On September 21, 2014, in an Indian city just inland from Goa, Vishwanathan Jayaraman began his morning as he often did: with a barefoot marathon. He left his house by bicycle shortly after 4 a.m. âIt was near pitch dark with the anorexic moon hiding behind a veil of clouds,â he wrote online. A few miles into his ride, he passed an electrical transformer âmuttering to itself and spitting fire sporadically.â Soon, Vishy had parked his bike at a temple and began to run. Nineteen kilometers in, he took off his shirt and reflective vest, keeping on only his handspun shorts; 27 kilometers in, he encountered two children who asked his age (53); at the turnaround point, he handed a farmer some vegetable scraps heâd carried with him to feed the manâs bulls.Â At 9:23 a.m., after four hours and 47 minutes, he finished what he deemed âa very fulfilling and nostalgic runâ in front of the temple, where the worshipers greeted him with wide smiles.
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