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