Wine Country, reflected.

Stazza’s Angel Sonali Desai returned to racing after a three-year layoff with a broken back! Horrid Californian heat, and smoke from the nearby wildfires, couldn’t stop Sonali from securing a 2:08:22 at the Santa Rosa Half-Marathon—finishing well inside the top half of the field.

The Stable News sat down with wonder woman Desai to hear her comeback story:

SN: Great to meet you, Sonali; would you like a drink? We have a truckload of Stazza’s Supershakes to dish out. 

SD: Sure, why not. It can’t be any worse than what they are giving out here. Thanks. 

SN: No problem. I know this will sound ridiculous, but did you PB in these awful conditions? Stranger things have happened.

SD:  No, this was not my PB. My PB is 2:00:43 from 2018 before I broke my backbone. This was my first race after recovering completely.

SN: Jakers! Not far off it, considering. Tell us more.

SD: Well, I went in thinking, I will just treat this as my weekend tempo run. For the last three weeks, I have not been on track with the training. I’ve had two near-family members die and was not in a good frame of mind. But it turned out to be a great run. I could finish with ease and have never finished so strong. I felt in control till the finish line!

First-rate announcing.

SN: That’s incredible, Sonali! There’s a lot going on in your head, so it was a wise decision to treat it as a long tempo and finish strong. A great confidence booster after the tough three weeks beforehand. Anything else planned? 

SD: Yes, I have the virtual Boston Marathon on 8th October, and after that, I’ll need a good rest.

Back in The Stable News‘ HQ, assistant coach Ally was busy cleaning the office for the umpteenth time: 

“Tidy desk, tidy mind! Tidy desk, tidy mind! Don’t even say it, Puffers! Don’t jinx me! I just need to organise everything, so there’s a clear path for the muse to get to me! I HAVE NOT “lost it”: I’m sure every great writer goes through this! Oh, God. What if I have? I can’t end up like Coach Stazza without an original thought to my name! Help me, General … help me, please?” 

“Calm down, would you? What’d you make of Sonali’s half-marathon? That’ll stop you stressing.”

“Oh, you’re right, chief! What a comeback this lady has had! Such a strong mindset and finishing this race even stronger will give her a great feeling going into her Boston virtual. What a woman! I need to take a leaf out of her book. Well done, Sonali!”

Busy polishing off another bottle of Maison Louis Latour Chablis, Coach “Purple Teeth” Stazza managed a few words of wisdom for wonder woman Desai: “Champion job there, …  hic … Sonali. Now you take it easy … hic … for a few days … hic … and then we’ll get started on the… hic … Boston build … hic … I need my bed!”