Dattatreya Balse might be 97 years old but he is far from being frail and ailing. While, most nonagenarians will catch the race on their television sets, Balse is all set to participate in the “Dream Run’’ at Sunday’s marathon. “This is my fifth marathon,’’ he said. In 2007, Balse was also felicitated for being the seniormost individual participating in the event.
Balse’s love for fitness began 63 years ago. A sports enthusiast, Balse has won numerous awards for his achievements in the field. He was also an active member of Bal Vyayam Mandir, a neighbourhood athletics institution. While many who are half his age do not reach the finishing line, Balse’s feat puts them to shame every year.
The Tardeo resident’s daily routine includes walking from Marine Drive to Nariman Point. “I wake up at 3 in the morning and reach Marine Drive by 4 o’ clock and there, I walk till about 6.30 am,’’ he said, saying he never misses the exercise, which has almost become a ritual. Balse, who used to jog, took to walking on his doctor’s advice.
Blase used to work in a bank and later in an import-export firm. He said retirement only helped him devote more time to his fitness regime. A teetotler, Balse said his fitness regime, sleeping at 10 every night and eating homecooked food were the secret to his good health.