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If a city's police department is eliminated and closed, who comes to help if 911 is called?

NYC is an example. During the city’s high crime era in the 60’s, ‘70’s and ‘’80’s, Park Slope in Brooklyn was relatively crime free. The mafia provided security. Outsiders were regarded with suspicion. Many were given a violent demonstration of intolerance to strangers. The streets were safe as long as you looked like the local residents and lived there. Other neighborhoods had similar practices. Anyone venturing into the wrong area stood the risk of getting a beating, or worse.Around the same time, Bridgeport, CT had some public housing projects in which the police - or any authority figures - were unwelcome. If police had to enter, they went in groups of at least four. Things finally came to head when a boy died of an asthma attack. The ambulance that came for him came under gunfire. It waited until a large police detachment was sent to protect the ambulance crew. By then, the boy had died.The mayor then excoriated the ambulance crew for cowardice. In a public press conference, he lit into the manager of the ambulance service. It turns out that the city’s ambulance/EMT service was staffed mostly by unpaid volunteers. After the mayor was finished, the manager took the microphone. The mayor expected an apology. Instead, the manger announced that he was immediately suspending the ambulance/EMT service city-wide until the mayor withdraw his comments and agreed to provide police protection for the EMTs. The mayor did an immediate reversal.The housing complex was an FDR-era monstrosity. A decision was reached that it could not be made habitable and safe. The whole thing was torn down. Residents were re-located to other complexes where the police were tolerated.

As a trucker have you ever been the first on the scene of an accident and did you make a difference?

I know it’s unique, but I’m not only a trucker but also a lifelong firefighter. So I’ve been first on many scenes and, yes, made a difference.So, while driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks, pulling doubles, at around midnight one night, I was just coming off of the Susitna River Bridge at MP 104.2 on the Parks Highway and watched some snow flying about a quarter mile ahead of me on the far shoulder. I knew there was a fairly deep depression there that had a minor ‘pond’ and a culvert leading from it. The snow flying looked very suspicious as it seemed like some lights were flashing around in the dust cloud.I started slowing - the roads were icy, snow-covered and not the best for rapidly stopping 115′ of articulated tractor-trailer-dolly-trailer that could fold up like an accordion if it was done wrong. As I was passing the ‘pond’ (it was still ‘flowing,’ or at least a potential death-trap if anyone was in it) and saw a vehicle upside down in the hole; it looked like a mini-pickup. The roof of the cab was underwater/snow and the windowsills were at ‘water level.’ Anyone in it was in some real potential danger. I sure didn’t want to go swimming - in the middle of winter, in the middle of ‘nowhere,’ in the middle of the night with no-one else that I knew of on the road.I managed to get the rig off to the edge of the road about 100′ past the tire tracks leading through the snowbank and into the puddle. I grabbed my phone (cell service is really sketchy through that area - it might not work at all or you might have to move around to get a signal) and, as I walked back toward the wreck I called 9–1–1. It rang, they answered, and I gave them a brief description of the situation.As I started to assess my best means of access to go the 100′ or so down the bank and around to the backside of the puddle, I saw movement near the vehicle. Someone was at least alive and moving.I hailed him and started asking questions: Are you okay? Is anyone else in the vehicle? Is there anyone else who was in the vehicle - did anyone get thrown out? All the answers were good. No one trapped, no one severely injured - I had not assessed him yet. He was making his way up toward me.I helped him make the last few feet through the snow to the road and did a head-to-foot review. The young-20’s male was shaken…but not broken or bleeding.I called 9–1–1 back to let them know it was not a Code Red situation and that the only passenger of the vehicle was okay. If the ambulance came out (it was volunteer and probably six miles away - he’s lucky; there isn’t another ambulance for another 25 miles) they would just have a shaken and shivering youngster. And if a Trooper was coming they could handle it.The boy really wanted to talk with his mom - so I was able to call her. She was working on the North Slope - 1000 miles or so away. Then helped him get through to a cousin who was within 15 or 20 miles.A volunteer responder showed up pretty quickly (this all took place within a 10 minute time frame) and was able to get him into a warm vehicle.I called in to report that I’d be a bit late with my load - I was hauling mail and they keep pretty close tabs on the trucks and times.Did I make a difference? Yeah. He and mom, and friends and such appreciated it. And it was nowhere near the difference I would have made if he didn’t get out of the vehicle by himself. That’s a situation that would have been life-changing. I’ve been there with fire/rescue operations but wasn’t really looking forward to doing it there, then, under the circumstances.

