By Arun Kumar, IANS,
Washington : With no plans to hang his boots as yet, India’s grand old marathon man Ashis Roy has completed his 102nd marathon in Potomac River Run Marathon here on a hot sultry Sunday.
At 77, the oldest participant in the 26.2-mile marathon out and back twice along the scenic C&O Canal Towpath near here, Roy finished with a “not so good” timing of 6 hours 37 minutes and 42 seconds as running on a sand and gravel path he developed big blisters on his left heel.
Roy, who has run 15 marathons in the last one year alone, completed the first half of the race in 3 hours 11 minutes and 39 minutes, but as the temperatures rose to 27-28 degrees Celsius he found himself slowing down.
Yet Roy told IANS he was happy that people along the route came to him and praised him for keeping it up at his age. “What made me extremely happy was that my five year old granddaughter and three year old grandson ran the last few paces with me.”
The veteran runner, who completed his 100th marathon in Mumbai on Jan 17, still managed to clip over seven minutes from his last run in the same event here six months back and over ten minutes from his last marathon in US, the Harrisburg Marathon in Pennsylvania in November.
Roy completed his 101st marathon in Chandigarh on January 31. He runs his next marathon in the US on May 16 participating in Bob Potts marathon in York Town, Pennsylvania.
A day before the event, the organisers invited “India’s marathon man” to give a lecture to running enthusiasts on the “Joy of Running” as his self-published book is titled.
Roy is listed in the Limca Book of Records, and has, to date, competed in 37 marathons in India and 65 marathons in 20 other countries, including the International Veterans Marathon in Athens in 1986.
Roy, a resident of New Delhi, began running marathons at the age of 52 when he retired as a cardiologist working with the Indian Air Force.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])