78 year old completes 109th marathon


Staff member
Washington: Holding aloft the Indian flag and with no plans to hang his boots as yet, India's grand old marathon man Ashis Roy has completed his 109th marathon in the Potomac River Run Marathon here on a windswept chilly Sunday.

At 78, the oldest of 199 participants in the 26.2-mile marathon out and back twice along the scenic C and O Canal Towpath near Washington, Roy finished with a ‘not so good' timing of 6 hours 51-minutes and 30 seconds even as his right leg ached running on a sand and gravel path.

Roy, who was given a special prize as the sole participant in the 75-79 age group, had completed the same run last year in 6 hours 37 minutes and 42 seconds.

However, Roy clipped almost 25 minutes from his previous run in the Yakima River Canyon Marathon along an exceptionally scenic course with spectacular views last month.

Roy, who has run two marathons in the US this year, dashed across the last few metres to the finishing line holding the Indian national flag with his two granddaughters in tow as people along the route cheered him for keeping it up at his age. "What made me extremely happy was that my granddaughters ran the last few paces with me," said Roy.

The veteran Indian runner, who completed his 100th marathon in Mumbai on January 17, has no plans to hang his boots yet. He is set to run in the Delaware marathon on May 15.

Roy, who has penned a book titled Joy of Running is listed in the Limca Book of Records, and has competed in 38 marathons in India and 71 marathons in 20 other countries, including the International Veterans Marathon in Athens in 1986.

Roy, a resident of New Delhi, began running marathons at the age of 52 when he retired as a cardiologist with the Indian Air Force.