I am running a half marathon this coming Sunday and it’s on a new route.
It’s the 2nd edition of the Super Sikh Run, and will be my first time of running it. I know part of the route, but even so, have only run it once, and that was nearly 2 years ago.
So I decided a little route recce was in order, and cajoled one of the nicest young men in my ASICS Running Club, the irrepressible Ripu Daman, to run with me. I reckoned since he is one of the organisers of the race, I’d be in safe hands.
And I was.
We did a slow, chatty, gossipy 10km, stopping to chat to other runners, stopping to take slo-mos of each other, and calling into 2 churches and a gurdwara, asking for divine help on Sunday 🙂
Today was all about running as it should be.
Fun, interesting, and seeing lots of amazing things en route.
We met in the dark at the start point of Sunday’s race, the 18th century Sikh Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.
It looked amazing in the pre-dawn darkness, with music playing and volunteers sweeping the courtyard. All wonderfully peaceful and restful.
Here’s a little bit of the history of the gurdwara, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“The Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is a historic gurdwara near Parliament House in New Delhi. It was built in 1783, after Sikh military leader Baghel Singh (1730–1802) captured Delhi, on 11 March 1783, and his brief stay in Delhi, led to the construction of several Sikh religious shrines within the city. This one marks the site of cremation of the ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, after his martyrdom in November 1675 for saving Hindu Kashmiri Pandits, under orders of Aurangzeb.”
Off we went as the dawn broke, through sort-of-empty streets, though the traffic built up rapidly and noisily.
At one point, on Shankar Road, there was a magnificent black cow standing in the middle of the road, helping herself to the straggly, dusty municipal vegetation, and causing the rush-hour traffic to slow down. A kind soul stopped his scooter, hopped off, and steered her to the side of the road, so the traffic could flow.
On the way back, we called into a Syrian Christian Church – a first for me. Just the name of the church is fantastic:
And this was inside:
Then it was the turn of the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral, looking pretty jolly in the sunshine:
Once back at the Gurdwara, our start point, we went inside this lovely 18th century building:
I reckon we covered quite a few bases this morning, asking the patron saint of runners to look out for us this weekend 🙂
My Garmin froze half way through the run, so these are Ripu’s stats. We have exactly the same watch, so it’s all good.
I thought we were running painfully slowly, but it wasn’t actually too shabby:
It was fun seeing a part of Delhi I don’t know so well wake up, and the Gurdwara was a revelation.
Lovely place, and looking forward to seeing it again in a few days.
Recce-ing done right.