The man who never stops running

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During his days in the Indian Air Force, he was notorious for being short tempered. However, post-retirement, he keeps his cool even under the gravest of provocations by putting all his energy into running long distances.

Popularly known as the “marathon man”, 82-year-old Dr. Ashis Roy, who ran his first marathon in his 50s, has since run 115 marathons. He has now penned his second book Wonderful Joys of Running, which was released at the Press Club of India here on Monday.

Sharing his experience of how marathon has brought a transformation in his life, this physician-cum-cardiologist said: “For 21 years, I served the armed forces. My colleagues were unhappy with my behaviour as I was short tempered. However, during the later part of my life, I discovered the joys of running marathon. It gave me a feel-good factor and my behaviour has undergone a change.”

Recommending regular participation in marathons for every Indian, Dr. Roy, who retired as Wing Commander from the Indian Air Force, said regular marathon runners neither suffer from high blood pressure nor high cholesterol.

“Before running marathons, I used to weigh 72 kg, but later it came down to 66 kg. I also used to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Now, I do not have any of these problems and have a healthy heart. Regular physical exercise keeps type 2 diabetes and heart diseases at bay. I also want to clear the misconception in our country that people who are thin are unhealthy,” said Dr. Roy, who has also participated in marathons in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries.

To produce more medal-winning marathon runners in the country, Dr. Roy believes compulsory running is the panacea.

“I want running to be made mandatory from Class III in all schools of the country. Look at our neighbouring China, which has produced so many medal winners by introducing this policy. Even schools in European nations give emphasis to long-distance running. Marathon has taken the whole world by storm.”



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