What is it like to run in the Mumbai Marathon?

Running a Marathon in Mumbai was a life changing event for me.It is rather long so read on this blog MY long story of SCMM” Girish , You cannot run a Marathon”November 10 th , 2015, day before Diwali, Narak Chaturdashi day in February 2011,” Running a marathon is not anybody’s cup of tea. It takes huge efforts, determination and commitment for a long time. Do you think you have it in you ? First run 2 km and then come to me for advice. ”Journey from February 2011 to 17th January 2016 has been a great , not only for running but about life itself. Been reading posts on SCMM, with fantastic timings, beautiful experiences . Was in two minds to posts something about completing a full marathon in not so exciting , long 6 hours and 49 minutes. And then finally thought you never know , it could be different for people.In February 2011 , when some young colleagues from my team approached a runner who had finished half marathon at SCMM for advice so that they can run the next half marathon, and was the answer they got is what is in second sentence of this post. So I said , ” How do you respond ? , by actually doing it and show him. unless you actually try , how do you know ? let us first try to run and walk and at least complete some distance. ” When more members of team were approached , we had about 15 who agreed to join and “I had to be there as boss ” i was told. So it was a day that i finally gave up the most enjoyable thing of my life , something i love most, a Sunday morning sleep. We finally had about 10 actually reporting at Friends Bakery , Nani Daman end of the Rajeev Gandhi Bridge with target to reach Jampore beach, about 5 km , on feet. And then the reality struck , while some could go for 2 or 3 km jog and jog and run, for me i just could not go further than 300 mtr on the incline of the bridge. Out of breath , exhausted , legs jammed. That was the defining moment , i rested, but started to walk, slowly, grudgingly , instead of going back and taking a car to reach Jampore, and finally reached beach to see almost all still huffing and tired but smiling and happy. None of us could even think of walking back and so returned by car. Then it started , Sunday morning Jampore beach , go by car , run on the beach. The numbers after a few weeks came down to only two reaching Jampore beach one Sunday. I thought what our runner told was probably right . Do we have it in us ? And then came Mr. D J Kim from South Korea for a business trip and we accidently spoke to him about the run. Came a surprise , this man , then 58 year old , told us he runs half Marathon ! and he said “you all can run. GP , no problem , you can run half marathon. Anyone can run half marathon. You only need to practice regularly. ” It was again destiny that in a few weeks time , Mr. Ingo Morawietz , the marketing director of Mankiewicz , Germany came for a meeting at Daman. When we were discussing , it came out that this 50 plus young man runs marathons. And our young members did not leave him before he had a impromptu standing information and guidance session for all those who were interested. The best part , he said , you do not need to start running all the distance. Start with only walk , then may be some running in between and gradually increase the running . Wow , this is what we all can do and it seemed not so difficult.However , awed with him and D J Kim , we thought they are special , so they can do it and not possible for us to reach distance of 21.1 km in half marathon. Team and I needed motivation.I declared two. First , every Sunday morning , at Jampore beach , all of those who reach , Thepla and bananas from me. And for young engineers , since they do not have a bike as yet , arrangement to bring you back after the run on beach. And a second big incentive , all of those who are first to run a half marathon , irrespective of number of persons who do it , i promised a foreign trip sponsored by me. That got higher numbers on the Jampore beach on Sunday mornings. And since i was pushing and promoting , there was no way i myself could not report. The Sunday sleep after the run and super breakfast by Shruti , became more enjoyable than the early morning sleep that i had to sacrifice.Eventually , when we realised that we could actually complete five or six kms on the beach. Sunday mornings , even today , the Jampore beach is like a private beach for the runners with tourists and locals coming not before 9 am . We also continued to have our Theplas and bananas. Some started to walk and run from the bridge itself to beach and could cover total 7 to 10 kms. By the time it was June , we thought we could with the progress , can possibly attempt a 21 km at SCMM. The registration dates were announced and came another big jolt. You need to qualify first running in some other official marathon and get the certificate , so that one can run in SCMM. Why the hell one should run one marathon to run to qualify to run another marathon ? My dream was to run once, just once in lifetime a half marathon , and then stop this madness. And may be some times go to Jampore to enjoy.By this time , three finally attempted and ran a half marathon , Shripad Kulkarni, Sachin Mulay and Shailesh Unawane. And as promised , i sponsored their trip to Thailand. This became a sensational news and when they