Rakshith Shetty Sets 9th Guinness World Record in Marathon
Mangaluru: For people with a willingness to achieve, the world is full of opportunities. For that matter, 32-year-old Rakshith Shetty, who shows the world that to be an extraordinary achiever, all you need is a lot of passion and some out-of-the-box thinking. This man who lives by the principle of simple living and high thinking, down-to-earth, soft-spoken Rakshith is now a proud holder of nine Guinness World Records and guess what?- he’s the only one of his kind in India. His recent achievement comes after he had taken part in the Half Marathon category (Kaveri trail marathon (November) 2016) held in Mysuru. In this marathon, Rakshith ran, clad in an ‘Organ” costume (see photo below)
Costume marathons are a popular concept abroad, but not much in India. Rakshith Shetty has pioneered this unique idea on his own, without much support from any source, and the lone warrior has so far made it to the Guinness Book of Records 9 times (and counting). He’s still in the running, and we can expect more to come! The only sad face of the coin is that the glory of 9 world records and the uniqueness of Rakshith’s achievements have not been celebrated enough, either by any sports organizations, sports academies and above all from the State and Central governments.
Because the problem in India is that the only time you get honor, recognition, encouragement and support from the government if you happen to be a good cricketer, but for other sports govt. stays far away. Well, when we say ‘sports’ in India, let’s leave cricket out of it because if anything, cricket suffers from the opposite problem: there’s too much of it. It’s great that cricket gets the support it does, but for heaven’s sake, even our national sport suffers because of this neglect. And it’s not just that the public’s attention is constantly on cricket. Most of our other athletes are neglected by the administration. Due to cricket frenzy, no other sport just as much importance. No support. Because of govt’s apathy. And here we have an example of a sportsman who has earned glory to the state and nation by bagging eight Guinness World Records, but has not been recognized, honoured or given any financial help, both from State and Central government.
With no support from the government nor any sports institutions or organizations, except a small support and encouragement from his friends and well-wishers, one can rate him as a ‘One Man Army’! The path of his achievement being so rarely walked on, he had not much reference to resource to draw inspiration from. He gave his own ideas form and backed them up himself, and no one or nothing came in his way of achievement, but not much support was received either. Even though his stories and achievements have appeared in media, but this “One Man Hero” is still way too underrated. But Rakshith still hopes that some day the government or other district administration will recognize his achievements and supports him financially so that he can compete in national and international Marathons.
Rakshith’s 8 Guinness World Record Achieved details:
1. 10 kms dressed as animal costume – Bengaluru- Event, TCS WORLD 10K 2014 (April)
2. 10 kms dressed as vegetables costume-Mysore- Event, Mysore Marathon 2014 (Same race got 2nd place win) (September)
3. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as Love Heart- Bengaluru- Bengaluru Marathon (Shriram properties) 2015 (October)
4. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as Musical Instrument – Bengaluru- Bengaluru Midnight Marathon (SBI) 2015 (December)
5. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as Playing Card- Bangalore- Bangalore (Ajmera) Half Marathon 2015 (December)
6. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as tool (Measuring Tape) – Mysore- Royal Mysore Marathon 2015 (December)
7. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as Whoopee cushion- Bangalore- Bengaluru Nirbhaya Midnight Marathon 2016 (April)
8. 21 kms (Half marathon) dressed as Fast Food items- Bangalore- Bangalore (trort 008) Marathon 2016 (July)
Rakshith’s Normal Races Win details:
1. 10kms-Bangalore 2014 -2nd place
2. 12.5 kms-Bangalore 2014-3rd place
3. 10 kms Mysore 2014- 2nd place
4. 5kms Bangalore 2015-1st place
5. 21kms Mysore marathon 2015-3rd place
6. 21kms Mangalore (Big Balipu) 2016-1st place
7. 21kms Bangalore 2016- 3rd place
8. 21kms Mysore Marathon 2016-3rd place
9. Short race (Bunts event) Mangaluru 2016- 800mtrs, 400mtrs -2nd place Each
Recalling what Rakshith said to Team Mangalorean during an exclusive interview last time, where he said, “I came across the idea of costume marathons online. The concept is well endorsed abroad, but hardly anyone knows of it in India. Each kind of costume shall be considered for a completely different record, which provides vast scope for anyone to create any number of world records provided I think differently; and obviously runs fast. My ‘record making’ marathon began in 2014 when I completed a 10 km marathon in 43 minutes, dressed up as a leopard”. He claimed the costume marathon record in the animal costume category and that was just the beginning. Then came the records for his costumes as a vegetable, as a heart, as a musical instrument, as a playing card, a costume of measuring tape, and a cushion costume.
