Celebrating #100daysofrunning in Super Sikh Style (cue the music & dancing!)

So.

Yes.

How was the #100daysofrunning challenge this year?

For those who are unaware of this challenge, well…it finished yesterday :P.

No, seriously, joking aside, it did finish yesterday.  This online, no entry charge, no prize money, fun challenge originated in India & was the brainchild of Tanvir Kazmi, one of the doyens of Indian running.  Tanvir has been running for years, long before it really “took off” in India.  In 2014, to motivate himself to run during the long, hot, humid, and did I mention really hot days of summer here in Delhi, Tanvir decided he’d run for 100 days.

He shared this concept online in 2015 and the first edition saw 48 of us still running on the 100th day, of whom 28 of us had run every day for 100 days.

We all met on the 100th day at India Gate, and other than Pankaj Arora who had suggested I join the challenge, right before it started, I knew no-one that day.  Actually, I hardly knew Pankaj, but that’s the way of running – run one race alongside someone, and they’re a friend for life!

That lovely day at India Gate 2 years ago, saw me meeting so many lovely people who would become firm running buddies:

Fast forward to 2016, when the buzz around the #100daysofrunning challenge would get louder.  August 2016 would see 727 participants, of whom 209 of us would run all 100 days.

So when we all met up at India Gate, exactly a year ago & ran down Raj Path to Rashtrapati Bhawan, it was more like a party:

The numbers are telling in so many ways.  The collective distance, for example:

2015 we collectively ran 47,000 km

2016 we collectively ran 229,150 km

2017 we collectively ran 992,398 km

Which leads me to this year.

This challenge has suddenly become BIG.

People all over the world doing it.

Here in India, a major sports brand got involved – about which I have mixed feelings, but that’s neither here nor there.

And as for the numbers of people running – 4015, but I’m not yet sure how many of those ran for all 100 days.

But whatever the final tally, this challenge has ARRIVED on the running scene.  Big time 🙂

The biggest stand out from this year is the amazing Faith Runner, Samir Singh, who set out to run 100km x100 days.  Here is a link to a story I wrote about this unbelievable man.  To have the physical and mental strength to undertake such a challenge is awe-inspiring and, petty as it might sound, I am thrilled to have been (in a tiny, insignificant way) part of the same challenge.

My own 100 days took a different form this year.

We started on 29 April, the day after I came “down” to 4000 metres after a gruelling climbing course & a climb of Friendship Peak in Himachal.  To say I was exhausted is putting it mildly.

The first 2 years of the challenge, I ran for the distance, and was always high on the women’s leaderboards and, being truthful, like my friend Deepinderr said in his guest post yesterday, I became extremely competitive.

This year was to be different.

Starting out exhausted from mountaineering meant that Day 1 was a v-e-r-y slow 2 km (that’s the minimum to stay in the challenge).

The biggest challenge of this whole 100 days for me has not been running at 4 am before a flight, or anything like that, but it was putting on my running shoes, that first day.

All I wanted to do was sleep, and stay in flip flops, to be honest, but needs must…

Day 2, I was just as exhausted.

And so it continued for about a week, as my climbing exhaustion took its toll.

So this year, for me, it was all about making sure that I ran, regardless of travel, house guests, work, and all the other things that get in the way of a perfect running routine.

And so, freed from the “need” to clock huge mileage, I enjoyed my slow solitary runs, my training runs with my ASICS running group, and suddenly, there we were Day 100.

I decided I’d mark my 100th run with my running buddies from ASICS, since we’d already planned a run together in a park in the north of Delhi, as part of a promotional run for this December Super Sikh Run.  It wasn’t an “official” #100daysofrunning celebration, as such, but enough of us had taken part in the challenge to mean that we had our own buzz.

And boy!  Did ever I make the right decision!

Get any group of Sikhs together, and dancing and music will follow sure as day follows night 🙂

So yesterday we had music and dancing and snacks and loads of laughing friendly faces.

 

I’m not sure the regular Sunday morning walkers of Bonta Park (below) knew what had hit them!

Oh yes – how was the run, do I hear you ask?

A great 10km trail run through a lovely forest.

But oh, the dancing & jollity were such fun!

And, of course, there was the presence of India’s very own Blade Runner, Major D.P.Singh.I wrote a post about this brave man earlier today, so I won’t repeat myself, but if you haven’t yet read that post, here you go – here’s the link to a story of huge, amazing bravery.

WHAT a lovely man he is.

Chatting, endlessly smiling & posing for photos.

Such an inspiration, making me feel quite silly with my post-climbing exhaustion excuses…

So, yes, a fab way to mark the end of a challenge, and to remember that as well as running, there’s also all that fun singing and dancing.

(Cue silly photo of me trying to dance with these gorgeous girls 😛 )

Well, gorgeous girls and a bloke 😛

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