returned , the number of participants at Jampore beach on Sunday morning doubled. So many of us now wanted to run a half marathon. And we could not run in SCMM in January 2012 because we were not qualified . So we said , Karna hai to Karna hai , what is the next event we can run ? It was at Vadodara in February 2012. In September 2011, started with “Marathon practice run” on one Sunday per month inviting and involving as many employees and their family members as possible. Even for the practice runs , from Teen Batti to Wind World Plant and back with 5 , 10 and 15 km distance, with all running with bibs , water stations , ambulance and all basic needs of a marathon. This became a success with enthusiasm of family members and children joining . Then it was in December that for the first time some of us attempted and go upto WTA ( Wind world Training Academy ) and thus 18 km successfully completed. We believed now that half marathon is possible. We were about 25 of us who ran in Vadodara Marathon , and now looking back , not a great event to have your first half marathon run with start time delayed by more than one hour to begin with. But we completed , with 100 percent success rate. All of us who started , finished it. And that was great feeling . My dream of running at least one half marathon was completed. Excited to finish , difficult to even walk even upto the auto stand and you all know how it is in the first run. We were happy that 22 of us qualified for January 2012 SCMM. As i remember , we actually made it look simple by attending a music concert by Sunidhi Chauhan and were the only group at back dancing. And then Shripad Kulkarni said ” Running a marathon is anybody’s cup of tea , you only need to decide , have the willingness to put in the practice . Anyone can run, it takes time , but anyone can run.” We had eight colleagues who ran half marathon in Goa River Marathon.It was in January 2012 that I ran with twenty other colleagues and friends in the first half marathon of SCMM. The whole experience , the support , the arrangements , was awesome and complete contrast with Vadodara , making this a very exciting and fulfilling experience. By this time the team was comfortable enough that after the run , and had the energy to capture the attention and stole the crowd from Kingfisher stall in the center of Azad Maidan , with our wild dances to the music that they were playing. Everybody turned to us joining our dance , full of joy of having run a marathon in Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. My wish and plan to run just one half marathon in life was discarded at the finish line of this Marathon itself. I continued with some more Marathon events , whatever practice possible with some hectic executive life and sometimes combining visits abroad with the weekend runs. Most memorable being one at ” Alstair Lauf” at invitation of Ingo , an enthusiastic run around lake Alstair at Hamburg. It was also an inspiring and humbling experience with so many German Grannys running with you and ahead of you. That has been my favorite destination for a run every time i am at Hamburg. Then another memorable one at Seoul when Mr. D J Kim could get me registered on a Saturday of my week long vist to South Korea. Finished the run, straight to the airport , had shower at Incheon airport ( by far the best airport in the world with only matching exception of Changi , Singapore ) , and in the long flight . That is the only time i had good sleep in any long international flight.The number of participants continued to increase , with Surat Marathon in 2013 , a night marathon, and 87 participants from Windworld , and most of us , strategically ran 10 k to qualify and with their family members also participating. This was the time my sister Vidya , did her qualification run for the Mumbai Marathon. The success rate continuing to be 100 percent.For 2013 SCMM , we invited and insisted that our inspiration comes with us for the run. Mr. Ingo Moraweitz came from Germany only to run with us a half marathon. We enjoyed with him and he enjoyed the event and our dance post run. the SCMM bug has bitten him and he comes every year since then.It was in 2013 , that we thought of having our own marathon and to give back to people of Daman from us. A marathon event , with no prequalification needed and only for run , and no intentions of commerce, no business of charity. So was the first event organised with good success. We were expecting 500 , had to stop at registrations at 1000. And then got call from the collector of Daman , saying i am getting calls from people that you are not allowing them to run. You have to continue. And again it was “Karna hai to karna hai” , we finally had close to 1500 participants in the first event itself.For 2014 , we invited our inspiration Mr. D J Kim and Mr. Ingo Moraweitz to join us for the run. And they both came , we had great run at Mumbai. It was after the run , that Mr. Kim , publicly declared , ”Girish , now you have done a few half marathons events and practice marathons. You can do it , in year 2016 , you must run a full marathon or you have to give 100 dollars to all your colleagues who have run here today. Everyone can run a full marathon , you only need to decide and practice.” i told him , there is no way i will run 42 km marathon. I have achieved more than my dream