Expecting mom clocks 21 km in 3 hrs

 Arpita Shukla (32) has been passionate about running since the last four years. She has run half marathons since 2009. This time, too, she ran the half marathon, despite being six months’ pregnant. She finished it in 3.02 hours. “Like every year, I had enrolled for this year’s marathon, but later I got to know that I am pregnant,” said Arpita, adding that this being her first pregnancy, she never thought that she would not be able to run in such a condition.

Arpita kept running about 4 km every day even after she got to know of her pregnancy. In a country where families start advising a mother-to-be over small things as soon as the news is out, Arpita’s family has supported her whole-heartedly. “I have also been participating in theMumbai Marathon every year. I kept telling Arpita that I will beat her personal best of 2.18 hours, which she had achieved in 2009. Both of us used to go for runs together every morning,” said Siddharth, Arpita’s husband.

“My family told me that one knows her own body best. If I could do it, they didn’t have any problem,” said the Powai resident, who works as a business consultant. But Arpita was a little scared about running in the marathon. She then consulted Dr Vanita Raut, gynaecologist at L H Hiranandani Hospital. “I told her that pregnancy is not a disease, but a physiological phenomenon,” said Dr Raut. “Lack of exercise is one of the common reasons for Caesareans. If a woman continues whatever exercise regime she follows before pregnancy, there should be no complications,” Dr Raut said, adding that she had advised Arpita to stop in case she felt uncomfortable.

“On the 12 km mark, I started feeling a strong urge to answer nature’s call and felt I might not be able to continue. But once I visited the loo, I felt fresh. At that time, my baby also kicked, so I was re-assured that all was well,” she said.

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