Bhumika Patel's story begins on a familiar note. Like most runners, she took up running later in life. After a few health scares in her family and the loss of a parent, she followed the advice of her husband and started running. It was at this point that her story took a different turn.

Bhumika balances her role as Global Program Manager at IBM with her love for running. A soft-spoken person by nature, Bhumika's voice is filled with passion when she describes the call of the open road.

Beginning her journey with the Spirit of Wipro Run in the 4K category almost 7 years ago, Bhumika ran the 10K the following year and went on to complete her first half marathon the year after that.

She is now a seasoned marathoner having successfully completed most of the world majors except The New York City Marathon and The Boston Marathon (both on her to-do list). Bhumika also competes in the Over 35 category of Track and Field (1500m and 5000m) at the Masters national level.

In an effort to make the sport more inclusive, Bhumika began working with visually-impaired runners. She works with Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, taking on the challenge of training the runners, especially women, in running marathons.

Dealing with issues like malnutrition, under-development and lack of social skills, Bhumika worked on improving their nutrition and motivation levels.

It turned out to be a spectacular success as witnessed at the Bengaluru Marathon this year. Accompanied by Bhumika Patel and her team of guide runners, five visually-impaired girls made history by completing a full marathon for the first time in India.

Excited about what the future holds for visually-impaired runners, Bhumika believes that for social causes, corporate funding alone is insufficient. It is active participation that makes a difference, as witnessed in the success of visually-impaired marathoners, their guide runners by their side.