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Gul Mohamed Akbar is considered as one of the pioneers of the running movement in Bengaluru. He is a registered Race Director with AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races), the foremost organization in distance running with members in over 200 countries and territories and conducting 431 marathons annually. He has been the Race Director for the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon for the past 10 years.

In 1991, he started cross-country distance running with the Hash House Harriers, an international group of non competitive social runners. He was the Grandmaster of the Bangalore chapter for 10 years and has run in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, and even on different islands in the Andaman & Nicobar. For eight years when he was abroad, he continued cross country running in Jeddah, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Istanbul, San Diego, Los Angeles and Tijuana (Mexico).

Till date, he has run three full, seven half marathons and 396 cross country 10K runs, and 11, 10K road races.

In fact, the media referred to him as Bangalore’s Marathon Man when he conducted and ran one of the city’s first Marathons at Golden Palms Resorts in 2003. This run was the inspiration for Bangalore’s first Official Marathon – Lipton’s International Bangalore Marathon 2005. The Founder of this company Neeraj Verma named Gul as the inspiration for bringing the Marathon to our city. His question of ‘Why should Bangaloreans travel to another city to run a Marathon?’ was answered.

In the year 2015, Gul implemented an idea which most thought was a dream. He along with support from Team RBITC took Bengaluru Midnight Marathon’s Online version to the Republic of China and on Race Day of the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon over 98,000 Chinese participants registered to run and participate in various towns and cities across China. Their timing and distance was verified by an app on their mobile fone. This was another first for BMM, no other Marathon has taken this innovative route in India.

On 10/12/2016 at the 10th Edition of BMM the number of participants increased to 2,08,768 and this is rated as a favourite Online Run in China. Many curious Chinese participants are now familiar with White Field, Bengaluru in India and eagerly await to participate. This, it was remarked, is a classic example of using the medium of sports to build bonds of friendship between two nations, in the true spirit of sportsmanship.

Gul was also the Race Director for the first edition of Pinkathon in Bengaluru in 2013 and also the Race Director for the first and second edition for Jain University’s My Country Run in 2015 and 2016.

He was instrumental in introducing the World’s First 10K at night, at the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon where he is the Race Director. He falls under a rare category of being a race administration who still runs marathons. He holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do with five gold medals to his credit and a brown belt in Karate.

He wrote a fitness column in the Times of India Bangalore, Wellness page, for the eight years on topics related to running, martial arts, swimming, and weightlifting. Running, martial arts, fitness, and bodybuilding are his hobbies.

By profession, he is in the real estate business. He specializes in facilitating Joint Development of properties. His favorite line is, “Running was the basic working out for warriors since ancient times. There is nothing like running, try it!”

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