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Head Coach

Bala Sankaran

"Long distance running is all about developing the mindset to  take on 'big hairy audacious goals', breaking it into small pieces and executing well those small pieces"

Bala Sankaran is an RRCA Certified long-distance running coach. He is an active runner since 2006 and considers himself a recreational marathoner who is passionate about the sport of long-distance running and has enjoyed the immense mental and physical health benefits the sport offers to all. Bala is the Head Coach & Founder of  'Runners High With Bala'. He actively serves to further the mission and vision of the club in promoting running not only as a healthy lifestyle opportunity but also as a powerful medium to create and connect amazing human beings. 


Bala began his running journey as a rank outsider. In his early 30s, he was ridden with debilitating lower back pain, was overweight, and was having a busy work life that gave no personal time whatsoever. A moment of epiphany came through a friend and Bala decided to embark on long-distance running. A journey that has transformed his life and his fitness. He continues this passion to this day almost 2 decades later!


While Bala is not a super-fast runner, he makes it up with his consistency and passion for the sport. To date, Bala has completed 9 Full marathons (NYC, Philly, Chicago, LA, NJ, Berlin, DC, Newport News & Boston Virtual) and 35+ half marathons. With a full marathon personal record (PR as is called in the running world) of 4h:50m and a half marathon of 2h:10m, he chugs along! He believes in running for health and fun as opposed to running for records and medals. His current training regimen is geared toward running 2 full marathons every year. 

Looking back at his running journey, for the first 10 years, Bala was running by himself and took part in various races with his own training gleaned from the net.

He would run whenever he could, however he can and whichever way works best! After all he thought, "if I  just keep doing it, I would eventually get better!". Boy! Was he wrong! His early runs were essentially exercises in pain management and attrition. He knew he was doing something wrong but was not able to put a finger on it. 


All this changed when Bala met his Coach Sheri Lubinewski, who is an RRCA Certified Coach and an accomplished long-distance runner. She introduced Bala to the science and art of long distance running. A structured long distance training program with adequate thought given to nutrition and rest changed the way Bala ran. He went from running being a painful injury-ridden hobby to running being a painless, pleasurable and fun activity!  As Bala experienced this transformation, he also decided to share his learnings and experiences to others who may be in the same spot as he was in 2006 - 'Runners High With Bala' was born!


Professionally, Bala serves as the CEO of AlphaOri Technologies Inc, a tech startup in the merchant marine space. He has been with AlphaOri ever since its founding in 2018. The company has grown steadily to serve 50+ clients on their product suite (SMARTShip, SMARTVoyager & SHIPPalm)   installed in 1000+ ships. He leads a 250+ strong team of engineers & sales for (They call themselves Orions) with Offices in SanDiego, Singapore and Chennai ( Prior to his current gig, Bala spent many years leading Operations for Twitter & Google post working as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Bala began his career as a merchant marine engineer where he spent 10 years sailing the high seas on board Oil and Chemical tankers as an engineer of which he served 4 years as Chief Engineer before making the transition to B-school & tech.


Coach Bala is an enthusiastic and amazing human being who is always ready to help individuals in their running journeys. His wisdom of knowledge in running and mission is exceptional. Hats off to his commitment and dedication. 🙏🙏#AmazingHumanBeing

As Warren Buffet once said, true success of an individual is measured not on $$ earned but how many people's love that person has earned. By this standard Bala is a highly successful individual in addition to being very successful in a traditional sense

Bala has gone above and beyond to create an amazing community of runners that cares for each other. The enthusiasm that Bala shows is contagious and that carries all of them to the finish line by default. Inspirational!


Featured Post

In conversation with Coach Bala

Coach Bala talks about RHWB origins and also his own running journey thus far

Featured Post

Know more about Coach Bala & Renu

Senior Runner talks to Coach Bala & Renu about their perspectives on life,leadership & more.

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