of once in a life time running a half marathon and going beyond to have hundreds of WindDirecters with family members running at Daman Wind Marathon event. Will be crossing fifty and not getting younger. However , it was other members who got hooked on to this idea of running a full marathon. And then finally ten of us decided to register and run a full marathon in 2015. And team talked me into registering and training for the full marathon. And i said , OK , let us do this once in a life just before crossing fifty years , to reassure myself with the start of golden period of life. The distance of 21 km , which was a once in a lifetime dream of achieving became a practice session run from September 2014. I was still slow and very slow runner and was comfortable and satisfied in being able to complete the distance everytime what was decided by team. We had second season of Daman Wind Marathon , with even bigger participation and much higher numbers in Half marathon. Came December end and everything was going on well. And the unexpected struck. By god’s grace , I had never been sick or hospitalised during last 15 years , and so when i had slight fever and cold , did not take it seriously. Two days passed and suddenly on 30th December , I was not able to breath and sleep in flat position. The 31 st December and early hours of new year was spent full awake for a different reason. Finally took flight to Nagpur , straight to Care Hospital , hospitalised for few days having detected with serious viral infection affecting lungs. Some heavy medication and treatment followed. It took ten days to recover and running a Marathon at SCMM was out of question. Would not have been fair to me , friends and to the organisers even to start a run. That i was disappointed , and demoralised is an understatement. However , eight from team ran full marathon , and more than 25 half marathon at SCMM. They had some good experience. As i recovered , started and continued with running , many times running on return from office and cycling to and back from office. The Sunday morning Jampore beach sessions continued. And when it was time to register , we had 15 registering for SCMM , full marathon. Everything was going on well and getting ready for the big event.It was my destiny that i started following posts from Piyushbhai on facebook. Was tempted to request him to run one of his full marathon at Daman. It was our honour that he agreed to run his 60th run at Daman. Learned many things about running , about life from him. He liked the experience at Daman and the friendship with a lagend continued. It was through his friends list and with communication on facebook , that i was introduced to many other long distance and stalwarts of running. Subsequently i started persuing him to consider Daman for his 100 th Marathon. Finally we were obliged and honoured to organise his historic 100th marathon on 28th october 2015. That was a big boost to the runners at Daman and once again , we had this occasion with some big names in running joining Piyushbhai in his 100th run.For having Diwali with parents went to Nagpur. Thought of having a complete check up specially for confirming readiness for full marathon. Treadmill test was as usual during last few years was normal. And it was only with personal concern for me that Dr. Varun Bhargava himself was present during the test. He observed aberrations during the test although it came to normal quickly. This was Dhanteras day. He told me ” Girish , you want to run marathon and if we want to be sure , we need to have a “false confirmation” test . For assurance, better to conduct Angiography. And I said , better to get it done tomorrow morning. So on second day of Diwali , Narak Chaturdashi day , the test was conducted. The doctor performing test , said ” nothing very serious , probably no operation needed” . Yes , a cardiologist is normally performing an Angio on patients with some heart problems. I told him ” i know , have run half marathons and i have run 8 km yesterday morning itself “. And then after an hour or so , having rested with lot of water intake, Dr. Varun Bhargava came in and said. There is nothing serious . Only some medicines you need to take , and” Girish , You cannot run a Marathon”You have two partial blocks in your arteries of heart and in this situation , you cannot run a marathon.That was devastating.After few minutes i said , may be after one or two years when it becomes alright.“No. You are not getting any younger , and no further stress on heart beyond a limit and so you cannot run in a marathon”My friend since we were two year olds, Yagnesh Thakar , a doctor, came in , and my wife Shruti with me. And i broke down. How can this happen , i have been running for last three to four years , no problems ever faced. With so much running , why whatever blocks in arteries have not been pushed and flushed out ? How these blocks are possible ? How come i never had any problem ? And why i cannot run now ?By afternoon , the rational me took over and started thinking. ” Karna hai to karna hai ”Wished to see the video myself and understand. Saw the constriction and partial block at two places in two arteries. Had a long discussion with Varuch Chacha ( Dr. Varun Bharagava ) .Understood , If i had not take to running during last few years , there was a very high possibility that