Being a hardcore fitness enthusiast, Bollywood actor John Abraham's feet have always "itched terribly" as he stood atop the podium year after year, in his capacity as brand ambassador of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, and watched thousands participate in the annual event. The race organisers however, have not been allowing him to take part.
"Every year I approach Anil (Singh, managing director of race organisers Procam International Ltd) and Adille (Sumariwalla of Athletics Federation of India) to let me run in the Mumbai marathon, but every time they prefer me standing on the podium and waving to the crowd. As brand ambassador, it's my job to encourage maximum participation in the race and if me simply standing and waving is helping that cause, then so be it," Abraham told MiD DAY on Tuesday.
Abraham however makes up for his loss a day before the marathon. "No one knows this, but just to make up for missing out on marathon day, I run the half marathon (21 kms) on my treadmill. That makes me feel a lot better on race day. I love the marathon because while gyming can be purely physical, the marathon is a holistic experience as it's a perfect blend of mind and body," added the 39-year-old, an athlete in his younger days.
"I was more of a sprinter and played a lot of football during my school and college days. But I did run the marathon a few times just to test my endurance levels and I'm proud to say that I completed it each time," said Abraham, who propagated the consumption of carbohydrates before a marathon.
"I'm sure many would have noticed this over the years here and it's a practice world over. There is a pasta party on the eve of a marathon. That's because pasta is very rich in carbohydrate content and that's the perfect ammo for a marathon man," explained Abraham.
As for his chances of running some day in the Mumbai event, Abraham, can do little but hope.Â "I hope one day Anil Singh allows me to run. I may not win, but I'll give it my best shot," he signed off.