I love to read a good story about someone overcoming the odds.
A young man living with Stargardt disease has done just that this month! He is the first Indian to run and finish the Boston Marathon in the visually impaired division.
Four years ago, Bengalurean Sagar Baheti received a diagnosis of Stargardt disease, which causes an individual to slowly lose vision. Sagar, a cricketer, was first led to the doctor when the ball started to become difficult to see. He was sadly told that this was just going to get worse over time. He visited several doctors in search of an answer and, hopefully, help.
One day, Sagar decided he wasn’t going to let this disease define who he was as a person.
He also wasn’t going to wait any longer to experience the things he hoped to accomplish. Sagar was able to drive a car, but he decided to go buy a bike. After doing this, he then competed in the Tour of Nilgiris.
Upon completing this journey, he decided to try out running. After running a 10K race in 2014, he decided to add distance. His friend that lives in Massachusetts encouraged him to see if he qualified for the Boston Marathon. As Sagar had run several races, his friend encouraged him to turn in his times. In doing this, he was selected to run the race!
He trained three times a week, with two short runs and one long run a week. Sagar says that he runs close to home because he is able to navigate his way around easier. When he has company, though, he runs at the park nearby.
His goal time for the marathon was 3:30, even though his personal best is 3:15. Sagar mentioned that he wanted to give himself a little extra time because he knows that the terrain might be difficult. He ended up finishing 18th in his category!
So if you watched the Boston Marathon on TV this year, keep in mind that there was a man out there beating the odds!
Read more about Sagar here.