i would have a much more serious heart problem and almost certainly needing some sort of surgery , jeopardising my quality of life. so i know i owe my life of running or at least my quality of life to running and runner friends and buddies , whom i run with , whom i know , having personally met and those who i know only through facebook. I thanked and continue to be grateful to the runner who told some of my team members that “running a half marathon is not everyone’s cup of tea ” because in last so many years , have not heard from any other runner saying anything similar.Understood , i cannot allow my heart rate to go beyond a limit of risk zone specially with partial blocks. So i can go for long distances, as long as i can , within maximum heart rate. So i virtually negotiated , i can walk briskly , run slowly as long as my heart rate does not go up beyond a limit, and cover a long distance. Since there was nothing else to be done except starting with medicine, once a day , came back home by afternoon and told mother in best possible way about the outcome of the test.Now this is like other things in life and work. Think of solutions. You have resource contrain of funds , people , time , costs , two conflicting needs , tasks to be taken up together and completed together, impossible expectations on deliverable. This is also like that. Think.Then started lot of study and research. And also attempt to prove something to myself. Next day morning , i was at VNIT , my alma matter, with friends joining in. Now with this new knowledge about myself , completed cautious 11 kms, out of which 5 km with Raghavendra Deshmukh. And on second day morning , continued with pre decided plan with Hemant Kalikar , to go upto Gorewada lake and have a jog along the trail around the lake. I told him , today will be slow and you can try this long distance with me. we finally had walk , jog , run, fun with some long talk amongst two friends in many years. And it was 17 kms by the time we returned. He said, “Girish , i never thought i could do this distance ever and your strategy of slow and long is good. Now i am confident to train for a half marathon. ” And i knew why slow and long . Had done this and longer distance many times earlier , by somehow on that day , gave me a joy of a different kind.With research , and study and thinking , i realised, the solution lies in my being able to know my heart rate continuously during all my runs. And whom to look up to for advice other than Dinesh Laguani ? I asked him , looking for a gadget which can give me a reliable heart rate with readings from wrists rather than a chest band sensor. He had this suggestion of a perfect solution , Garmin FR 225. I am grateful , he personally himself came and delivered the Garmin watch. This has meant so much for me after having known on limitation of heart rate. I vouch for this watch. Having online rather “onrun” information on heart rate , which is quite accurate , gives me confidence to run and control on my running and walk breaks. A few days of getting used to the training sessions with entire run aligned to the heart rate , i could do almost all practice sessions. Then came first official half marathon after detecting these blocks and what a better coincidence than in Nagpur ? Ran a half marathon at Nagpur on 29th November with the Garmin FR 225 virtually as a reference guiding the moves. Completed run with control. Was more happy that two of my friends , Raghavendra and Hemant Kalikar finished their first Marathon in life , in the same event. i was on a very regular basis keeping Dr. Bhargava updated with all the long and practice runs that i was doing along with the details of the distance , time , heart rates etc.Meanwhile , the third edition of Daman Wind Marathon was coming up quite well. It was only destiny and good luck that we had confirmation from some exceptional runners like Piyush Shah , Roshni Rai , Bhupendra Singh Rajpoot , Mr. Sung of Korea, Mr. Premshankar Pandya , Dr. Oke , Mr. Satish Gurjan , Mr.Lalit Periwal and with many others. It was a pleasant surprise when Kavita Raut officially registered for the event. And thanks to Mr. Chetan Gusani that we had VijayaMala Patil also running. These are the people who have done which most people think impossible. Great inspiration of possibilities. The event was quite successful. We look forward to making it even better infuture. With most of us unable to run as being occupied in organising and volunteering in the event. More than 2200 participants with restrictions on participants number was a good response specially with much increased numbers in 21 and 10 k runs. The medal became a big hit amongst the runner in addition to many other things and events appreciated.Then came crucial decision if i can run a full marathon ? 