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It runs in the family

Daddies who were introduced to the heady world of running marathons by their sons, got a rare chance to take to the streets and make their children proud yesterday

'The child is Father of the man', said Wordsworth, and yesterday's marathon proved as much, with many of Mumbai's papas taking inspiration from their children and participating in the marathon, even managing to give them quite the proverbial 'run' for their money.




Father's day out: 53-year-old Harish Chedda and 56-year-old Amar
Duhan (left) both owe their love for running to their sons Navdeep and
Pankhil


When 56-year-old Amar Duhan tied his laces and pulled up his socks at the break of dawn yesterday, he had only one single-minded goal in sight - to prove to his son what rare physical feats he was capable of achieving.
"It's my son who introduced me to running marathons, which then became an addiction. We have run half-marathons in Delhi, but this was my first full marathon," he said.

Duhan clocked far better than his 25-year-old son Navdeep. The competitive dad beamed proudly, saying, "I was ahead of Navdeep in the Delhi marathon, and even this time I completed the race earlier than him. I feel like a winner already." He couldn't resist a mischievous joke, saying, "I think I will have to train him for the next marathon."

Veteran runner 53-year-old Harish Chedda has been running the half-marathon for the last three years with a bunch of his friends.

Ask the man who ignited this passion, and he will tell you that it was son Pankhil who introduced them to the exhilarating world of running.

"We used to frequent the national park for walks, but didn't know that running could be such sheer fun. Each time a marathon ends, we start making eager plans for the next one. It was my son who trained me and my friends for the run," said the proud and grateful papa.

"I have improved on my timings also. Though I'm growing old, my stamina is going from strength to strength," said Chedda. Pankhil, who works with a multinational company in Hyderabad, flew down to the city just to match paces with his father.

All fun and games 
For Ghatkopar-based H R Desai (71) and his wife Parvati (61) the marathon is nothing but an excuse for some fun in the sun.

"We aren't used to physical exertion, and can't run or walk much. But we register every year, just to soak in the spirit of the event. It's fun to see people take to the streets in their different hues and garb. It's just like a new-age mela for us," said Desai.

Matunga resident, 65-year-old Sakarbai Nikalje was another such enthusiast, who completed her dream run in a seven-yard sari, with some other senior women for company.

They were representing the NGO Family Welfare Agency.

"I never take a vehicle to travel, I always walk. So this was no different. It's fun to hold placards and walk, while photographers get busy taking pictures of you," she said.

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