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Marathoners Brave the Frigid Weather for a Running Rush!

Aditya Bansal

Aditya Bansal

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: You got to have a passion for running and competing just to be in a marathon, but to top that off with frigid cold weather means the runners have to show their true grit. Of course, when you are down the homestretch and the adrenaline starts pumping, the cold air cools you down and helps you get a second wind, so it may be a bit of an advantage.

Andy Master

Andy Master

But it’s really tough getting started. Each of the runners featured in this story probably said as much on their Facebook page. But they also said they loved the experience for the running rush!

Chintan Mehta

Chintan Mehta

This past weekend, on Sunday, January 14, the Chevron Houston Marathon, wound its way through downtown, Greenway and Uptown before heading back to finish at Discovery Green, a typical 42.2km or 26.2 miles course. And the Aramco Houston Half Marathon worked itself through Washington, River Oaks, Upper Kirby District, Montrose and back on Allen Parkway for 13.1miles.

Kuldip Kaul

Kuldip Kaul

Of the 27,000 participants, almost an equal number ran in each marathon. And as in years past, the top ten field was dominated by African runners, with Bazu Worku of Ethiopia winning the men’s race in 2;8;30 and Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia winning the women’s in 2:24:51. The closest Asian runner was Hiruni Wijayaratne of Sri Lanka finishing eighth in the women’s race in 2:36:35.

Meeta Jain

Meeta Jain

Although not in the same league as the top ten, a large number of Indo-Americans from the local community once again participated and the number only grows each year. Among them are the constants who have come for the past few years and are featured here.

Moez Mangalji

Moez Mangalji

The husband and wife team of Ramesh and Zarina Anand the Half Marathon finished despite his congested chest and misbehaving knee and her falling at mile 10 and hurting her hand (a fracture it was later found to be) and a bloodied nose from the scrape. They motivated each other along with good humor through the finish line.

Ramesh & Zarina Anand

Ramesh & Zarina Anand

Ashok Jain could not compete this year, but his wife Meeta made it across the finish line with her 13 year-old daughter encouraging her on. Kuldip Kaul added another Half Marathon to his list of many races – running, biking or hiking (as in Mount Kilimanjaro which he recently completed). Moez Mangalji made it across the finish line as did the lanky Andy Master, who finished the full marathon despite little practice due to his heavy travel schedule. “It was a cold start but gorgeous day,” Master wrote later.

Shirish Boradia

Shirish Boradia

Shirish Boradia made it through the half marathon full of smiles and so did Aditya Bansal. And Chintan Mehta was glad to complete his third half marathon and got a double medal for completing the ABB 5K also. “It was a bitter cold run but fun,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

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