42 km is a quite long distance to cover in this known condition. Spoke to Mr. Venkatraman Pichumani and that call gave me lot of inputs and reassurance. Looked at Galloway method of run and walk as this was most suited for the run with heart rate monitoring. Decided to continue with practice and take a decision at the final time.We had planned for big family vacation with eight cousins with families being together in end of December 15 at Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh. This vacation turned out to be my best training and testing sessions as well. Second day of reaching , had runs around Fatehsagar lake , my another equally favourite lake as Alstair lake of Hamburg for the run. Had last long run of solo 24 km around the lake. next day , seven km with other members of family . next day , hill hike at back of resort , and climb of Kumchalgarh fort. Next day , visit to Parshuram temple , going down 80 floors of steps , 30 floors up and back same way. Next day , a walk on the wall of Kumbhalgarh , where only me and my cousin Sameer dared to get ready in the morning, and which turned out to be much more than a walk, all steep steps ups and downs along the wall primarily meant for horses. These sessions , all with heart rate monitoring with Garmin watch. The knees pained, leg muscles complained , but after few days it was alright . It gave me confidence that it was good strength training and finally i am ready for the long rung of full marathon even with the heart issue. ” karna hai to Karna hai”. However made three promises to myself, will keep absolute control on heart rate , will stop and take rest at any indication of pain or excess stress before i start again and difficult decision ,but if necessary , stop and not move further at any point of run if that is what body tells me. Read an exchange of posts between Raphael Igrisianu and another runner from Germany where they spoke about two words , though with a different context “discipline” and “patience” and i locked these two words in my mind for my first ever full marathon in life.” Pair or Dil Salamat to marathon hazar ” like ” Sir salamat to pagadi hazar”The 10 K run at Valsad on 10 th Januray was also another test case for running with heart blocks and HR monitoring. I actually enjoyed the run with lower speed of runs than what i could normally run , just to keep HR within limit.But as the destiny would have it and the God decided to put me through another test to know if i was really ready and give me a valid option and reason to quit. 11th Januray , Travelling back from Mumbai in train , sitting on side seat , when the back rest of opposite seat swung and fell bang on my knees with impact. The first thing that to my mind was ” My Marathon gone” and not the intense pain in the knees. Those were the most frustrating and difficult minutes . Got down at Vapi and when saw my knees after reaching home , the part where it impacted had turned blue. Then RICE, rest , ice and elevation as advised by buddies , Tiger balm and Tiger patch for few days and absolutely no walk or run till 16th morning. Fortunately i was running for last few years and so the muscles could take the impact ( the message from Sameer Gaikawad was a big confidence builder ) though it was still bluish and brownish at knees. Before the big day at SCMM , It was only a two km run on 16th morning , to meet Rauf Hajee , my friend who runs a tea kiosk at Marwad Hospital gate to get his good wishes , that i was on feet for a walk or run from 11th till 16th morning. And i felt good. ready for the run . “Karna hai to karna hai”However , the things were not over as yet. On 16th afternoon , when we were about to start , from Daman , the driver called to inform he is sick and will not be able to come to drive us to Mumbai. I was thiking of taking some rest after two hectic days at office right upto 16th morning. And now this. So it was three hours of drive. I realised that the BIB for Ingo, ( he continues to run every year now atSCMM), had to be delivered to his hotel in south Mumbai. So I was driving till late evening on 16th for total five hours , instead of taking rest on a day before the run. So the test was going to the full. By the time i reached my brother-in-law’s place, near Kanjur Marg, was thinking what could be next ? and then ” Karna hai to Karna hai”Fortunately it was only superb Aloo Parathas for the dinner. Wrote emergency contact number and mobile number of Dr. Varun Bhargava on backside of BIB , with details of medicines that i am taking . Had reasonably good sleep till 0300 am in the morning. Took my car to CST and comfortably parked . Shruti, my wife and Vidya , my sister went to Worli at start point for half marathon with my son Harsh.From the time that i started walking with runners from CST terminus towards ground and then starting point , the energy and positive vibes started engulfing me. Was already feeling good. Met all other colleagues and Wind Runners at the ground and together we walked to the holding area.When I stood in the morning of 17th at the starting point for the first ever full marathon of my life, i knew exactly why people and runners say it is a big courage and achievement even when you are standing at the start line of the Marathon run.When the run started , and the excitement in the air, i just reminded myself , patience and discipline. Still first two kms were relatively faster than what i wished and heart rate started going up. From then on , could restrain myself to run walk run with Garmin watch HR as guide reference to initiate walks and runs right upto Peddar Road. Simple , heart rate at max level , stop running and start walk , and heart rate at lower level , start running , trying to match run with flat or downward slopes and walks with upward slopes. Enjoyed the run. Walked all the way on the incline of Peddar road. And with downward slope of flyover, with mela of