In 2012, he finally decided to shed weight from his 93-kilo frame. Never in his wildest dream did he imagine that he would be losing 17 kg and running six marathons, the latest being the Mumbai Marathon held on Sunday. However, Sita Ram Meena, the 37-year-old Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, did just that.
And he was not alone in this feat. Sixteen other men from the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) and Income Tax (I-T) Department decided to take a break from their regular desk jobs and participate in an event that brings the entire city together every year.
Out of the 17 who participated in the marathon, three officers managed to complete it. Pratap Singh (47), Commissioner of Income Tax, was suffering from flu on the day of the event, and yet persevered to complete it. Speaking to MiD DAY, he said, “I started running after being coaxed by my friends, only to realise that this is one of the easiest sports that helps me stay fit. The best part is that you don’t require a team and can run alone as well.”
Sita Ram Meena never imagined that running would become a passion
“My previous experience of the full marathon was really exciting and I didn’t want to lose out on the opportunity of finishing it this time, despite my flu. I completed the run in five hours and 47 minutes. I thought of quitting twice in the middle, but with so many people running enthusiastically around you, you don’t have to look far for motivation to keep going,” said Singh.
While Pratap Singh managed to complete the marathon despite suffering from flu
Meena completed the 42-km run in four hours and 19 minutes. He has also been previously awarded the Debutant Runner’s award by the Mumbai Road Runners Association. “It is amazing that the activity that I started in order to lose weight has become such an integral part of my life.
Poojan Rana completed the race in 5 hours and 17 minutes
Although I did receive a bit of training during my police service between 2001-2005, I only took it up seriously in 2012. After that I have participated in the Hyderabad and the Vasai-Virar Marathon. My trainer Namdev Talvi prepared me well to complete this marathon.”
The third officer to complete the marathon was Poojan Rana (31), Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, clocking five hours and 17 minutes. This was Rana’s third time participating in the Mumbai Marathon and he wishes to continue running for the years to come. The government officers are keen to inspire other officials to run the Mumbai Marathon. “Running helps you unwind. Despite several constraints at work, we tried to attempt and complete the marathon. It is an experience that we’ll cherish for life,” said Singh.