Washington, May 17 (IANS) India's grand old marathon man Ashis Roy has added yet another feather to his cap completing his 103rd marathon in Bob Potts Heritage Rail Trail Marathon in York, Pennsylvania.
At 77, the oldest of 400 participants, Roy finished the 26.2 mile run along the loose gravelly cycle track along the heritage rail line on a hot sultry Sunday in 6 hours, thirty nine minutes and 10 seconds - one and a half minutes more than his last run two weeks ago.
The race started in good cloudy weather with a little drizzle along the way but as the day wore on it became a little hot and Roy, who had finished the Potomac River Run Marathon near Washington with a "not so good" timing of 6 hours 37 minutes and 42 seconds again developed big blisters on his feet, slowing him down.
But "the reception I got here was unbelievable," Roy, the lone 75 plus participant in the run, told IANS on phone after he was honoured with a plaque as an "exceptional runner" and a special medal engraved with "Dr Roy 103 marathon".
"It was a wonderful feeling. I felt so happy that I got so much respect here," he said as people lining the route cheered him along and shook hands with him at the finish line.
Named after Bob Potts, a legendary local runner who died after collapsing in the middle of a triathlon in Avalon, New Jersey, three years ago, the event was organized by his son Sean Potts to honour a man who ran more than 30 marathons in his life.
The veteran INdian runner, who completed his 100th marathon in Mumbai on Jan 17, runs his next marathon in the US on June 5 participating in Sunburst Marathon at Southbend, Indiana.
Roy, who has penned a book on "Joy of Running"is listed in the Limca Book of Records, and has, to date, competed in 37 marathons in India and 66 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 working with the Indian Air Force.