STAMFORD, Conn., -- Last year’s terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon won't deter Stamford resident Gavaskar Manayath, 43, from running the historic race again on Monday.
“I am never going to stop running. That is what they (terrorists) want to do, to scare people,” he said. “I have no second thoughts, no second thoughts about running at all.”
For Manayath, the race last year was amazing as he set a personal best of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds. He was on the road, driving back to Stamford and reliving his marathon, when he received a phone call from his brother Paul, who had never called him right after a race.
Paul asked whether he was all right. And Manayath, unaware that two bombs had gone off near the finish line well after he had completed his run, was mystified at his brother’s concern.
“He said, ‘Turn on the radio.’ And when I heard the news, I was speechless. How could such a beautiful day turn out to be such a tragedy?” he said.
To date, Manayath has completed 31 marathons, along with four triathlons and three half Iron Man triathlons.
He ran his first road race in May 2003 when he entered the Corporate 5K in Stamford just five months after moving from New Jersey.
He had lived near Edison, N.J., where the native of India played a variety of sports, including soccer and cricket as well as enjoying hiking.
But he took up running after he left his friends behind in New Jersey and not knowing many people in Stamford.
The running bug bit deeply into him.
“I felt good after that race, so I started thinking what one I could do next,” he said. “Each time I ran I tried to run longer and better.”
Manayath, who moved to the United States in 1998, had run in India but it was always shorter distances ranging from 100 meters to 400 meters along with the high jump and long jump.
His success at road racing after moving to Stamford surprised him. “I never knew I was better in endurance races than in sprints,” he said.
Manayath is looking forward to returning to Boston, not only to see whether he can top his time of last year, but also to join with the tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators to show that they can overcome acts of terror.