An Interview with Women Marathon Runners from Mumbai

Prajakta karthikyan

Come Jan 19, Sunday, and Mumbai will run, eyes firmly set on the finishing line. Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) is here and while some will run for fun, others have been sweating it out everyday in a bid to emerge winners. WSL caught up with two running enthusiasts, who are all set to participate in SCMM.

Meet [highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Suranjana[/highlight], a marketing professional, who has worked across the FMCG and broadcast media industries. She is a fighter and a go-getter. A cancer survivor and an above knee amputee, she participates in SCMM to challenge her physical limits and help raise funds for those with disabilities.

Suranjana[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] What is National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped India all about?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight] NASEOH,INDIA is a NGO founded in 1968 and is one of the pioneering institutions in India for persons with disabilities. They are engaged in providing rehabilitation, education, training, employment & income- generation support, community outreach, advocacy & awareness. NASEOH is currently focusing on community-based rehabilitation in Ahmednagar, where they have been able to create permanent livelihood opportunities for more than 3,500 with disabilities in the tehsils of Parner, Karjat and Ahmednagar rural. The funds raised for NASEOH in the Mumbai Marathon 2014 will be utilised to initiate a similar programme in Akole.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] This is your second year. what motivates you to participate every year?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight] My biggest motivation is to do my best to raise funds for NGOs that work in the disability sector. As a cancer survivor and above knee amputee myself, I relate personally to the issues faced by people with disabilities. I was lucky to have access to the best quality of rehabilitation, mobility aids and education – all of which have helped me live a life without any compromises. By participating in the marathon, I challenge my own physical limits and help raise funds.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] Please share your first marathon experience?

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]I was both excited and apprehensive when I participated for the first time in 2013. I hoped my stamina would hold through the Dream Run. Being an amputee, I usually suffer from chronic knee and back pains and it was a challenge to overcome the pain and push myself till the finish line. I was able to hang on, thanks to the support of my mother (who is 70+ and who runs the Dream Run) and several donors who contributed to the cause of the NGO I raised funds for.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] What would you like to tell our readers who are interested in Marathon?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight] Participating in the marathon is a test of fitness, endurance, stamina and willpower. Apart from challenging one’s own physical limitations, the marathon, through its charity partner United Way of Mumbai, also gives you a fantastic platform to either donate to or raise funds for NGOs working on a range of causes. It is a win-win situation for those who wants to participate for both personal physical triumphs and altruistic reasons!

Meet our second running enthusiast [highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Prajakta karthikyan[/highlight], 35. This IT professional has a 10- year old kid and has come all the way from Chennai to participate in Mumbai marathon. She also loves trekking, cycling, running and blogging.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] Tell us how the Mumbai marathon fascinates you?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]SCMM is one of the biggest & most prestigious marathons in India & is every runner’s dream. I started running a year & half back in Chennai and participated in most of the running events in and around Chennai.

Prajkata[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] How should a woman participant train for Marathon?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]I strongly believe every one can and should run. Good pair of shoes and great attitude is enough to begin with.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight] What safety precautions should a runner take?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]Few tips, which I follow during my practice runs are: Always try to run in a group, Never take route/timing for granted. Practice in well-lit areas, Always carry ID, mobile and some cash. Avoid the “trouble spots”, Know safe-havens, like police stations or friends’ house, along the route, Try to run in mornings.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight]What are the must-haves in marathon runner’s kit?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]Good pair of shoes, running tee, shorts & sports bra for woman. I do carry hydration belt during practice runs.

[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-red” ]Q.[/highlight]How fit you need to be while running a marathon?
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-green” ]A.[/highlight]This being an endurance sport, you need to have strong body and stronger mental strength.

FYI: If you are interested in some of the running apps click here.


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Written by Smita Diwan

Smita Diwan is a Media & Communication evangelist with 15+ years of steady growth. She has served across diverse verticals of Broadcast Journalism, Corporate Communications, Digital Media and Public Relations. A fitness enthusiast, Smita devotes her ‘rare’ free-time to yoga and meditation. As she strongly believes that the right balance is the key to steady growth.

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