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For them, stopping is out of question

india Updated: Nov 28, 2011 01:56 IST
Anamika Nandedkar

As long as the guy running in front of you is motivated enough, you are good to go. This was one of the factors that helped many participants finish the Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday. Amateur runners, almost 9,000 in number, who ran the 21km race, all found a way to keep them going towards the finish line - even though thoughts of stopping kept popping up in their heads.

"A foreign runner was ahead of me all the time. Let's say he was sort of a pacemaker for me. I did not bother how tired I was, I just kept following him and completed the race with my personal best timing," said Rajorshi Sen, a student in his first marathon.

But for Rupali Mehta, a nutritionist from Mumbai and an avid runner, it was just a matter of setting smaller goals to get to the big picture. “I have been practicing for months in Mumbai, but still during an actual race I end up feeling that I should have put in some extra effort while training,” she said.

“I thought let's just complete the next 500m and see what happens next. That way, the 21km target didn't look that difficult,” said the 38-year-old.

One of the earliest runners to finish was 56-year-old Ajaib Singh, who was competing in the senior citizens category. He finished half an hour after marathon winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and then sat back to enjoy watching athletes in their 20s huffing and puffing past the finish line. Ask him what keeps him going, and he shrugs: "I don't have any sugar problem, any BP-related problem, chust-durust hoon (I am physically fit). Then why should I stop?"