India’s marathon man hits 92

June 21st, 2009 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 21 (IANS) India’s grand old marathon man, Ashis Roy, has completed his 92nd long run with another record in his bag - becoming the first Asian above 70 to run four marathons in seven weeks.

Running in pouring rain on a waterlogged hilly road up along the river bank, Roy at 77 the oldest of 90 participants, Saturday finished the Niagara on the Lake Marathon in six hours and 37 minutes - 10 minutes more than his time in the inaugural Bob Potts Heritage Rail Trail Marathon in York, Pennsylvania, two weeks ago.

“I feel very happy,” an elated Roy, the lone 70 plus participant in the 42.2 km run, told IANS on phone from the small Canadian town after he was honoured with a special prize.

With temperatures hovering in 10-12 degree Celsius range, Roy finished the first half in 3 hours and 14 minutes. But the inclement weather and the steep climb took its toll as he took nine minutes more to finish the return run.

With an eye on reaching his century of runs by 2010, the long distance runner from New Delhi now plans to participate in the Massey Ontario North marathon on July 19.

Roy, who took to long distance running at the age of 50 after retiring from the Indian Air Force where he served as a cardiologist for 21 years, has just penned a book on the “Joy of Running”.

He figures in the Limca Book of Records and has to date competed in marathons in 20 countries outside India including the International Veterans Marathon in Athens in 1986.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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