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From finance sector to ultramarathon to endurance sports industry: The story of Sanjay Mangla
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Amazingly penned Saurabh Duggal
Great move towards gender equality
From Tuffman to Tuffwoman – Running for gender equality
The story of Tuffman was started in 2014 and in their 10th year, taking a leap towards gender equality in ultramarathons, they introduced the title of ‘Tuffwoman’ for the top women finishers in the ultra run.
“Ahead of 2023 International Women’s Day, we felt we owe a lot to you (referring to women runners). We are thrilled to announce the title of Tuffwoman for our tough woman runners,” says Sanjay Mangla, himself an ultra runner and a founder of a sports endurance company Tuffman India.
It was in 2016, when Mangla, introduced the title of 'Tuffman' for all the runners finishing their ultramarathons under a specific timeline. The time limit varies for different terrains.
Since then, the ultra runners from both the genders were awarded the same title ‘Tuffman’. Till date, over 500 ultra runners, including around 40 women, have earned the prized possession.
But from this year, the top women ultra runner finishers would get a title of ‘Tuffwoman’ and men would get the same ‘Tuffman’.
“We organized the runs under the banner of our company Tuffman India, so we kept the title ‘Tuffman’ for the top finishers, including women, in the ultramarathon category. Initially, because of the logistic issues, we kept a common title for men and women,” says Mangla. “In 2019, a woman ultra runner questioned me that if we have a Tuffman title for men, why couldn’t we have a Tuffwoman title for the women runners. Since then I was thinking that somehow by not giving ‘Tuffwoman title’ to our women runners, we are not giving them their appropriate due. Eventually, we are introducing the Tuffwoman title from our first ultra run of the year – 24 hours Stadium Run in Panchkula on February 11-12.”
In running, the participation of women is quite less as compared to men and in ultramarathon, the gap further widens up. “To encourage more women to take up running, from now onwards, each of our women runners would get a t-shirt printed Tuffwoman instead of the company’s name Tuffman. It will motivate them to eye for the title of Tuffwoman,” says Mangla.