They say spirit of a city is seen in its participation of people in Marathon. And i completely agree with that. Annual Sports events for a place are as old as human civilisation and present day Marathon are nothing but western version of one of these events…..Running.
In India, the concept is fast catching, with smaller cities like Bhubaneswar also holding such annual extravaganza. In my opinion, Marathon should be a platform for showcasing a city’s heritage, culture, democratic rule, health, tolerance for all sects of people and of course its economy. Till now i have participated in three marathons, all in Bangalore and looks like the day is not far, when Bangalore will satisfy all these CTQ’s.
My dream is to participate in all Marathon, at least in India. Till now i have ran for Bangalore only, but very soon will start for other cities as well.
1st Half Marathon: 13th May,2007,Bangalore:
What Historic Event? World’s First Mid-Night Marathon
When happened? 13th May,2007
Where Happened? In IT heart of Bangalore, Whitefield
Who were participants? Maidens runners like Omprakash, Soumya, Ajit, Biranchi, Bara etc and many other seasonal runners
Who were enemies? Physical exhaustion, Anti Social elements.
For what? Spirit of a city
OH! the above was AAJ TAK kind of report. Hopefully you like it.
Coming back to my participation, i made my historic start, with a historic event: “world’s first mid night Marathon“, which was held in, none other than Bangalore. It was held on 19th May,2007. I participated in Half Marathon (~21 Kms).Although the event was not recognised by Indian Athletic Association, but it didn’t matter me/us. Particaption is what mattered me/us.Run was held in one of the many IT hearts of Bangalore, Whitefield, which offices ITPL, companies like GE, SAP, Accenture, TCS and main sponsor of this event iGate. Its also boasts of world famous Satya Sai hospital and ashram.
Besides me, my other room-mates, Soumya, Biranchi, Smruti & Ajit also participated.Matter of fact, all were running for the first time in such an event. We, all prepared for this event for 10 days. I worked out in my company’s Gym and during my last practice run, clocked 7 KMs/hr in Tredd-mill for continuouly 60 Mins. I knew, i will be able to complete 21 Kms, if i just hold my determination. We all targeted ❤ hrs for the run.
The route was a closed loop, passing through corridors of corporates. This loop was to be completed four times, to complete Half Marathon. Through out the loop, organisers had put up refreshments stalls, mobile toilets and also had volunteers to cheer up the particiapants and to provide medical help in emergency.
We all reached the spot by 11:30 PM. We were told to put up timing chips, which would record the number of loops, we have completed and also note the timing taken for each loop.Half marathon started at 12:30AM, after corporate run..which was meant for casual runners… a run of 5.6 Kms.Till then we were entertained & cheered up by number of local bands, which utilised the platform to showcase their talents.This being our first participation in marathon, we were all bit nervous, but it soon vanished after seeing many old people of both genders, participating.My spirits went up to new heights and i was more determined like never before to complete the run. I was also happy to see,the event being covered by media from, not only various corners of India & Bharat, but from all other corners of globe.Things can only get better for a city, when it also has participants from other countries as well. As my eyes toured around the park, i could easily count some 200 participants of different nationalities.
I could see every participant getting anxious to start, as the below encouraging phrases were making rounds in an electrified & breezy air: “You are becoming part of history“, “Your names will be written in history books“,”run for history“.The fact that, it was World’s First Mid night Marathon, was biggest source of energy for all of us.
The time had come for the bell to ring to mark the history in the making.We all room-mates greeted each other best of luck, as we started forwarding our steps, for the moment, which was not only historic to us, but for Bangalore as well. By time all particiapants had gathered pace, crowd also started shouting slogans “Run Bangalore”..”Run Maadi Run”…”Come On”.
I started well, jogging at a speed of about 7 KMs an hour.Soon we all room mates got dispersed in the crowd of participants. Within 1.2 hrs, i completed half of the race, without a stop. But then, the real test of character started.I knew, its only determination that can keep me alive.Although i rested after 2.5 rounds, it was becoming difficult to keep up the pace.Now i was walking.I was keeping my determination intact, by seeing older people & women running.I told to myself….”if they can, then why not you”.I guess i took another 50 mins to complete 3rd round.In fourth round, to divert my mind from pain, i played songs in my (late)Nokia 3381 and followed a girl.Finally i completed by fourth round & hence my maiden half marathon.I clocked 3hrs 15 Mins for ~21KMs. Among us, Ajit was first to complete, well within 3 hrs, Me & Soumya completed in about the same time.
Finally we all met and celebrated our maiden & historic feet, by having some glucode drinks & snacks. We were given a medal and a certificate as Souvenirs of being a part of hisory. By that time it was already 4:30AM. We decided to wait till morning, to get a proper transportation system, and in process we all will get much needed rest.
It was 6:00AM, when we left. Luckily we got an A/C car to our home.After having breakfast, we all slipped into our blankets to rest in peace for the day.I said to myself “Job Well done”…before i went on dream more.