NEW DELHI: Amarjeet Singh Chawla lost his vision completely at the age of 40, but that didn't deter him from being a voracious runner. The 67-year-old has taken part in marathons in 29 cities in India and will be running his 150th-timed Half Marathon at the Delhi Half Marathon, which is scheduled on 15 October 2023, a media release said.
Speaking about his running journey, Chawla said, "I lost my vision completely at the age of 40. The 5.9km Dream Run at the Mumbai Marathon in 2004 was my first running event. Then, I got addicted to running. I started running Half Marathons in 2005. Thereafter, I have taken part in marathons all over India."
Chawla also spoke about how he carries out marathons, "I run with one or two escorts with me. Either I hold their hand or a stick, which is being held by my escort at the other end. And my escorts guide me throughout any marathon I take part in. I have run with a total of 126 escorts during my running journey. "
The marathoner further added, "It was quite difficult to get escorts when I started running. Some of the corporate employees helped me run the Dream Run in 2004 as escorts. But now people recognize me during events and they ask me if they can escort me."
When asked about his longest marathon, the 67-year-old said, "My longest marathon has been a run which began in Mumbai and ended in Pune. The event was hosted to raise awareness for eye care. I was very happy to be a part of this marathon and it was organized in 2019. It took me three days to complete the run. I remember the weather was quite hot as well."
Chawla also said that he always looks to enjoy his run and not worry too much about the timing, "Sometimes, while running a marathon, I stop and start dancing with people. If I see a group of people playing the Dhol, then I take a break and dance with the group."
The Delhi Half Marathon will be held on 15 October 2023. Registration for all physical race categories — Half marathon, Open 10K, Great Delhi Run (Approx.4.5km), Senior Citizens’ Run (Approx.2.5km) and the Champions with Disability Run (Approx. 2.5km) is open until 11:59 PM on Friday, 22nd September 2023 or until spots are filled, whichever is earlier, the release added.