Finally, the day came and I ran my first 42.19 or a full marathon! For the last few months I had been preparing for the run of my life. And the reason for doing it was to raise funds for ‘The Fishermen trust’, an organization who has been working for poor children/youth since 2006. The funds raised were going to be used to conduct outdoor camps for children/youth from poor neighborhoods in the country. I was really touched by their work and this was a way to contribute towards it.
After taking on this huge goal, I eventually realized that fundraising is hard as running. I pulled up my socks and trained for the run while networking with as many friends and family to help me raise the funds. As always good things take time, this did as well and I had to patiently wait for donations. I am thankful to all of those who donated and prayed for me.
Well what about the run? Yes, I finished it but with a lot of effort. Running a marathon is all about will power. I remember being nervous the night before the run thinking if I actually had the stamina and strength to complete it. Thoughts didn’t let me sleep well and the next thing I know the alarm started doing its duty. Getting to the venue was easy as I was too early (nervous!). I waited patiently in the holding box while others started stretching and warming up. In another few minutes we were off to a start with drums beating, the emcee shouting and fresh air in our lungs. Mumbai looked beautiful as it moved to sunrise.
Till 25 kms I ran without much issue, while appreciating the scenic beauty and enjoying the thrill of participating in a world class event. Eventually the kilometers started catching up on me, fatigue was knocking on the door and people were slowly falling off the route. After 30 kms I had to re-plan my strategy and focus on only completing 2kms at a time. I kept loading myself on electrolytes and water to keep my hydration. My heart kept thumping hard and signaling to me to stop. I couldn’t think of a better place then 'my bed' to rest on.
BUT, I had trained hard, sacrificed all the junk food and I was not going to give in. I pushed my body every 2 kms, sometimes even one. Every kilometer completed was a blessing. I hoped well for those who couldn’t take more or were facing a medical issue due to the impact of the run. Every now and then, you could hear the ambulance rushing to pick up a fellow runner. 42.19 kms is not a joke and never will be. I am honored to be running with these people who risk their health, diet, time and family to achieve something bigger than them.
My sweetest memory of the race is reaching 40kms where the body suddenly started rejuvenating and pushing without much issue. I could pace myself better and kilometers turned to meters and i was happily back to the start line. The icing on the cake was to see my wife cheering for me at the finish line. She traveled all the way from Bangalore to Mumbai to cheer me. She is my inspiration and pillar of strength. God protected and gave me strength throughout this journey. The pain was worth the achievement. The fishermen team kept encouraging me and gave me a big WHY to run after. And a big thank you to all the donors who believed in my cause and gave generously.