Mumbai: The Mumbai Marathon was more than a Sunday outing for the Tayde family. Five of them participated across three categories: Senior Citizens Race, Half Marathon and Marathon.
“We normally go for a walk in the morning. We thought why not take the walk on Sunday,” said Janrao Tayde (79), who with his wife Kanhopatra Tayde (75), participated in the Senior Citizens Race. This was the couple’s first marathon and they said they thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Tayde had a minor fall on the Marine Lines bridge, but managed to completed the marathon despite that. “It’s a great atmosphere and we will definitely come next year,” said Mr. Tayde, who took around 50 minutes to finish the 4.3-km run.
At the holding area, the couple met their daughter Rekha Deshmukh and daughter-in-law Rekha Tayde, who had completed their half marathons. The family wasted no time in exchanging notes. When the father revealed the mother’s fall, the daughters appeared concerned. “She had suffered a fracture in her leg a couple of years ago. And yet she is so active,” said Ms. Deshmukh, who trains with her sister-in-law. “We began jogging to get fit and stay in shape. While we participated in a few running events, we didn’t take it very seriously,” said Ms. Tayde.
The push came two years ago when both of them finished on the podium in their respective categories in the 10-km race of the Vasai-Virar Marathon. Ms. Tayde finished third in the 41-50 years category while Ms. Deshmukh stood second in the 50-60 years category. “That gave us more encouragement. We realised we were reasonably good at this,” said Ms. Deshmukh, who came third in last year’s Vasai Virar Marathon as well. “For this year we prepared well. But today was extremely hot and we couldn’t quite reach the target we had set out to,” said Ms. Deshmukh, who took 2 hours and 30 minutes, while Ms. Tayde clocked 2 hours and 40 minutes.
At around 9.30 a m, Jitendra Tayde, the son, joined the family with his arms held high above his head. “3 hours 26 minutes!” he exclaimed. He was running the full marathon for the second year and was over the moon for having clocked a sub-3:30 timing; he had shaved a good 11 minutes off last year’s timing. As soon as he entered the group, the energy levels, which were never low to begin with, spiked and the family again began discussing their runs with equal enthusiasm. Each member of the family credited him for motivating them to participate. “He deserves the full credit for getting our parents to participate,” said Ms. Deshmukh.
Mr. Tayde has been participating in the Mumbai Marathon for the past seven years. For the first five years, he ran the half marathon. “It began when the company I worked for wanted a team to participate in the Dream Run. I chose to run the half,” he said. He clocked 2.01 hours in his maiden run in the 2012 edition. Since then he has participated in several half marathons across the State. Moreover, he runs barefoot. “It came naturally to me,” he said.
The three of them have participated in several long-distance running events over the past few years and a large part of the conversation was devoted to comparing the different events, the cuisine and the climate. “They should really not give food that is this dry,” said Ms Deshmukh. Mr. Tayde agreed, and the family recollected how at Vasai they got upma and sheera, which was way more appetising.
The family has made running a Sunday morning ritual as well; all five of them run and walk according to whatever is comfortable to them. Several friends who were also participating joined in the conversation as the family rested at Azad Maidan before proceeding for a leisurely Sunday family lunch.