Sufiya Khan is the first female runner in the world to complete Manali to Leh Ultramarathon. She started her ultra-marathon ‘Himalayan Ultra Run Expedition’ on September 25, 2021, at 7.34 a.m. and ended it on October 1, 2021, covering 480 km in 156 hours through difficult terrains, and harsh climatic conditions. She even touched 5328 m altitude – where the oxygen level is low.
Sufiya hails from Ajmer, Rajasthan. She lost her father when she was 16 and was raised by her single mother.
Sufiya near to her Kashmir to Kanyakumari destination
Sufiya has worked as a ground handler at the Delhi airport for 10 years. Bored with the routine of a job, she quit it in 2019 and soon realized her life was meant for exciting things. She started running and found it was her passion.
She took part in marathons and races. In the year 2018, she broke a national record by running the Golden Triangle Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, the 720 km on foot in 16 days. Next year, she hit the record for the fastest time by a woman runner in the “Kashmir to Kanyakumari” category.
In April 2021, Sufiya became the fastest woman to run along The Indian Golden Quadrilateral highway – which connects Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. She holds many world records and yet continues to explore the strength of her body and mind.
Sufiya Khan said, “I trained myself in the mountains and lived there for 15 days to acclimatize myself to the cold weather and low oxygen levels. Along with physical fitness, I focused on my mental fitness that plays an important role in running and to push one’s limits.”
During her training, she focused on strength exercises; Yoga and Pranayama made her lungs stronger for the mountains.
In an interview with Awaz-the voice, Sufiya said the best scenic view she has had was from Tanglang La pass and Purple Mountain structures of Upshi and the stunning Ladakh Valley.
She also described how at times when her body oxygen levels dropped to 59 percent and she fainted and needed medical aide to be able to resume her running.
The first time she registered her name in the Guinness Book of World Records was in 2019 by becoming the fastest woman to run along The Indian Golden Quadrilateral Road.
Sufiya says, “Running makes you positive towards life. It not only helps you be healthier but keeps you strong, makes you confident, a good decision-maker, and makes you more accountable in everyday situations.”
Speaking about her next project, she said, “There are many projects in the pipeline, but my biggest project is Running around the world in a Saree. I want to travel over the world by run, and I am preparing for it.”