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Running a marathon: 'It's like a four-and-a-half-hour party'

‘Just keep putting one foot in front of the other,’ Sanjay Mohanta says.

brigitte bouvier The Globe and Mail

Sanjay Mohanta ran his first marathon in 2003. Since then, the 38-year-old certified management accountant from Ottawa has completed 23 of the races. Having just finished the ING Ottawa Marathon last weekend, Mr. Mohanta will also be running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in September. He does about four marathons each year, and every one is a good time, he says.

What was your first marathon like?

I did a lot of things then because I just didn't know any better.

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How did it feel to cross the finish line?

I was so drained and there were so many people around me that I actually thought I was going to collapse. It was satisfying, but the worst part was no one actually believed I did it.

Do you think people are prepared for the pain that comes with running a marathon?

I've noticed a lot more women at marathons since I started running marathons. A lot of them are over 55. I tell them, on most pain charts, the most painful thing you can do isn't a marathon, it's having a baby. So if you can have a baby - and a lot of them have two or three - then this will be a piece of cake.

Why do you keep running marathons?

To me, it's like a four-and-a-half-hour party. It's great meeting all these different people from around the world, and you see parts of the city you normally wouldn't go to either.

What advice would you give people running their first marathon this year?

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The things you learn when you're running the race aren't just contained within the race. You can really apply them to other aspects of your life. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you'll get to the finish line.

To register for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon go to

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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