grand old marathon man Ashis Roy has completed his 108th marathon
with a run in Yakima River Canyon Marathon along an exceptionally
scenic course with spectacular views.
But with temperatures near freezing point and strong winds along the
26.2 mile course from Ellensburg to Selah in Washington State with
two major hills and many curves, Roy at 78 the second oldest person
among 500 participants finished third in the 75-79 age group
Though at seven hours and 15 minutes, it was his slowest time ever,
Roy was happy that he overtook a runner in his fifties and another
in his thirties just before the finish in rural Selah, near the
canyon's mouth, a few hundred feet downhill.
The oldest participant in the race 81-year-old Bob Dolphin finished
the run in eight hours 38 minutes and 56 seconds.
As a member of the 100 marathoners club, Roy, the lone Indian
participant in the event sponsored by Yakima Hard Core Runners Club
was honoured with a plaque. As a special gesture, a large Indian
flag brought by Roy fluttered at the start and finish of the course.
The veteran Indian runner, who completed his 100th marathon in
Mumbai Jan 17, has no plans to hang his boots yet. He is set to run
in Potomac River Run marathon in Washington DC May 2.
Roy, who has penned a book on "Joy of Running" is listed in the
Limca Book of Records, and has, to date, competed in 38 marathons in
India and 70 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 with the Indian Air Force.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at email@example.com)