Prachi Kulkarni completed the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon in 2020 with a personal best of 2 hours and 15 minutes. Having good memories of the run she states that it was a fun experience and very well organized running event especially since it was held during the pandemic.
Prachi began her running journey in 2019 to get fitter and stronger. Having completed a couple of half marathons and 1 full marathon, she was training for yet another full marathon but had a fall and injured herself a few days before the race day. A doctor’s visit on the deferred race day led to her noticing a lump on her left breast. Diagnosis revealed that it was cancer.
Looking back at the incident, she says “I would have never noticed the lump if I wasn’t injured due to the fall. It makes me realize that I was so busy chasing life and work that I had never paused to check myself.”
Within a month, her treatment began which was 16 chemotherapies, 3 surgeries and 25 radiation. Soon after her first chemo, she faced side effects such as loss of hair, hemorrhoids, low blood counts, toenails falling off, etc. After giving her body the time to cope for 2 months, she began a regime of slow walks of 3 kms. She gained the strength of running 5 kms, a fortnight after the chemotherapy sessions ended.
“My husband and I fought through the 16 sessions of chemo assuming that they were a 16-mile marathon and that helped !” she jokes.
Prachi encountered COVID-19 due to her compromised immunity but that did not stop her from running in her apartment while in quarantine. She ran 1.5 km in her apartment, each day of her quarantine despite the flu, cold and cough strongly determined not to let the virus affect her lungs.
She quotes “Running has helped me to cope through the tough times. Running heals everything!’’
When asked to convey a message to others dealing with cancer, Prachi says “Do not lose hope. Cancer treatment affects every part of the body but one can never lose hope and let a few cells in your body determine the course of your life”.
Prachi plans to run the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon on the 30th of October 2022 which coincides with her birthday. She says, “I love the feeling of accomplishment and there could not be a better gift to myself than completing my first half marathon in Dubai after the diagnosis on my birthday. It is a different kind of happiness when you conquer your mountains, isn’t it? Cancer took my breasts, not my Spirit!”
Prachi will be one of more than 2,000 people expected to run at the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon on October 30 at DIFC which includes 3 races: 5km, 10km and 21km. If you also have the desire to prove yourself, we’d love for you to join us at the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon. Register here.