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Marathon's first Indian woman

Harini Rana | February 15, 2004 14:48 IST
Last Updated: February 15, 2004 18:08 IST

The Mumbai International Marathon fulfilled various dreams, created new records and recorded history. The marathon is claimed to be the Biggest Marathon in Asia, with almost over 20,000 participants having run for a cause.

'I Believe', the tag line for the marathon was the perfect motivation for participants from various corners of the globe.

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It was a dream come true for people from all age groups. Twenty-three year old Sarabjeet Kaur, from Jalandhar, Punjab, was one of them. She took part in the marathon just for fun, but ended up a winner, emerging first among the Indian woman to complete the Half Marathon (21.097km).

Part of the Indian contingent for the event, Sarabjeet represented the Punjab Police.

"Though I had a bad timing, this is the best marathon for me as I came first," she said after Sunday's race.

Sarabjeet's participation in the marathon was just for "the passion of running".

"I just love running and I have been training myself since Class 12. I have been practicing everyday for almost 3-4 hours.

"I was told about the marathon by Ram Munir, a friend of mine staying in Mumbai, and it was because of him that I actually participated. But I am glad that I participated and won."

Sarabjeet KaurThis was Sarabjeet's third marathon. Earlier she had participated in two marathons, the Varsha marathon in Thane, where finished second and the World Marathon in Portugal, in December 2003. She has trained under two coaches. Her former coach was Sardar Gurbinder Singh Tillo; currently she is training under Mandeep Usmain, who plans her schedule.

"I started training seriously for this marathon in January," she added.

Looking back at her performance on Sunday, Sarabjeet said she is relieved, but "a bit disappointed" that she could not make it fast enough to win the race.

"I will work harder and do better the next time. But now it's time to get back to Jalandhar and return to my job in the Punjab Police," she says, adding she has to resume duty from Tuesday.

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