Nitendra Singh Rawat

A Kumaon boy who represented India at Olympic Marathons

30 May, 24 | 11:25 AM6 min read


Nitendra Singh Rawat's journey from the Kumaon hills to the Olympics abstract the true spirit of perseverance and dedication. Joining the Indian Army in 2006, Rawat discovered his calling in the armed forces,working parallely for his passion for marathons.

His journey in athletics gained its first success with a notable victory at the South Asian Games in Guwahati, where he won gold in the 10,000 meters. This achievement was just the start of what would become a series of remarkable performances on the global stage.


Despite facing a major setback with a hamstring injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Rawat completed the marathon, embodying the never-say-die attitude of a true athlete. Unfortunately, this performance, which was affected by his injury, led to his absence from the national camp, leaving him to train in his hometown Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, away from the advanced facilities available to most athletes.

These challenges didn't deter Rawat. He returned to prominence with a win at the Tata Mumbai Marathon in January 2019, where he set a record time of 2:15:48. This victory marked his remarkable comeback and highlighted his determination. 

In July 2022, Rawat proved his mettle once again at the Commonwealth Games, finishing the marathon in 12th place with a timing of 2:19:22. Despite not having the sophisticated training and nutritional support available to many of his peers, Rawat's achievements are a testament to his hard work and the support he receives from his coach Surinder Singh Bhandari, as well as his teammates.


Rawat's story is not just about his triumphs but also about overcoming financial and logistical obstacles. Participating in local marathons not only helps him maintain his fitness but also supports him financially. Coming from a middle-class background, he has had to manage with limited resources, making his accomplishments even more commendable.

As he sets his sights on the national record, Nitendra Singh Rawat continues to be an inspiration to many across the nation. His journey underscores the importance of resilience, hard work, and the relentless pursuit of one's dreams, no matter the hurdles. His story is a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes, showing that with determination and dedication, any goal is attainable.