most days of the month, except for when I am unwell or when I have to travel. This is the biggest ever run of my athletic career,” he says.

Samidoss joined the police force as a grade-II constable in 1982, and took up long- distance running as a passion. “I started practising cross country and long-distance running for my police selection in 1979 and since then, running 5 to 10 km became my passion. I have taken part in prestigious meets too, including Masters Athletic Meet and the Asian Athletic Meet for Seniors in 2009,” he says.

“Two of my daughters are PhDs, I made them go the distance in education, since I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college myself,” says the father of three girls.

Samidoss started running for a cause in 2013 and in his first outing, he ran from Chennai to Coimbatore, covering a distance of 502 km. “I started on July 13 and finished my run on July 26. The then DGP felicitated me with a gift cheque of Rs 10,000. Then ADGP Pradeep Philip (CB-CID) had played a crucial role in my athletic career,” he says.

“The evils of drug and liquor abuse, and smoking are eating into our society and have to be rooted out. If my run helps to create awareness and makes youngsters kick the habit, I will be the happiest person on earth.”

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