He runs on,against all odds

Forty five-year-old Namdeo Wagh will be running the Mumbai Marathon,armed with his grit alone. Participating in the veteran category for 42 km,Wagh knows he is up against all odds.

Written by N Ganesh | Mumbai | Published:January 18, 2009 1:20 am

With poor means,45-year-old bids to script a success story

Forty five-year-old Namdeo Wagh will be running the Mumbai Marathon,armed with his grit alone. Participating in the veteran category for 42 km,Wagh knows he is up against all odds.

He does not have proper employment,lives in a temporary accommodation and survives on a meagre income.

A native of Nanded – Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s home town — Wagh has a diploma in pharmacy and earns Rs 2,000 from a medical store in Thane. He lives on the premises of a school in Thane,courtesy philanthropist Nanji Khimji Thakkar.

In spite of all this,he is bidding to script his own success story rather than blame fate.

“I am not the one to cry over what fate has in store. There are people who are in worse conditions. I have less money,that’s true. But I have also a good physique and stamina required for a sportsperson,” said Wagh.

This would be the fifth year Wagh would be participating in the Mumbai Marathon and his past record shows it is not for mere participation that he runs. He runs to win. He usually comes within the first three positions in the veteran category. “The prize money is a big motivation. For a person who survives on Rs 2,000 a month,any prize money is welcome,” said Wagh.

Wagh practises everyday at the Dadoji Kondev stadium in Thane for two-three hours. His diet includes raw milk,biscuits,nuts,juice and meals at a mess once a day. “I know juice vendors who charge less without compromising on quality. I drink raw milk as I have no heating appliances at the place where I stay. I am used to drinking raw milk,” he said.

He cannot afford sports shoes from big stores so he gets them from a vendor at a lane in Kamathipura at one-third the price. “The place is frequented by athletes like me. If one knows what to look for,you end up getting a good bargain on sports shoes,” said Wagh.

Wagh suffered a calf and thigh muscle injury three months ago by overdoing his practice session. That is not stopping him from running the marathon.

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