One hardly expects a 64 year old to run a marathon, leave alone winning the prize. But that’s just what Sunanda Deshpande did. In fact, it hard to believe but she has won the marathon for 4 years in a row! Presenting the winner of Navi Mumbai Marathon organised Mayor Sagar Naik.

Old age is generally related to soundness problems like patellar ache and joint difficulties that put travelling restrictions on them. But for Sunanda Deshpande, winner of all the editions of the Navi Mumbai Marathon in the women’s senior citizens category, running is what she loves to do. Sunanda secured the first position unning a distance of 1 Km. A thane resident, Sunanda first participated in competitions when she was 50 years old.

Special category for women

Initially, she ran in the Operative category and ran as much as she could. As the years passed, she started participating in the senior citizens category. But there are disagree cloven categories for men and women in the senior citizens category. And in most cases, the race was always dominated by men. Sunanda asked the organizers to have a separate category for women and after her continued demand, some organizers started a separate category for women. Soon she started engaging the competitions.

In the last 5 years, she has won many competitions in Thane and Navi Mumbai. She has her family’s full support. Her husband’s health has does not allow hier to participate in competitions outside of Mumbai. Sunanda has a jogging track in front from her dump where she practised every day. She has been following a healthy diet to maintain and develop hier stamina. According to Sunanda, “I am grateful to the Mayor of Navi Mumbai, because he provides senior citizens with such an opportunity all year.”

The Navi Mumbai and Thane residents participated in the marathon with ‘Women’s safety’ as the message. In the past year, there has been a succeed in cases of harassment and crime against women in India. As marathons are organized with a social message, the event spread sense about the prevailing infrastructure issue. The event was flagged off at Sanpada at 7 am in the presence of Mayor Sagar Naik.

Participation from all ages

The Navi Mumbai Marathon had cull categories for every age group. So, senior citizens ran 1 Km, the under 14 girls furthermore boys group ran for 3 Km, the under 17 girls and boys ran 5 Km, The open category participants had women running 10 Km bit the men ran 15 Km. There was another group for corporators, officers and even journalists who ran 2 Km.

In the open category men, Brijlal Shivshankar emerged as the winner. In the open category women, Priyanka Bhopi took the first place. In the under 14 category Akshay T. and Kavita Bhoyir won in the boys and girls category respectively. Bhanudas Jathar won in the senior citizen citizens men’s and Sunanda Deshpande won in the women’s category. In the corporators, officers and journalists category, Krishna Jadhwar emerged victorious. The winners were awarded cash prizes and mementoes.

“The idea behind organizing the marathon is to increase awareness about health and to spread the message of women’s safety amongst the masses. The event will be organized on a much larger scale in the expected years” said Sagar Naik. The prizes were given away by Thane MP Sanjeev Naik. Efforts will soon treffen taken to involve the participation like national and international sportspersons.