Anjali Saraogi, a 45-year-old businesswoman from Kolkata, who began running only four years ago and was the only woman to make it to the Indian team for the world ultra-run championship in Croatia, has finished the 100-km race days after she was hospitalised with dengue.
“I learnt about my selection for the September 8 event in the third week of July. Thereafter, I began training. But on the eighth day, on July 30, I woke up with 104°F fever,” she said.
“I tested positive for dengue and got admitted to a hospital. I received platelet transfusion. At the time, running at the ultra-race seemed out of question. I felt weak and recuperated for most of August.”
Anjali said, “It is only in the last week that I commenced running. I told myself I will not let the opportunity go. After the hospitalization, I was prepared to drop out if Ifelt ill.”
“That is what I promised to my husband who supported me although the rest of the family was dead against it. I didn’t tell them about my participation and ultimately completed the race in 9hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds,” Saraogi said.
The La Martiniere for Girls alumnus never did run in school. “I was extremely nonathletic,” she said. At times Saraogi rues why she didn’t drive herself to realize her potential then, reports TOI.
It was only in November 2015 that she ran her first race when she participated in the half-marathon in Mumbai. She finished second in the women’s race.
Thereafter, in the full marathon in Kolkata, she won the women’s title. Last year, she became the first Indian woman to run the 89-km Comrades Marathon in South Africa.
In the race in Sveti Martin na Muri, a location in Medimurje county, Croatia, Saraogi finished 74th in the all women category.
The Indian team that comprised five men apart from her, ranked 20th among 39 countries. If she does go for the next championship, she vows she will run 100 km under 9 hours.
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