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Balaji Sankaran

Founder & Head Coach (RRCA Certified)

Dreamer, Explorer & Risk Taker


Hello Everyone!

Let me start by first saying till the age of 32 I had never run any long distance of substance in my life. In fact, I had a debilitating back pain, I was overweight and I was busy at work/life (Still wondering what was there to be so busy about:-)). Then something changed and I took up running and have been running ever since for the past 18 years.

While I am not a super fast runner, I consider myself a recreational marathoner who is passionate about the sport. I respect the sport and thoroughly enjoy its benefits. I have completed 9 marathons to date (NYC, Philly, Chicago. LA, NJ, Berlin, DC. Newport News & Boston Virtual). Currently training for Tokyo marathon mid 2022. (Subjected to COVID). I have completed 35+ half marathons.

My marathon personal record (PR as they call it) is 4h:50 mins and I am trying to improve on that in Tokyo. My half marathon PR stands at 2h:10 mins

I work as a CEO of a tech start in the merchant marine space - Alphaori Technologies. Been associated with the company for last 4 years ever since it's founding. We have steadily grown to serving 40+ clients with our products used in 1000+ ships. We have a 200+ strong employee base (we call ourselves Orions) with Offices in SanDiego, Singapore, Copenhagen and Chennai (

Prior to my current gig, I spent many years leading Operations for Twitter & Google in addition to a stint as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. I started my career as a merchant marine engineer. I was a Chief Engineer of a ship before making the transition to B-school & tech

Personally, I am blessed with a wonderful wife (Renu), two beautiful daughters (Diya & Disha) and a naughty dog (Destiny)!

Renu, Diya, Disha & Bala

For the first 10 years of my running career, I was running by myself and took part in various races with my own training. I used to run whenever I could and would look up various running resources online and follow them. After all I thought, if I just kept doing it and I would get better! - Boy, was I wrong! While I did complete many half and full marathons, they were essentially a painful endeavor. I knew I was doing something wrong. Just that i did not know what or why!

Bala w/kids - First destination run

This is when I got introduced to my coach (Coach Sheri Lubinewski) who is also a RRCA certified coach and she changed the way I trained. There is a lot of science and art to long distance running and I began to really enjoy the sport from then on. Having a structured long distance training program can deliver successful outcomes both from achieving distance goals as well as injury prevention. That is when I decided I wanted to do the same and pass on my learnings and knowledge to others who maybe are in the same category as I was many years go. So here I am ! ​ Finally, I TRULY BELIEVE that training for a long distance event is just a means to a larger end - That of building a strong character with an ability to take up BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOALS, to break them into small pieces and to focus on doing them right again and again. Training for and finishing a long distance race event perfectly fits that bill. Can't wait to run with you all.

Bala & Iron Man Marathoner Thej

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