Sidhartha Mallya has always openly professed his love for cricket - he is team director of Indian Premier League outfit Bangalore Royal Challengers, and fast cars - father Vijay is the brain behind India's only Formula One team Sahara Force India.
However, there's another sporting passion that the Mallya scion keenly pursues -- distance running.Â His reasons are quite strange too. Mallya Jr says running makes one "look good and is a great way to escape." Sidhartha took time off from his preparations for Sunday's Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to speak to MiD DAY.
Excerpts from an interview
You are one of the few celebrities, who participate in the full marathon. Is it because you enjoy running in particular or are you simply a fitness enthusiast?
I've always been a fitness enthusiast and keen sportsman, but I've started to enjoy running as not only do you look good, you know you're fit as well. It is also a great way to 'escape' and gather your thoughts.
It's said that a marathon is a contest of the mind more than the body. Tell us about your mental make-up.
That's absolutely right! I believe that 30% of a marathon is physical while the other 70%, if not more, is mental. You must have a strong mindset and a marathon gives you that. I have always been a very mentally strong person and very stubborn in that I will always strive to get what I want, so the thought of not finishing a marathon has never crossed my mind.
When did your association with the Mumbai marathon begin? Have you done any other marathons besides this?
My first marathon was the full 42k Mumbai marathon last year. Following that I also ran the full 42k London Marathon in April 2011 as well. Recently, I ran the Delhi Half Marathon in November as a training run.
Tell us about your training regime before a marathon.
I just run regularly and eat well. Some say you need at least six months to prepare for a marathon, but for last year's Mumbai marathon I trained for just nine weeks!
Many felt it was too little preparation time and I would struggle to finish, but I proved them all wrong.
Is there any specific diet plan that you follow?
The great part of marathon training is that you can eat whatever you want and as much of it as you want as well (although I don't take full advantage of this!). I make sure I consume a lot of carbs.
What about the morning after the 42 km run? The body must be completely drained...
Amazingly, after running the Mumbai marathon last year, I flew out the same night to Glasgow, Scotland and was in the office the next morning for a series of meetings. Of course, I was a bit stiff to say the least! But I believe everyone is different. I was back in the gym within five days as I had to then start preparing for the London Marathon which was just a couple of months away.
What's your best marathon timing? Do you think you can better that on Sunday?
I clocked my best at the London Marathon -- 4h, 34 mins. Thereafter, I did the Delhi Half Marathon in 1hr,
57 mins. I hope to better those times on Sunday, but running in Mumbai is a lot tougher given the terrain and warmer weather conditions.