Andheri resident Dr Jayshree Thakur, 35, has lost 14 kilos while preparing for the 10th edition of the Mumbai marathon. This year, an increasing number of women have put on their running shoes and are participating in the marathon to stay fit and healthy.
"I was always conscious about my body weight and finally started workouts. This further motivated me to run at the marathon," said Dr Thakur, a homeopath. She has been preparing for the run since February last year.
"Being fit makes you more confident," she added. She is running for the first time in the 'Half marathon' and expects to complete the 21-km run in two and half hours.
This year, the number of women participating in the marathon has risen to 13,965 (including all the categories). Last year, the event recorded 13,330 women participants.
Thakur has also motivated few of her friends to sign up for the marathon.
"I went for a trial run at the beach with Jayshree and had a lovely experience," said Ashana Arora, 25, a friend of Dr Thakur. She added that the running routine has changed her life and staying fit has become her mantra.
Women who participated in the event last year said that while the marathon means challenges and commitment, it also gives a different level of motivation.
Tardeo resident Tasneem Taher, 38, will be running for the second time this year. Her husband motivated her to participate.
"Initially, I was very nervous and sceptical about participating. I was not sure whether I would be able to complete the run, but practice has helped boost my confidence," Taher said.
"It was difficult to find time for workouts, amid all the house chores. But the will to run was strong and it helped me manage time," she added.