The fifth amongst 8 siblings Prakash Wani was born in a simple lower middle class family in Pune. Their father was a hardworking farmer and mother worked as an Ayah in the nearby hospital to support the growing family. Though both parents were uneducated, they strived to provide the best possible Education to their children .
An Athletic kid, Prakash enjoyed participating in various sports right from his school days. His adventurous streak continued in College when he joined NCC (National Cadet Corps) even learning Gliding in 1973. In fact he was even selected as a General Duty Pilot courtesy NCC 😎. However, he did not join due to his mother’s reluctance.
Prakash went on to do his graduation in B.Com. During his final year, he got a job as a clerk in LIC. However when he was transferred to Daund, he quit choosing to focus on his graduation and higher studies.
In 1975 during the Emergency, after his MPSC (Maharashtra Public Service Commission) exams Prakash applied for the post of Sub Inspector. He was selected and sent for training to Nashik for 2 years. Subsequently he joined on duty at the Matunga Police Station in 1978 settling down in Sion with his wife Sushila. They were blessed with two children Arti and Sameer.
Meanwhile Prakash went from strength to strength climbing up the ladder in the Police Department- including a stint as Ambassador for United Nations for its Peace Keeping Mission in Kosovo in 2002-2003, eventually retiring as the ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) Crime Branch in 2012. However, thanks to his rigorous duty hours and constant postings he put on tons of weight hitting almost 100Kg 😑; his infrequent gymning sessions during his executive postings didn’t really make much of a difference.
Post retirement, after a bit of traveling with family, Prakash joined the Shamrao Vitthal Cooperative Bank as the Chief Security Officer in April 2012. On a site visit to Nashik, he felt some giddiness and immediately consulted a local Physician who advised for an in-depth health check-up. On returning to Mumbai, he consulted his family physician who put it down to Obesity advising him to lose weight. That served as a wake-up call and Prakash decided to shift focus on himself and his health. In fact he joined the local AF10 Gym at Chembur on 31st December itself 😁.
In the Gym, Prakash met Marathoner Girish Bindra who was instrumental in getting him into running. Prakash had always aspired to run the Mumbai Marathon ever since its inception. Girish advised him to run the 10K at the Run India Run event in July 2013 in Borivali so as to qualify for the SCMM (Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon). He even helped him to get his registration done. He went on to finish his first 10K in 1:03:52 and the Runner was born 😃.
Prakash did his first HM (Half Marathon) at the SHHM (Satara Hill Half Marathon) in September 2013 in 2:37:07 followed by another HM at the Goa River Marathon in 2:32: 09 and finally the SCMM finishing in 2:19:35. He even postponed his 60th birthday celebration that year as it clashed with the SCMM 😀. He got his PB (Personal Best) at the SCMM in 2015 finishing in 2:03:31 🤗.
In 2015 Prakash Wani met MRR Admins Bijay Nair and Viv Menon at the monthly Bandra-NCPA Run. He also met Pedong Express-Roshni Rai who was organizing her first Half Marathon in Darjeeling from Kalimpong to Pedong in a bid to scout and support local talent. Prakash immediately pitched in sponsoring the medals for the event and registered for the same. He finished the same in 2:53 well within the cut off despite the elevation and hilly terrain.
Ever since Prakash Wani is the go to person for most Runners and Event Organizers; whether it is a Security issue faced by a female runner, a sponsorship issue, support for a needy runner or a permission issue faced by an Organizer. Always willing to give a helping hand, this warm hearted Runner is perpetually available to the Running community 😊.
Thereafter Prakash has participated in 40+ 10K and 25+ HMs. Besides winning couple of podiums at various events; the latest being the GSC (Goregaon Sports Club) Spirit of Sport Run in February 2019, he has also been Race Ambassador of different events like Nagpur Marathon, Veterun, Pachmarhi Marathon etc.
As far as his training is concerned, Prakash gets his training advice from Coaches Raj Vadgama and Girish Bindra preferring to train on his own at his home grounds of BARC. He runs thrice weekly including variations like speed workouts, hill repeats and tempo runs besides doing Pranayam and Stretching thrice weekly. He also goes to the Gym once a week.
Prakash states that he has observed with the Budding running culture, there is increased health awareness and increasing running events. Overenthusiastic newbies have a tendency of going overboard participating in one event after the other resulting in injury. He is very proud of the fact that till date he hasn’t really suffered from any Running injury.
He signs off stating “If one is not an Elite, one should just compete with oneself. After all finishing a Race without injury is an achievement in itself 😁.”