Sonal Sheth was diagnosed with a heart murmur two years ago — her heartbeat tends to rise faster than the average person’s. Most people in her position would not even dream of running since it makes the heart rate soar up to 180 beats per minute and puts one at the risk of a heart attack.
But the 50-year-old is determined to run the 42-km Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Even when her knees swelled up three days ago, her spirit didn’t flag.
“The marathon is like life, in a way. You have a goal; there will be problems, but you have to rise above them,” said the Churchgate resident, who has been practising for four months. She constantly monitors her heart rate now and is taking treatment for her knees.
She isn’t the only one. Many like her have conquered health barriers to take part in the run and have, in turn, broken the stereotype that only fit people run marathons.
Mahim resident Satish Vaidya (63) had two bypass surgeries in the last four years, but he is confident his regular practice will help him complete the 7-km Dream Run, for the fourth time. “Why should I participate in the senior citizens’ marathon? I don’t think I’m old,” he said. “My family stops me, but I am confident.”
Sikander Mehta (name changed), also participating in the Dream Run, underwent surgery to widen a blocked artery less than a year ago. Mehta, who used to run regularly earlier, felt the marathon would help prove that he can still lead life the way he pleases.