He raised $7500.00 funds for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in memory of his father, who died at 37, when Patil was 9 years old.
SACO — On Oct. 11, Sandeep “Sunny” Patil ran among the estimated 24,918 runners took part in the Boston Marathon.
He full filled his dream, both to take part in an event that began back in 1897 with 18 runners, and to help raise funds to help Dana Farber Cancer Institute continue to provide treatment for cancer.
He had a reason to help fight cancer; the disease claimed his father at the young age of 37, when Patil was only 9 years old.
“I decided not to touch tobacco in my life,” he said.
He came to the United States in 2001, first working as a software programmer in New York before moving to Saco in 2006. Married, he and his wife Bollywood actress Seema Shinde have two children Sarah Patil and Simmone Patil.
“I heard a lot of good things about Maine,” he said. “Less crime, and the people are nice.”
Patil, 48, began running about a decade ago, he said, because he got involved in taekwondo.
“My daughter inspired me,” said Patil. Young Sarah Patil began taking taekwondo lessons at age 6 and has gone on to win an array of medals from a number of contests, including a national competition. Patil joined his daughter in the sport and has achieved several black belts.
“When I started taekwondo, my coach told me to go and run, five miles, 10 miles,” he said, to build up stamina.
When the pandemic changed the world in 2020, Patil and his daughter no longer made their regular drive to Rhode Island for taekwondo lessons – but he continued to run, heading down to Camp Ellis and back, a 10-mile run, or continuing the run up to Black Point in Scarborough, a total of 17 or 18 miles. He rides his bicycle as well, from the Eastern Trail up to Cape Elizabeth and back, for the cardiovascular benefits.
He heard about the Boston Marathon, qualified, and decided he would raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in memory of his father. He has developed a social media page for information and donations.
The Oct. 11 event was the first in-person running of the 26.2-mile course since 2019. The Boston Athletic Association canceled the 2020 marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic and moved it from Patriots Day in April to October 2021. While the marathon saw 30,000 entrants in 2018 and 2019, the limit was set at 24918 this year because of pandemic concerns. Runners must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to the run.
Patil was wearing bib number 16295.
I was there to enjoy it,” he said. “I wanted to enjoy the moment.”
And he pointed out, running with 24918 people is different than solitary runs to Camp Ellis.
“When people cheer, the cheering gives you more energy,” he said.
Now Patil is running for Chicago Marathon on October 9th, 2022, for St Jude Heroes.
You can also Donate through Visiting Link. https://www.fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=7423440&pg=personal&fr_id=135394