Hailing from the cradle of long-distance running and marathons that is Ethiopia, Hayle Lemi's feat at the Tata Mumbai Marathon should be no surprise.
However, it's interesting to record how Lemi's marathon journey has panned so far and where he stands today as one of the world's top long distance runners.
Lemi first made his mark on the marathon map of the world at his debut Zurich Marathon in 2014 where he won with a timing of 2:10:40.
"I started running almost 14 years back and the marathon journey began in 2014 with the Zurich Marathon and before that I used to run cross country races and track events," he added.
Boston Marathon Breakthrough
Winning the Dubai Marathons in 2015 and 2016 saw his confidence grow from strength to strength but it was not until the 2016 Boston Marathon where he made a huge impression with a sensational win, that his presence was taken note of.
Lemi stunned with a fantastic victory at the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:12:45 and cemented his position as one of the best long-distance runners going around.
Having a family where running is a cultural legacy certainly helps for someone like Lemi.
"My wife is also a top runner and I have a daughter, a great family as my support system. My daughter is also into running," he revealed.
Paris Olympics Aspiration
With all the highs in his life, Lemi was conscious of the fact that qualifying for the Paris Olympics was a tall ask.
"At the moment, qualifying for the Paris Olympics is very difficult because there are many runners from my country who are vying for qualification and it's very tough. It also depends on the federation whether they want to consider me or not. But realistically, it is very tough.
There are at least three runners in Ethiopia who are running under 2:04 and at this point in time it's quite challenging for me," Lemi stated.
The Mumbai Marathon champion is now planning to head back to Ethiopia and discuss his future plans and strategies with his coach and manager and then take a call.
"I might participate in the Boston Marathon, I guess," he says.
Mumbai has bowled over Lemi with its great support to the back-to-back winner and he remains attached to the city.
"It's like my home since I've come here two times and people are great and welcoming and it has an amazing atmosphere and great culture," Lemi added.