I blame the Indian Army…

I blame the Indian Army…

…for my consistently lousy running times.

Seriously, it’s all their fault.

Every day I try and run to India Gate, simply because it is the most fantastic place to run to (ooh, ugly sentence construction there, Christine) but ne’er a day goes past when I don’t stop and dawdle at the sheer spectacle of it all.

Some days there is simply the honour guard – and usually someone polishing the memorial to the Unknown Soldier – but at least once a week, there is some splendiferous ceremony or rehearsal taking place.

Like this morning.

And however much I tell myself to concentrate on running and bettering my slow times…well, the sheer gorgeousness of the whole India Gate thing always wins the day, and my time goes for a toss.

Like this morning.

I was itching to run, after a week away, travelling.  I walked miles in Himachal, up and down those steep country lanes, but I didn’t run, and so I very much need to train before this Sunday’s 10km – and (gulp!) my first half marathon in a month.

But the army was having none of it.

There was a full scale practice for Infantry Day, and so obviously I stopped, and there was my timed run over and done with.

But what a pageant, in the crisp early morning sunshine, with just one other runner to share it – and he was lying flat on his stomach trying to take arty photos with his GoPro.

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There were soldiers from several different regiments, standing in groups around the memorial, some of them chatting and some rehearsing, like these young men :

While the buglers practised the Last Post, which has to be one of the most evocative pieces of music going…and don’t miss the sweeper-upperer-of-leaves and flower petals:

It was lovely and relaxed, and so I trotted round and round India Gate and then headed back down Raj Path.  I had the avenue pretty much to myself, which is always an amazing feeling.  This is from Raisina Hill, and I love running up and down that yellow line.

Just because I can :

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I then went for a run up towards Rashtrapti Bhavan – barriers removed after 8 am :

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You can no longer go right up to the gate, as before, since there is another barrier, but early in the morning, the cops are super relaxed about photos.

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There was a distinct nip in the air this morning, even though I left a full hour later than usual…winter is clearly a-coming.

What with the rehearsal and lots of photos at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and dodging the monkeys, and nipping into the National Museum to use the loo – I tell you, Delhi is a totally different world early in the morning.  Can you imagine being allowed to zip into the museum during the day?

So, yes, I had a brilliant, but slow 14km run.

Not my fault.  Too much going on 🙂

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