How this Mumbai gangster-turned-marathon runner outran his underworld past

Before he took to running, Rahul Jadhav was better known as ‘Bhiku’ along the streets of Mumbai. There was a time when Jadhav, a marathon runner, used to be a hired hitman with underworld dons.

The 42-year-old grew up in Dombivali and was an average student in school. Looking for methods to earn easy money, Jadhav ended up being a gangster. Inspired by Manoj Bajpayee’s character in Satya (1998), he came to be known as ‘Bhiku’ as a gangster. However, in 2007, he was booked for 11 cases and was sentenced to four years in the Arthur Road Jail.

Upon his bail, he found a job in Thane and tried to let go of his past, but it managed to catch up with him. He lost his job when one day, the police showed up at his office to question him and his coworkers. Unemployed and unable to find a job, Jadhav took to alcohol and drug abuse.

He landed up at the Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre where his counsellor motivated him to run. He finished a 10-kilometre marathon in 55 minutes, marking his first achievement and thereupon, he never looked back.

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