This marathon man is 86

Age no bar

A regular marathoner, who is a regular participants in the long distance runs conducted in India, Deshpande is raring to participate in many more during the rest of his lifetime.

Deshpande, took to running at the age of 65 years in 1981, seven years after he retired from the then Department of Posts and Telegraphs. He ran his first marathon in 1985. He has not looked back since. He has run in 230 marathons including all the majors staged across the country, the latest being the Mumbai Marathon held during the last week.

At his age, Deshpande is fitter than many people much younger to him. In the Mumbai Marathon, he ran a distance of 21.097 km in three hours, 20 minutes and 35 seconds with no break and without having a drink of water. Resounding applause greeted him at the finishing line. He ran in socks, with a chip attached to his feet to record the timings.

The veteran runs two km regularly and more than 10 km in preparation for an event. The citizens of Pune felicitated him after a recent event. Rajaram Padwal (71), Deshpande’s friend, ran along with him in the Mumbai Marathon and completed the run in two hours, 46 minutes and 17 seconds.

When not running, Deshpande cycles across the city to complete his regular chores. None of his five children, however, have taken to running.

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