Women love it when they’re made to feel special, and DNA did just that, say first-time participants of the Stayfree DNA I Can Women’s Half Marathon, held at the Bandra-Kurla Complex on March 11.
With an event designed exclusively for women, they say, DNA gave them the opportunity to be part of something that they always wanted to do — run a marathon.
Sebati Iyenger, 25, who works as an HR manager and lives in Vikhroli, is one of the many women who participated in a marathon for the first time. She ran for 10km and finished it in 75 minutes.
“Honestly, I got very little time to practice. The women’s half marathon gave me a platform to live my dream. I prepared myself for one week, and am proud that I managed to complete in 75 minutes.”
Anupama Bajaj, 42, a Wadala resident who works in a bank, ran 21km in her first-ever marathon attempt. She completed the run in 2 hours 15 minutes. “13 of us from the bank participated, but I was the only one for the 21km run. Days before the marathon, I attempted 18km on the treadmill, and that gave me courage to attempt 21km. I feel proud that I didn’t stop for a second during the run. I pushed myself hard and succeeded.”
“I have worked in several cities and therefore I can say that Mumbai is the safest place for women,” said Bajaj. She therefore chose cervical cancer as her cause to run.
Loretta Joseph, 43, a cervical cancer survivor herself, ran 21km for the first time. Joseph said, “I was 28 years old when I was diagnosed. Now I am 43, and the mother of an eight-year-old girl. Life was not easy. Women don’t know about cervical cancer and how to prevent it. What I have gone through I am ensuring my little daughter doesn’t.”
Mala Naidu, a resident of IC colony, Borivli, said, “I walk 8km daily. I have never participated in any marathon, but always wanted to. Since this was the first of its kind, I decided to be part of it.”