The 4th, 5th and 6th records were created within a span of 30 days, in the month of December in 2015. The 7th record was previously held by a citizen of London, whose timing Rakshith beat in April 2016 and made it his. And his recent 8th record was in Bangalore where he dressed in a Fast Food costume. There is a total of 9 records for now and Rakshith says he intends to bring in more, provided his health supports him. Regardless of that, Rakshith Shetty is the only athlete in India who holds world records in costume marathons and that is reason enough for us to celebrate this rare personality. Alongside making records by due of his costumes, Rakshith has also won a number of marathons that he has participated in. However, it takes a number of marathons to create one record and Rakshith does a lot of ground work before he hits the racetrack. It is only after a lot of authentic work and evidence, that a field achievement becomes a world record.
Rakshith Shetty is a resident of Gurupur, Mangaluru born to Jayarama Shetty and Indira Shetty-he had his early education at Sacheripete-Virajapet (St Ann’s High school), and PUC at Gurupura PU college and attended Degree College in Kateel College. He had participated in sports during his school days, but no one encouraged and supported him, and due to financial issues he could not get proper training in sports activities says Rakshith. After completing B.Com, he moved to Mumbai, where he got interested in taking part in Marathons but due to time, job and other commitments it was hard for him to concentrate fully on sports- but he still managed to practice in sports during morning and evening times whenever time permitted. The Mumbai marathons encouraged him to keep his dreams alive. In 2008, he took part in Mumbai Marathon (42km), and also participated in 2009 and 2010 Mumbai Marathons which kept encouraging him to continue further.
In 2009, Rakshith participated in the 10 km Malad Race and completed it within 40 minutes and 18 seconds. In 2010, he once again participated in Malad Race and completed the race in 38:06. Later he went on to win the Bunts Tournament 1500m race. Also participated in Navi Mumbai Barefoot Half Marathon held for Guinness Record and grabbed the merit certificate. In 2011, he won first prize in 3000 m and 1500 m race as part of Ahar Trophy tournament. He also participated in Mumbai Half Marathon during 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). In 2014, he completed over nine races by donning different outfits. In 2014, he set Guinness record Two times (10 kms); In 2015 completed over 12 races by donning different outfits. In 2015. he set Guinness record Four times (21kms), and in 2016 completed over 13 races by donning different outfits, where he set Guinness record two times (up to date).
Rakshith says “From my childhood, I wanted to be a successful athlete. My own hard work helped to achieve my goal. I am waiting for government help, even though I have forwarded various request letters of support to state government officials, ministers, central govt. officials and others, but until now no one has come forward to help me financially in my sporting career. I am ready to give guidance to anyone who would take up an interest in his area, he would love to guide them with it. Not just costume marathon, the world of sports provides infinite opportunities for people to make a mark on Guinness levels, but sadly, most of which are not even talked about in India. One only needs to think out of the box and pursue an idea seriously. Given proper support and encouragement, talents like myself could achieve way more than what I have achieved so far. It’s the government’s duty to encourage and support athletes who want to reach greater heights in sports but can’t move forward due to financial weakness”.
An achiever would find a hundred ways to achieve, while others would find reasons. Rakshith Shetty is that positive force who overcomes a number of hurdles and achieves in a way unknown to most. We hardly come across the concept of costume marathons, because it is not promoted as much in India. But it is a moment of pride for people of Dakshina Kannada that Rakshith Shetty who not only pursued an idea alien to his surroundings but made an unequalled mark in the same. Team Mangalorean would like to make a humble request to all our readers, including Sports Organizations, Social Organizations, Bunts Organizations to come forward and support Rakshith in his endeavors, so that he can still reach greater heights and bring more glory to his hometown and Motherland.
Team Mangalorean wishes Rakshith Shetty all success in his future endeavors- and we feel proud to celebrate the success of this hero through this column in Mangalorean.com, where we always encourage, budding to professional stars, either in the field of Sports, Art, Music, Entertainment, Academics. etc-looking forward for Rakshith to hit his 10th Guinness Record- Best of luck!
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