As just about all the world knows, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has been under a cloud for the past 2 weeks.
A literal cloud of vile toxic smog.
The Delhi AQI was so bad that the Indian Medical Association demanded the cancellation of the race, and (exceptionally, I think for a big event such as this) people who decided not to run because of the smog were reimbursed.
I was in a quandary, obviously wanting to run, yet worried about the pollution, and so I told myself that if the air was disgusting when I woke up at 4 am today, I wouldn’t run.
On Friday night we had a little overnight rain, which meant that our pre-race walk early yesterday morning in Sanjay Van was delightful. Cool, clean air (though we were in a dense forest, which definitely helps) and altogether fabulous.
This morning, then, when I emerged and went out to sniff the air (I kid you not. Out I toddled onto my terrace to sniff the air like some demented old bloodhound 😛 ) it smelled OK.
And you know what?
The air quality felt fine for the whole of the race, & I didn’t experience any breathing problems at all, so in all fairness I can’t blame the weather for not meeting my self-appointed goal…
It was also borderline chilly, which was w-a-y better than the sun beating down.
As promised by the organisers, the route had been watered to help keep down the dust and pollutants.
A great day to race, in fact.
So, all in all, I would posit that this is proof positive that God definitely loves runners 🙂
Our ASICS Running group had planned to run together, but in the inevitable male/female lines for security and then the loos, Sonali & I ended up pretty much running together, unable to locate the blokes in the huge crowd in our start zone.
We started together, ran most of the way together, though I dropped behind due to pit stops. I caught up with Sonali at India Gate, and we finished the race together, hugging and getting a little teary & emotional at the finish line.
When we collected our medals, we each presented it to the other. And why not?
This is what special running memories are made of.
I still have so much to learn and achieve in running – how to pace myself, how not to feel nauseous around 15km and then again at 21km. 21km, for crying out loud. So close and yet so far…
But all that is for another day.
For today, it is a day for constant Whatsapp messages in my running group as we share the gazillions of photos. It’s time to relax and enjoy the moment.
And, you know what?
I think it’s also a day to give thanks to whatever God one believes in, for the amazing, unexpected weather today.
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017 you were wonderful. You worried us all sick in the run-up, but in the end, it was all too brilliant.