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Why Do Some People Run in Marathons? Find Out Here

A fighter in the true sense, Rishabh does not look back with pain but says instead that the process of chemotheraphy has made him stronger and he is not scared of anything, definitely not running.

Prema Rajaram | News18.com

Updated:November 25, 2017, 10:55 AM IST
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Why Do Some People Run in Marathons? Find Out Here
Representational Image. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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Marathons are an upcoming tread in Kolkata. But is it just about an event or is there a bigger reason why people are motivated to run? For someone like 43-year-old Rupayan Roy, a professional working with LIC who ran his first 21 kilometers on the 29th of October at the BSF Kolkata Half marathon, ‘Run for Martyrs’ it was a big achievement. Rupayan had a heart transplant in July 2016 and a little over a year later, he decided to enroll for the marathons as it was for a good cause. The finisher's medal now motivates him to participate in more marathons and he hopes to do a full marathon too someday.

He runs regularly after work and has made the necessary lifestyle changes to stay fit, while he is also being monitored by doctors. Says Rupayan, "I played cricket and football during my school days and never led a sedentary lifestyle even later. Before I underwent the heart transplant, my doctor would give me pep talks saying his team will stitch me up and he would be fit again to run a marathon one day. That stayed on in my mind.”

Rupayan was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a cardiac condition where the four cardiac chambers were dilated and was advised by doctors in Chennai to have a transplant as soon as possible to avoid impacting other organs. He underwent a 12 hour procedure and was in hospital for 24 days before he was back home. But the recovery process took time and he was away from work for 7 months with support from his bosses and colleagues.

Like Rupayan, 30 year old cancer survivor Rishabh Saraogi was on leave for 6 months with support from his organization. A professional with ICICI bank, Rishabh underwent 12 sessions of chemotherapy in Mumbai and Kolkata between December 2015 to May 2016 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of nymph nodes. Despite his weakness, he began walking to stay fit as his doctor suggested going outdoors rather than contracting infection by staying only indoors. He combined this with yoga and pranayams to get stronger.

Today Rishabh too has one half marathon finisher’s medal after completing 21 kilometers at the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Marathon 2017. He is set to participate in his second 21 kilometers race at the Airtel Run For Education half marathon on the 26th of November. “After completion of chemotherapy in May 2016, I started with a one and a half km run and eventually scaled up to 3 kilometers and 7 kilometers. Running sheds negativity. I do get tired, but when I come back from a run, I feel very positive. It is de-stressing, I feel very energetic, charged up and get positive in every aspect. “ Says Rishabh. Today he is not just fit and fine with running and yoga, but he also proudly says that he is one of the fittest persons on his office floor and he too wants to run a full marathon one day.

A fighter in the true sense, Rishabh does not look back with pain but says instead that the process of chemotherapy has made him stronger and he is not scared of anything, definitely not running. He adds “I think every person who comes across such hardships should value their body and that is the utmost priority.”

There are also cases where Diabetes Mellitus type 2 and high blood pressure have been reversed due to running combined with other forms of exercise. Like in the case of UK based oncologist Dr. Nabanita Bose. She moved to the UK from Kolkata with chronic health problems including psoriatic arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Diabetes Mellitus type 2. Bose said, “I decided to lose weight and started body weight training and later lifting weights too. I lost 26kgs over 4 years. I started running 6 months ago and that added to my achievement of weight loss. As of today, I have reversed my diabetes and am on no medication for high blood pressure too.” During her last visit to Kolkata, she participated in the 5 kilometers run at the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon in 2016 and is planning on running 10 kilometers in the same event during her next visit in February 2018.

While more people in Kolkata are passionate about running by the day, the increase in the number of running events in the city not only help bring Kolkata close to other cities like Mumbai and Delhi, but also give runners an opportunity to test their fitness levels, but also give some a new lease on life.
| Edited by: Mugdha Kapoor Safaya
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