fast runners of half marathon in the visibility , naturally the energy and enthusiasm rubs off. Could not help running some distance and for the first time ignored the heart rate till reaching the end of downward slope. Was enjoying the speed after some months of controlled running. Then good sense prevailed. What are you doing ? you want to spoil your run ? discipline and patience. Started walking till heart rate was back to less than 120 bpm. Was deliberately walking along right side near the barrier so that i can see and meet all Windrunners and friends running half marathon. And can still remember the good feeling . So many runners energy like overflowing and enveloping me , my whole self completely filled with the positive vibes of hundreds of runners crossing. Gave shouts to so many friends , got a high fives from known and unknown runners, and so many shouts of “girishbhai” , ” girish” , “sir” , “Hi buddy” , “great going” . Out of entire 42.2 kms of run , i would say these two or three kms of distance when i crossed the half marathon runners was the most memorable, enjoyable and fulfilling part of the run. If i run another SCMM full marathon, it will be for reliving these three kms. Saw my sister vidya , a big shout for her , to bring out from her intense focus on the run and the route. Later meeting Shruti and Harsh with a high five and she told , she has changed her mind and now going to finish her entire run instead of stopping after meeting me and then waiting for me on the return. She would meet me at the finish line after completing her half marathon also. That was great news for me and big motivator. Soon was at the start of the Bandra Worli sea link. Was now going with control on the run walk run , comfortable and enojoying the run. After reaching the flat part of the bridge and covering some distance , came the bus announcing the elite runners on way. What a treat to watch the bunch of top elite runners running strong. And soon we had Indian elite , Keneyan women groups just crossing me. That is a privilege which only full marathon runners , and slow runners , get the opportunity to see these accomplished runners for a long period of the run in action from so close and cheer them on. After some time , came the elite Indian women runners. Actually running on the right hand side of the route on the same side as few of we runners , and when they crossed, recognised Kavita Raut ( She ran at Daman and broke event record by whopping 25 minutes ) and i instinctively shouted in Marathi ” Kavita Dhav ” , “shewatchya 500 meetar madhe too jinkanar ” as i tried to catch up with their running and she acknowledged with a thumbs up. And this will be the second reason if i decide the run the SCMM , full marathon again. What a special privilege ! to be able to cheer your favourite runner right on the track as you are running along side them.This was second time that on the slope at the end of the bridge , i just raced on forgetting the heart rate as the speed of the elite runners does have some affect. It was only at the toll gate that i realised , heart rate is going up , actually reprimanded myself , ” discipline and patience” , you want to complete this run without risk and creating problem for yourself and others. The bhangara just after the toll gate was great. Soon was second stage of corporate relay and the fresh person in the relay would run fast at the beginning of their 10.5 km. The slope downwards continues and so i could for some distance match with them. And then once again had to continue with run walk run. Special mention for the police persons just at the right turn at Bandra. All of them cheering the runners even for late and slow runners like me. And what made those three or four kms easy was groups of young children from the nearby huts givng high gives and ” hatachee Taali ” and feeling so happy with it , making me happy and forgeting that i am actually running an official marathon. Soon i saw board of 24 km and realised , this is already halfway crossed and beyond ! it was during the run along Shivajee Park , i opened wrap and had some ” kaajoo katli ” and exception to the normal guidance that nothing new on race day. Shruti had prepared these at home , thin and small making it suitable for taking during the run. The clue was remembering a tip from post by Lalit Periwal , Lalitbhai on his Comrades run suggesting that Kajoo katli would have been a good choice. And what an fantastic tip it was , implemented in SCMM and those bites i had three times during the run , were very very useful. During the run , i ensured that i always had at least three small bottles of fluid , one of them at least with energy drink or with salt tablet dissolved. Will consume one to have it replaced immediately in the next station. Except for a few stations, where energy drink were finished , there was excellent support with the water stations even for the slow late runners like me. The strategy of keeping these fluids ensured that i never felt need or short of water or energy fluid. Passed Sidhhi Vinayak , did Pranam thanking HIM and wishing for His blessings for balance part of the run. And God bless the family , standing on route , after the Sidhhi Vinayak temple , with four “Thalees” full of top quality dark brown/ black soft Dates with salts and cool water sprays. I wish to personally thank