AJAY SHIVLANI

It all started more than 25 years ago. , Ajay discovered a toy with wheels which could be attached to feet and rolled along. The sheer idea of being 2 inches above the ground and gliding in the air was enough for him to be wrapped in the magic of skating. Since then, he has been involved in every level and form of skating. Be it, speed, artistic, endurance, adventure, aggressive etc.

It was in 1989, when he realised that speed skating competition was to be held in Bombay and managed to corner the limelight by securing top position in respective age group. What followed was a series of good performances in the local, district, state and all India level competitions. With no formal training in skating he had to find his own methods and means to achieve the performances. Very soon, many younger skating enthusiasts were taking his support to learn the sport of skating.

After winning laurels at higher levels, he wanted to expand his horizons with skating and adventure. The enthusiasm led him to skate Mumbai to Pune- a distance of 175 kilometers in 15 hours. In 1992, this was considered a major task with the Bhor ghats and it’s steep slopes of more than 14 kilometers. Only when this task was completed, he realised that what was done was a mamoth task and nobody in India had ever managed to skate such steep slopes combined with a big distance within a day’s time.

In 1993, he approached the Guiness Book of World Record to conquer the World’s longest distance in shortest time. It was a distance of 1488 kilometers from Land’s End to John O’Groats (Southern tip of England to the northern tip of Scotland) in 9days. The Guiness authorities insisted to break the record at the same location and that seemed very out of reach in terms of climate and funds. These constraints led to another development, he decided to leave the World Record and instead concentrate on the National record as registered in the Limca Book of Records-1547 kilometers in 8 days, 10 hours, this was achieved by an Indian in Gujarat by skating within Gujarat state. The intention was to achieve distance in less time by skating within Maharashtra. But the Limca Book authorities insisted that the record must be attempted so as to fix up a pattern to be followed by future contenders. Mumbai to Delhi, a distance of 1600 kilometers via Jaipur-Agra was fixed as the set route. Ajay managed this feat within 8 days covering six states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. This became the longest distance in shortest time covered on skates in the whole world, but was registered as a national record in the Limca Book of Records. After the National record, his eyes were yet set to be the best in the World. Adventure with skating was the best combination and what better than the, “Khardungla Pass”-at 18383 feet above sea level is the highest motorable road in the World. Limca Book of Records had a record of skating from Leh to Khardungla in 36 hours.

In, 1996 Ajay skated from Leh to Khardungla in 14 hours 40 minutes. This feat was recorded in Limca Book of Records as a World Record. The Indian Military also honoured Ajay for the same as they believed it to be a real achievement to skate in temperatures less than 0 degrees with hailstorm and ground snow for company and oxygen level less than 30% of Mumbai city. This was it!!!!