The 14th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon will take place on Sunday, 15 January and is set to witness more than 40,000 runners in various categories.
The mega event in Mumbai is also considered to be one of India’s largest fundraising events and this year, they have already raised about Rs 25 crores, supporting various causes such as education, health, children, environment, animal welfare, disability, elderly care, gender equality, women’s empowerment, among others. Amidst all this work for charity and intense training regimens, though, is the underlying spirit of sport and the desire to give back to the community.
Every runner has a unique story of what motivated them to be part of the marathon – from a social cause to a personal mission, to even just the desire to cross the line after 42 kms or support someone they love. Here's a look at some of the inspiring, interesting and exceptional stories of runners taking part in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2017.
Sandra Jacquet has been running for four and a half years now and is all set to take part in her fifth Mumbai Marathon. She is part of a running group and regularly runs various half marathons. She trains throughout the year, even if there is no marathon. She is 54-years-old, with two children in their twenties.
Jacquet initially started running to kick off an item in her bucket list, but began to enjoy it and now it has become her passion. She believes that joining a running group can keep runners motivated as you make new friends and run with different people.
But she adds that she couldn’t have done it without the support of her family – none of whom run with her, she says with a laugh. “You need the support of your family, it means putting an end to your Saturday night out.”
Jacquet also has a sort of a mission – to encourage older women to run. “I really want older women to run because this is the time to – your kids are older, you have dedicated so much of your time to your family and suddenly it’s like there is no one at home. Also, you go through menopause and so many other things health wise. So exercise is the best thing you can do,” she says.
With her fitness regime and running experiences, she is clearly leading by example.
Monks from Isha Yoga Center
Among the thousands of marathoners and running enthusiasts at Sunday’s marathon, there will be 11 monks taking part, for the first time.
The 10 men and one woman monk from the Coimbatore-based Isha Yoga Center are running to raise funds for the underprivileged children of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh through Isha Vidhya, which is an educational outreach initiative of Isha Foundation.
Mumbai won’t be the monks’ first race – they have completed the Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai Marathons as well, but Mumbai will be their biggest.
In the last edition, Isha Vidhya was the third largest fundraiser and raised the largest amount of funds through individual fundraisers at the annual event. This year, with the presence of the running monks, they could have a bigger impact.
Satish Gujran, one of the runners in the Isha Vidhya team, recently ran 248 km from Mumbai to Shirdi, as well as 284 km from Mumbai to Surat, in three days. “It is my dream to one day run across the length and breadth of India for each of India’s children who do not have access to primary education,” he says.
Also part of the team is Sadashiv Rao, CEO of Infrastructure Debt Fund at IDFC, and one of the highest individual fundraisers at the Mumbai Marathon, having raised over Rs 1.3 crore in the last eight years for Isha Vidhya.
Amarjeet Singh Chawla
Running a half marathon is no mean feat, even for someone young and in good physical shape. It requires great fitness, intense training, and a willpower to match.
And this willpower is what Amarjeet Singh Chawla channels as he gets ready to take part in the half marathon event on Sunday. Chawla is 62-years-old and is visually impaired. But that doesn’t deter him from chasing his dream.
He has been running since the age of 49 and has participated in about 60 half marathons and other races in different cities in India.
For his day job, Chawla runs a lottery shop and has been an insurance agent. But his real passion, seems to be in the physically extreme. He has also gone trekking in the Dolma pass in China, which is supposed to be one of the most difficult ones.
To help him to complete the run, his friend Rahul Brahme, who has partnered with him in many runs, will be running alongside him.
His personal best is one hour and 42 mins, which he recorded in 2005, and this year he wants to complete the race in two hours and 40 mins
On calling Mohit Giri – who is the youngest runner taking part in the full marathon event – the call was put through to his father, and there couldn’t have been a more proud father.
Ashok Giri, 45, who will be running the full distance with his 18-year-old son, spoke passionately about Mohit’s marathon experiences. The father-son duo hail from Punjab and are part of the Chandigarh Distance Runners, a group of over 500 people. But it is his father Ashok, who was the main motivation behind Mohit deciding to go the full distance, literally.
Born in November 1998, the teen begun his distance running career as recently as six months back and has participated in the Dwarka Marathon in September, as well as the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, as newcomers don’t get a chance, and this will be his first time at the Mumbai Marathon.
Imagine someone over a hundred years of age participating in a running event as intense and as big as the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. At 103, Dagadu Bhamre is a participant in the Senior Citizen category for the 14th edition of the race and an inspiration for all.
The resident of Malegaon, Nasik, came down to Mumbai and witnessed the marathon for the first time last year. Soon, he developed an interest in participating himself.
The centenarian’s training regime is something most people can’t manage even in a young age. He walks approximately 4.3 kms daily and runs 4-5 kms twice a week, from his home to the temple in Malegaon, and follows a strict vegetarian diet. This dedication to diet and exercise is what keeps him on the run, even at his age.
Updated Date: Jan 14, 2017 12:29 PM