them if i get to know who they are, they have ” re energised” my run in all the sense of the word. Also met several runners on the route , one of them young Mr. Kela and shared with him my story of running with heart rate monitoring due to two blocks in my heart. Moved on and then on the Worli sea link. Saw and crossed many runners who were ahead of me , including Rajeev , Shailesh and Rajesh , Shripad , Sachin from Wind Runners team. And thought , well i am not so much behind after all. But then realisation, Why this part of the route has to be so long before the U turn back? It was coming close to 30 km. Mentally i thought only final 10 k to go and then it is only last two. I have never earlier covered more than 33 km distance. Had read and heard that actually full marathon starts at 30k. it was at this stage , i checked myself, energy level , ok , no problem with breath , legs paining but that was expected nothing unusual. And realised , when I run , the pain in the legs is less then pain in walking. And I can run quick even now. but when i start running the heart rate starts going up. What the hell ? i have no problems in breath, energy level is ok , and can run , it is getting quite long on the route , I don’t care , i will run. But the Garmin watch shows heart rate going upto 145 plus in 100 mtr of run itself when i run quick. So now it is different kind of fight of mind with body. Girish , having come so far , do not do anything foolish and Peddar road is just in the visibility around the turn. And the dreaded Peddar Road came up. Previous two half marathons , this incline has caused me cramps in calf muscles on both occasions. Give respect to this cruel hill on the route. So stopped for half minute for the good stretching and continued with only walk right up the entire length of the hill and no hurry up in the first incline. On the top and god bless the man with the cool water spray, ” take out your specs , take this spray and now you are good for next ten k , though now it is only eight now. ” The lady with him, god bless her also ” now it is only downward incline , you have come so far and now it is only mind game. Go for it , get your mind to direct you body. ” Oh yes mam , i know , now i am in a mind vs body dual duel. Body says tired , Mind says you can complete , and then body says , why are you not running ? you can run and mind says , no look at the heart rate , cool, have patience. Continue beyond 36 km. Can still run , but as soon as i run , the HR shows up. I think heart has been working hard quite long time ( almost six hours by that time ) and you better not stress it up. ” Patience and Discipline ” . It is getting tough , boring , tiring , temperature high , warm , traffic police announcing , “if you want to stop the race , get into the bus”. Hey shut up ! i am not going to do anything foolish including getting in the bus or now trying to run. How much difference it would make now ? five or six minutes ? Keep calm , patience and discipline. Just continue. Mahesh comes up. One click and one selfie with you Girish. some more who have completed their run returning , want to take pics. Great!Now only last two km. And god bless all of you who are still keeping the water bottles and water station live for runners like me. Turn left , and wow we still have so many people cheering and encouraging. Someone says ” GirishBhai last one km and you are doing great ” . Who is she ? does not matter , she still says i am doing great. Vishwanath Iyer comes up , Sir, last one k to go and i am going to be with you upto finish. We are talking about Daman marathon and his desire to run half marathon next time. Last 500 mtrs, and I see Vidya , my sister and she joins me. Last 200 mtrs and i can see Ingo and Shruti waiting at the finish line. Crossing the finish line, continue for another 20 mtrs further. So now finally i can believe , have done it, my heart is ok , i am ok , legs are paining , but no cramps , breath is ok , Energy still there and i am happy.Ingo meets me says a few words i do not remember.Shruti is all smiles , looking so beautiful and bright and radiant. There cannot be a better reward than this at finish line of a Marathon.I can run and successfully complete a full marathon. Even with blocks in heart. Yes, it has taken 6 hours and 49 minutes. But can be done. And on another positive perspective , I can be on my feet , active , walking or running for entire 6 hours and 49 minutes and who knows god willing , with seven hours , in future , something more is possible . Patience and discipline . Karna hai to Karna hai.This is a great day , i did my first full marathon in life, my wife Shruti does her first half marathon in life and my sister does her third SCMM half marathon. All my friends and buddies who started either a half or full marathon all completed their run to the finish with one hundred percent success.Runners are good people and running makes them good. Run to invest in yourself. Run for your life.Caution : Running with blocks in heart is not at all advisable unless you have consulted the doctor , completely understood your limitations and understanding of what can be done what is a strict strict limit beyond which you should never go. Running with such limitation is not easy. Possible but not easy. so take care.

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