Ever since I became a (late) convert to the joys of running, I have started reading articles and blogs about running, and one little nugget I have gleaned is that it is good to vary your route from time to time, so that boredom doesn’t set in.
Which is why I run pretty much the same route every day, through Lutyens Delhi.
Because – as those of you who live here and/or have visited here know full well – there’s no such thing as boring in India. Or repetitive. Or same old-same old.
I may well run down the glorious Raj Path every day, but every day is different.
One day barefoot runners.
Another day 2 ladies in saris slowly trotting along (that was on Tuesday).
One day people on segue bikes, another day no-one at all and the whole scenic panorama is just for lil’ ol’ me.
Today, for example, it was the honour guard at India Gate practising for the visit of the Chinese President who is in town.
In a country where protocol and the wretched VIP culture are so deeply engrained (yesterday the city ground to a halt because of OTT traffic restrictions for Xi Jinping***) every time I run around India Gate I am always struck at the relaxed mood there. Try taking a photo of any embassy building or any government office – forbidden. But standing in front of India Gate filming the soldiers on duty – no problem.
Some days I’m virtually alone. Some days we are a “crowd” of about – gosh – about 10 people. Tops. Today we were about 7 people.
So much splendour, in the relative quiet of early morning Delhi…
So, yes, the running route may be give or take the same through the wide Lutyens avenues, but I always try and take at least one different road every day, to ring the changes.
But ne’er a day goes by without my seeing macaques (I blogged about them stealing chapatis, just a couple of days ago).
I always see the race horses being exercised in the mornings.
There’s always someone seeing for the first time an elderly foreigner out running and gawping appropriately.
As I increase my mileage every week – 9 weeks till the Delhi Half Marathon – I bless Mr. Lutyens and his civic planning, because there is no shortage of wide tree-lined roads for me to pound. The changing scenery is all courtesy of India.
This morning’s track-log is 13 km – so, yes, as you can see, there are still loads more streets to discover. And as long as I get my India Gate fix, that’s fine by me.
*** Click on this link for THE most hilarious story about Mr. Xi’s visit.
Or as he is now known in India “Mr Eleven.”