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Of dreams and despair

Harish Kotian | February 15, 2004 15:49 IST

Prakash Sampath Shivnath from Satara was a depressed man. His marathon ended before it even began.

He had entered for the half marathon (21 kms) but reached the venue 15 minutes after the race began.

A resident of Ghatkopar, Shivnath, who works at Reliance Info's call centre and is a seasoned marathon runner, blamed the non-availability of transport in the early hours for missing out on the run.

"I just could not find any mode of transport to reach the ground," he lamented, sitting at the Azad Maidan.

"I finished seventh in the Pune International Marathon (40 kms) last year; I have also taken part in the Satara Marathon (21 kms) and the Kolhapur Cross Country. I was very confident of doing well here," he said, ruing his missed chance.

Shivnath said stamina is his forte. "I can hold my breath for 2 minutes 32 seconds."

But the disappointment did not deter him from participating in the Dream Run.


75...and still going on

P.P. Mithsagar is 75 years old, but one cannot make out his age once you start talking to him.

He arrived fully prepared to take part in the Dream Run (7 kms), with two kit bags full of clothes and accessories.

Asked how prepared for the Marathon, he replied, "I am practicing since childhood. Everyday I run for around 10-12 kms."

He said he has taken part in the Pune Marathon (veterans) since the last few years and also featured in the Thane Marathon veterans' run.

His exuberance had the younger crowd at the marathon in raptures as he danced to the loud music at the venue.

Asked about his chances, he said, "I am confident of finishing top among the veterans. I might even give the younger runners a run for their money."

He ultimately revealed the secret of his ever-lasting stamina: "Practice. After all, that is what makes a man perfect."


It was just a bit too hot

Jerome Hilt of France participated in the 21 kms marathon and ended a tired man.

Hilt came to Mumbai with some of his French friends, who also participated in the race. He enjoyed his stay in the city but felt the weather was just a bit too hot for a marathon.

"When I started running, I was not sure whether I would complete the race, but eventually I did complete it.

"I am very tired and drained out," he said.

Asked whether he would come back next year if the marathon is held again, he replied: "I am not sure if I will come back. But I will try my best to return. If my friends participate, I might come back again."

Thanking Mumbai for the marathon, he left with a sweet "Merci", which means Thank you in English.

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