As thousands of Mumbaiites stepped out to participate in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, 2013, for many, it was a day to showcase their spirit to fight adversity.
Sanjay Pandya, 50, ran his sixth half marathon in the city, but this year his cardiologist accompanied him. Pandya, who has undergone two angioplasties recently, completed the 21-km run in two-and-a-half hours, his best timing so far.
He refused to let the ‘heart patient’ tag dampen his spirit.
“I was able to run because my doctor was there to constantly assure me,” said Pandya.
“I was happy that I did not have to give up on running because of my medical condition.”
More than 38,000 people participated in the different races in the Mumbai marathon.
Sai Suman, 19, completed the 6km dream run in her wheelchair to create awareness about congenital defects for Spina Bifida Foundation, a non-profit.
“I decided to take part in the marathon to make people realise the importance of the issue," said Suman, who is a patient with the organisation.
Sanjiv Bhalla, 57, who had a bypass two years ago, participated in the marathon for the first time.
“Doctors told me that I could run. I wanted to see how far I could go,” said Bhalla.
For Siddharth Mhatre, 24, crossing the finish line of the Champions with Disability Run on his crutches was “thrilling”.
“I was not sure if I could do it, but I decided to participate after my friends and colleagues encouraged me to,” said Mhatre, who walked for one-and-a-half hours to complete the race.
For the organisers, this edition was unique because it saw several previous dream run and half marathon opt for the full marathon.
“It was nice to see that several runners from the dream run and half marathon opted to participate in the full marathon, and several ran despite difficulties,” said Vivek Singh, joint managing director, Procam International Limited.
"The spirit of the city really came through on Sunday."