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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness May/June 2017 : Page 20

Dr. Raj Patel of Tulsa was born in Zambia, Africa, to Indian parents. He came to the United States in 1980 for college, enrolling at the University of Tulsa when he was just 14 years old. In 1992, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma dental school, and has been in dental practice for 26 years. Dr. Patel is also a 2001 law school graduate of the University of Tulsa. While studying through law school, he discovered that if he ran at a 10 minute per mile pace, he could retain the law school material. Anything slower would make him sleepy and anything faster would just seem way to blurry and disjointed. Dr. Patel's running career truly didn't begin until November 2010. His friend, Dr. David White, had pestered him to run the Tulsa Run 15K for seven years. Dr. Patel decided it was time to "shut his friend's mouth," so he agreed to run. He ran his first marathon in 2011. Fast forward six years. In that short time, Dr. Patel completed a marathon in all 50 states with his marathon finish in Alaska last June. Into the home stretch of this milestone, Dr. Patel came upon an opportunity to run 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days. It was almost a no brainer. A One Remarkable Week 7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 7 Days BY DR. RAJ P A TEL Marathon, my slowest showing in Boston in four consecutive years. And now, the World Marathon Challenge was still in front of me. How Do You Train For Something Like This? In preparation, I would often wake up at 1:30 a.m. and run 26.2 miles before going on about my day seeing patients. I was averaging about 130 -200 miles per week. Now, the travel alone for something like this can be exhausting. I Anticipation. Excitement. Patience. Anxiety. Fear. Energy. These were just some of the emotions going through my head as I signed up for the World Marathon Challenge in January of 2016. And not two days went by that a driver passed out on Memorial Drive and drove into my office through walls and dental equipment and hit my right leg. My first thought was, "God, I pray everyone is safe," and the second thought was, "Am I going to be able to run again?" It was during my rehabilitation process (with fervent prayers and rigorous physical therapy) I was able to complete the 2016 Boston

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