Being nothing short of a superwoman, Bangalore-based professional runner, Bhumika Patel has unlocked yet another phenomenal milestone for herself. With fire in her feet, Patel, along with her husband, Sanjeev, has become the first Indian couple to complete the 6 Star Marathons together! The couple started the race and finished it together, a record unparalleled in itself.
Floating on cloud nine currently, Bhumika’s voice echoed with elation, “It feels really amazing. I can’t believe it myself,” she gushed over her recent achievement.
The couple began their journey for the Major Marathons way back in 2015 when they participated in the London and Berlin Marathons. In the following year of 2016, the duo ran in Chicago. Giving 2017 a miss, they got back on track in 2018 and ticked off the Tokyo Marathon. Finally, in 2019, they touched down in Boston before bagging the 6 Star record in New York recently.
Bhumika, whose life has changed radically ever since she began to run, found herself at a loss of words upon achieving this incredible record. Looking back on all the years she says, “It was such a gruelling thing completing 6 of these marathons in such a short period of time. It feels amazing especially because my husband also finished it at the same time. Both of us started together, so it feels really great to have finished as a family,” she narrates happily.
The best part about this was that neither Bhumika nor Sanjeev were aware of the fact that by participating in New York, they would become the first Indian couple to finish the Major 6 Stars tour in such a short duration of time. Bhumika candidly explains: “We never started it with that in our minds. We were not aware. We got to know this 2-3 days before that it is like this,” still letting this information sink in. A muted chuckle later, Patel gleefully adds, “I didn’t realize that we were the fastest.”
Having already completed the 6 Star Major Marathon circuit now, Bhumika admits:
Over the past few years, Bhumika and her husband have participated in the Copenhagen and Frankfurt Marathons. Looking ahead, the couple has other plans, “In the future, we might probably participate in the Historic Marathons like that in Athens. We might repeat the Majors again, too,” she quips in.
Taking to running at a late age of 35, Bhumika has never looked back since then. Aside from giving her own running career a kickstart, the motivated Pinkathon coach has also brought light into the lives of visually-impaired children who she trains. A dedicated worker, Patel has been a beacon of light for the specially-abled kids as she helps them run. Ever since 2016, Bhumika along with her team of guides and trainers are giving in their everything to make the lives of the visually-impaired children better and gift them with a new reason to love their life.
The plans are chock-a-block on that front with Bhumika’s decision to expand into multiple cities. So far, aside from Bangalore where the seed was laid, this noble endeavour has branched out to Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi and will soon arrive in Ahmedabad. “There were around 90 visually-impaired athletes in Delhi who ran with our guides and trainers in an event in September. Coming up this Sunday, we have a Pinkathon race in Pune for the specially-abled kids where I will be there. Then again, in December we’ll have an event in Mumbai where 100 visually impaired women will run,” she enlists categorically.
When it comes to training visually-impaired people, Bhumika and her team generally starts with the shortest distance and goes very slow. From the early workshops and training period, the athletes with high-potential are filtered out and trained for longer distances. Having ignited dreams in them, Patel intends to nurture it well, “If we go international with this, we would like to start with the Berlin Marathon next year,” Bhumika mentions hinting at her plans for the year ahead.
With the list of plans piling up and her schedule lined up for 2020, Bhumika confesses:
Having decided to keep off the international radar and focus on Indian races, for now, Bhumika is excited to bring about changes in the running circuit of the country. Patel mentions how her New York marathon wasn’t planned at all. With a hint of pride in her voice, she adds, “I was just a competition winner. From across 6 people in the world, they picked me and I was the first Indian to be selected that way for the New York Marathon. It was a great honour for me. If something like that comes up, I’ll be game for it,” she points out.
Patel, who picked up her running shoes with the sole aim to bring a difference in the world, is well on her way now to lapping up honours and creating inimitable records, in the process!