Less than three months after recovering from a surgery, 45-year-old Anjali Saraogi retained her title in the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Marathon with a career-best timing on Sunday. Seniormost runner in the women’s field, Anjali clocked 3 hour 16 minutes 54 seconds to win the race and better her last year’s timing of 3:30:53. Samiksha Rai (4:04:40) was second while Rashmi Somani (4:15:24) took the third place. Before this, Anjali also ran in Mumbai Marathon last month and finished second in the amateur category.
“I started training for Mumbai Marathon only in the last week of December. Because of the surgery (to remove breast lump) I could not train much. But I’m always passionate about running and the performance in Mumbai boosted my confidence,” Anjali, who runs a medical centre, said after the race.
Anjali was a member of the Indian team at the 100km World Ultra Running Championship in Croatia in September last year. “As I had experience in ultra running, I knew I could make it up without little training. But I want to go on improve my timing further,” Anjali, who is getting ready for her dream Boston Marathon in April, said.
Tlanding Wahlang (2:35:42) won the men’s full marathon, ahead of Surat Raj Subba (2:40:22) and Fulningstar Nonglang (2:41:58).
Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, who is the brand ambassador of the event, flagged off the race from Salt Lake Stadium at 4.30am on a chilly morning. “Four years ago, we started off with 1500 athletes. Today I can proudly say that we have 15000 participation, an increase of 10 times. It’s a big move from what happened four years ago. It’s a shift in their thinking. Shift in your lifestyle. We want everyone to keep moving forward, and don’t be satisfied with what we have got. I congratulate all the people from Kolkata,” Tendulkar told media, terming the atmosphere incredible.
This edition also witnessed several inspirational runners in different categories. Shubhashis Ghosh, with a rare heart ailment, competed in the 10K run, along with the visually-impaired Mohammed Asif Iqbal. The half marathon category saw 86-year-old Bylahalli Janardan inspiring the participants.
“It’s incredible that I had the pleasure of meeting them yesterday. He (Asif) spoke to all of us last evening and his speech was inspirational. I thought it was extremely motivating,” Tendulkar hailed.
Full Marathon: Men’s: Tlanding Wahlang (2:35:42), Surat Raj Subba (2:40:22), Fulningstar Nonglang (2:41:58).
Women’s: Anjali Saraogi (3:16:54), Samiksha Rai (4:04:40), Rashmi Somani (4:15:24).
Men’s: Mukesh Singh Bhandari (1:08:50.16), Deepak Singh Rawat (1:08:50.74), Batsrang Sangma (1:09:49).
Women’s: Jyoti Singh (1:23:31), Dateibankynmaw Marwei (1:39:08), Tshering Lamu Bhutia (1:45:48).