Raju Patel, a 57-year-old resident of South Harrow, has become a local hero by participating in multiple marathons and raising substantial funds for various charities.
Raju, a professional photographer and business owner in South Harrow, has completed five London marathons, showcasing his determination, resilience, and commitment to making a difference.
His journey in the world of marathons began in 2019 when he ran his first full marathon for the Dementia Revolution Charity, raising an impressive £1477.38. Since then, Raju has been fortunate enough to secure places in subsequent marathons through the ballot system.
In his subsequent races, he supported the Macmillan Cancer Support by raising £2377.26, the British Heart Foundation with an amount over £800, and Get Kids Going, accumulating a total of over £5000 for various charities.
Raju, who was born in Eldoret, a small town in Kenya, moved to the UK in 1992. Reflecting on his marathon journey, he shared his initial struggles and determination: “I only did a 10k club marathon in 1987 while in Kenya and was hoping one day I could run in the London marathon.
“In 1995, I started training for a half marathon but unfortunately had to give up due to a sharp pain in my left knee. After a nearly 20-year gap, I decided to give it another go in 2017, slowly building my distance and strength.”
His marathon journey has been nothing short of inspiring. Raju’s marathon times have improved over the years, starting from 4 hours 51 minutes in 2019 to his latest achievement in Berlin in 2022 with a time of 4 hours 10 minutes.
Speaking exclusively with Harrow Online, he admitted, “The toughest was my first one. I would not say they are getting easier as I am also getting older as I am 57 now!!”
To prepare for these grueling races, Raju adheres to a rigorous training schedule, including gym sessions twice a week, two short runs, and one long run during the week. His training peaks with an 18-week program, culminating in solitary runs ranging from 6 to 10 miles initially and extending to 18 to 20 miles as race day approaches.
Raju, who operates his photography business, Colorama Imaging Specialists, in South Harrow, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to charitable causes through his passion for running.
Looking ahead, he aspires to participate in the Great North Run, setting his sights on more challenges and charitable endeavors.