Of buses and bibs and other such things

Of buses and bibs and other such things

I know, I know, ANOTHER post about the joys of running in Delhi.

But hey, just bear with me for one more week, and then the half marathon will be over, and normal service will be resumed…whatever that may be.

Yesterday I went to collect my bib for next Sunday’s race, and got a taste for what lies in store.  Although I got there just before the running expo shut up shop for the day (thank you awful Delhi traffic) there were still hundreds of youngsters milling around, dashing frantically from one stand to another, mainly in search of goody bags, which had, I gathered, run out.  As a half-marathoner (how pretentious, did I hear someone say?) I don’t qualify for a goody bag, so I went in search of my free T shirt instead.  Slightly calmer atmosphere there.

Now, remembering my experience in last year’s ADHM (Airtel Delhi Half Marathon) when we were all shiny brand-new runners, and did the 6km Great Delhi Run, I realise now that lots of the hyper active youngsters rushing around with armfuls of bibs, were indeed Great Delhi Runners.  Which means lots of them will be running as part of their company’s CSR programmes, which means they will have banners and matching hats, and much fun will be had by all.  I also know (judging from last year) that many of them will peel off after a while, and that many more of them will walk, as opposed to run.  Our little group last year had seriously over-trained for the 6km run –  but of course that would explain why we are all still running a year later…

But anyway, the posse of over-excited young girls dashing around with armfuls of running bibs couldn’t have been sweeter, and I wish them well.

And a bib, by the way is this :

IMG_8492Name, rank & serial number.  And starting zone C.

A is for the elite runners, most of whom will be halfway through, I imagine, by the time we C-walas shuffle to the starting line…B is, I imagine, for faster runners than C and so it goes on down the alphabet.  As to how many hundreds of people are in each zone, no clue.  Are there hundreds of half-marathoners or thousands?  If the latter, there will be hundreds of people in each starting category, I imagine.  I’ll let you know next week.

What you can’t see here is the chip behind the bib that will record my not so brilliant time for posterity.

So that’s a bib.

And what’s a bus did I hear you ask?  Now this fascinating piece of running vocab is my linguistic discovery of the week.  A bus is –  in running-speak –  a person who paces you as you run, and you join their bus.  So, say I am aiming for 2.30 (2 and a half hours) then I would find the pacers doing that timing (they have flags, so I’m told) and join their bus.

Or at least I think that’s how it goes.

All terribly exciting, having the inside catch phrases, but of course I have come a cropper  – in that I have absolutely no idea what time I should aim for, so how can I join a bus…dilemma indeed.

Basically, am going to play it by ear, so to speak.  Each time I read a FB post or a blog about calculating times + speed – water stoppage time etc etc etc., my mind blanks out –  it’s all too much like a maths problem from school days. So I shall simply tootle along in a totally unscientific way, and have fun.

Which is what I had this morning, as I ran around Lutyens Delhi in the cool morning.

I had so much fun.  Loads and loads.

Saw such fantabulous stuff.

India Gate was, as usual, gorgeous :


But today the undoubted star was Teen Murti, where soldiers were standing around waiting for a ceremony to start (couldn’t get a clear answer from any of the dear boys as to what the ceremony was), but one thing’s for sure, they all looked a million dollars ;




I imagine the ceremony was to do with the centenary of the World War I –  but it was more 2 hours to kick-off, so I didn’t hang around but eventually ran off.  And another run time became s-l-o-w, with all the stopping and watching and filming.

Such gorgeousness bright and early in the morning…this is the reason I love to run, not so much the bibs and buses.


  1. Hello
    Came across your blog recently – and so glad I did. I live in the US and STILL miss India everyday even after 18 years. Reading your blog and the pictures you post brings me so much joy ..:)

  2. I like the part where you decode running jargon for muggles, half bloods, and, well, first time runners. Since you’re so good at it, you must do this educating bit in the run up to every big run.
    Also like your taking a crack of the pecking order in running. If you are a record breaker you should be in an elite block. Otherwise everybody should be clubbed together. Sections could be created on what time you arrive. In fact I liked one thing in the Chennai Half Marathon in 2009: women started half an hour later, obviously to free them of intended and unintended jostling.
    The event at Teen Murti would be a weekend run up to Chacha Nehru’s birth anniversary which falls on the 14th November.

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