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Meet Pardip Singh Minhas the record breaking fastest half marathon dressed in a sari (male) runner

Last Sunday (24 September 2023) saw the 11th Ealing Half Marathon take place and among the 4,000 runners taking part and raising money for good causes was 54-year-old Pardip Singh Minhas.

A veteran of the Ealing Half Marathon, he has now run in 10 of them and volunteered due to an injury in one. Mr Minhas is known for his flamboyant style when it comes to running – dressed in a sari.

EALING.NEWS caught up with Mr Minhas to find out more.

Tell us about yourself?
I’m from Hayes and I am a full-time house husband as my wife works full-time as a carer in palliative care, so I spend my days looking after my two young sons Harry and Gary.

Why the sari?
On this occasion I was attempting my 15th Guinness World Record for Fastest Half Marathon Dressed In A Sari (Male). The difficulty being that wearing a sari will not allow for a long stride, it’s short steps and lots of them as the sari is wrapped around both legs up to the waistline and around one of the shoulders.

What training did you do for it?
I had a test run at Southall Parkrun where I’m a regular volunteer and part of the run director team, which gave me an idea of what to expect.I’m part of Ealing Eagles Running Club but as I’m looking after my two young son’s Harry 13 and Gary 9 years of age, I’m unable to train with the club as much as I would like to, as my wife works in Palliative Care,

What you have to remember about the Ealing Half Marathon route is that it has a few hills not many but the ones it does have you certainly feel when running up them, this is what had me waking up the night before, it felt like I hadn’t slept all night, it’s easy to walk in a sari but to run in a sari is a different level totally.

What was your strategy for the day?
On race day I decided that as the time to beat was 01:55:36, I would stay with the 01:55:00 pacers. I would rather play safe and get the world record, as safety had to be in mind towards myself and other runners. To my delight the pacers were Simon Standard and Nick Davies both who are also long-term members of Ealing Eagles Running Club.

They were both very professional throughout and every time we were coming to a hillside, they would let us runners know in advance that a steep climb or short hill was ahead on the left or right. This made me prepare mentally in advance of running up the hills, it was good to know what was coming up in advance.

It was perfect running weather so I knew if I stayed with the pacing group, I would achieve my goal.

For most of the time especially running up the hills I was looking down at the pacers feet and just following their running shoes, I had to make sure that the sari did not come off as that would be the attempt over, so even though I had plenty of safety pins I still held the Sari with my left-hand and had my water bottle in my right.

When I crossed the finish line, on being told my finish time which was 01:53:53 a new Guinness World Record I was the happiest man in the world as one would say, I only wanted to do five world records when I turned 50 and in a couple of months I’ll be 55 years of age and just achieved my 15th Guinness World Record Title.

I definitely want it to be known that without the help of the Ealing Eagle Pacers Simon Standard and Nick Davies, I would not have achieved this record title, so a big thank you from my heart.

What was the motivation for the run?
This year’s Ealing Half Marathon was in memory of Rob Willin who was an Ealing Eagle Running Coach as well as a dear running friend of mine who passed away, it’s runners like him who made me the runner I am today so I will be dedicating this Guinness World Record to Rob Willin.

I was running as part of a team of runners from the Green Quarter Southall raising vital funds for Mencap, St Basil’s works with young people, SPEAR homeless to Independence and the Honeypot children’s charity.

My aim is to get as many Male & Female runners to achieve a Guinness World Records Title, as there are many weird and wonderful world records out there and if I can do it so can you.

I’m now in the process of sending all my evidence to Guinness World Records to get everything checked and verified.

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