Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gurgaon Half Marathon: 6 Dec 2009

I participated in Half Marathon from weekend buffet of runs organized by Runningandliving here in Gurgaon. The 7:15 am start on a early December Sunday was perfect weather to run.

The runners represented a cross section of society, The vibrant expats were also part of it… and some of them specially the Japanese tagged their national symbols along the running bibs … good display of patriotism … I hope I will do the same if get chance to run abroad.

I did not expect so many well prepared participants at place like Gurgaon especially in the event which was moderately marketed by its organizers. I think people who really enjoy running came in for this event. It was nice to see father running and kids cheering him up…usually reverse happens in normal life where we expect all good things to be done by kids and we just cheer them up….

Contrary to my previous Delhi half marathon this was a solo play, I was not having team of friends this time I was just alone ..yes one of my friend was playing role of photographer as volunteer in this event… so I was having good reason to give him smile whenever met. This time I was not worried about finishing the run I was really enjoying observing people and some time cheering them up especially the full marathon participants. There was one good connect …some of the participants (including me) were wearing the Reebok T-Shirt which we got on completion of Airtel Half Marathon.

I finished the run in 2 hr and 16 Min, and I was thinking about my next running goal… first thought will target to run half marathon in less than 2 hrs …then I though better to target full marathon in a year time….finally I settled down to make “joy” my running goal…. I just need to enjoy the run… I should not loose opportunity to cheer others in rush to finish the race.. I am not running to set the record… I am running to stay fit and enjoy the experience of running with magnificent participants.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2009

It all started when I found the advertisement of Airtel Half Marathon 2009 in Delhi times. The ad thrilled me to try something new.

The target was decided ……I had to prepare myself for completing 21 kms in 3 hrs duration to get the certificate of participation for this international event. But how to go about it to succeed was still to be planned…..

Normally, I used to run for half an hour (4kms) twice a week on regular basis but now the aim was to get ready for 21 kms. I started on with 9 kms running in an hour with short breaks of walking in between. I thought this would give me pain initially but to my surprise everything was normal which boosted my confidence.

The next step was to inform friends & colleagues about the event so that a group can be formed. By forming group I wanted to share excitement for the event and create awareness about fitness. I started talking about it in the office and people showed significant interest. I started sharing my preparation plan and various running related tips with them but unfortunately people were not much enthusiastic about putting effort to get out the barrier of “I can’t”. During the same time I came to know about a running group called Running and Living which organizes various runs and they were organizing run in Gurgaon itself (I live in Gurgaon). So I & some of the other anticipated participants decided to participate in these runs. I participated in 15 kms run and completed it in approximately one and a half hour. I was quite satisfied with my performance in running and motivating 4 colleagues to go for 21 kms run and others for 7KM.

And the time passed by, the excitement was increasing….Half marathon, running and the preparation were the only topics about which the people talked in tea breaks. Some of our colleagues were not confident about us completing the 21kms race in less than three hours. This encouraged us more and I personally targeted to complete the run in less than two and half hour.

Finally, the D-day came; none of us (all the 21kms participants) were able to sleep properly the night before. I woke up at 3 AM and sent messages to fellow participants so that they may not get late. I started getting replies by 4 AM which excited me even more. We started off, reached the venue on time and begin the run with full enthusiasm.

I decided not to take a break till 7 kms, and then near about 7 kms I took some water and walked for few minutes and then started again. It was pleasant to see many well prepared participants around. The marathon route was great, especially the Rajpath. I made a few calls to my family and friends and kept informing them about my progress. I also made calls to fellow participants to know theirs as well. Everything was going great till 18kms but after that I started feeling a bit tired so I walked for a kilometer and then started running again but now I was taking frequent walk breaks. After the completion of 20 kms, the kms milestones changed to meters which made me feel the joy and excitement of touching the finishing line. I gathered all my strength & energy and again started off with full zeal & completed the run in two & half hours. The sense of achievement was amazing at that moment which could not be described in words. One thing which makes this achievement more exciting is that all other fellow participants could also complete their targets in time which gives me more confidence and self assurance.

This success & achievement has again proved the belief that “You Can If You Think You Can!!!”

21 KM team :Left to Right : Chakarveer , Saket (its me) , Ankur , Debasis and Mrinal

7 KM Team : Left to Right: Vikrant ,Simran , Swati , Amit and Pranab