And so, after many early mornings spent pounding the streets of Delhi, today I ran the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in a good time (clipped 4 minutes from my previous HM).
A fabulously well organised event. Not as crowded as I had feared – I reckon we were hundreds in each starting group, rather than the threatened thousands. Great weather. Not too much of Delhi’s infamous winter pollution. Wasn’t even as cold as we had all feared when we assembled at 6.15-ish. Quite a lot of good folk out cheering, which was lovely.
All pretty amazing, actually.
Here are a few photos from my morning:)
Walking to the venue before sun up.
A Japanese running group warming up, in a very organised manner.
Checking my starting time (Zone C)
A quick photo with Katha – we were in the same starting group and ran together as we set off.
Note to self. Choose nicer location next time, rather than outside the portaloos…
We were barely 4 km into our race when the élite men (Africans to a man) came rushing by in a tight knit phalanx of speed and focus. They were, of course, heading back to the finish line, when we had 17km more to go…
A good 10 minutes later, the élite women passed us, and I managed a quick video (yes, probably cost me time, but I speed-walked while I took it, hence the wobbliness)
Once we crossed the finish line, we collected our medal and bag of snacks (I gave my food to a grubby tiny girl sitting on the pavement).
To get back to the car, I had to cross the overbridge and before a cop stopped me filming any more, this was my view from up top:
Half-marathoners on the right and the 6km Great Delhi Run setting out on the left.
That was where this journey began, last year.
And today, I ran a half marathon!!
I met all my running girls.
I met Chetan Mahajan and his wife twice (they ran a seriously fast race). Many people greeted me by name, because our new running group T shirts have our name on the back. And how kind and friendly people were. Every time I slowed down, someone would ask if I was OK, a level of concern that you otherwise never experience in Delhi.
I saw Rahul Bose, the actor, running, close to Jantar Mantar.
What else did I spy as I huffed and puffed through Lutyens Delhi this morning?
A man with only one leg and a prosthetic limb running, carrying a rather large Indian flag. Way faster than me. Now that was very humbling.
A man with only one arm running.
A very old man (even by my ancient standards) running hand in hand with a rather buff man in a lycra body suit.
I was overtaken by an elderly man wearing a kurta pajama and those plastic shoes that yer average Haryana villager wears.
All in all a brilliant morning.
Pity about the wretched orange, which cost me a faster time, I know for sure.
I stupidly took a slice of orange with salt as I ran past one of the stations, when I was feeling a bit jaded. 2 segments of orange was all it took for me to feel nauseous.
WHY do I do this to myself?
I have been through this on Kilimanjaro (Gatorade), on Kangyatse earlier this year (mango juice), on my first half marathon last month (Gatorade)…and yet I took the salty orange…WHEN will I learn?
You are amazing. Super well done. Bravo!!!
Thanks Namrata – saw you out running a couple of weeks ago but you were deep in concentration!
You truly are an inspiration Christine, Wooooooooohoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! well done girl. What grit and determination and an absolute zest fro life you have. Bless you. Seriously do think about writing up those wonderful chronicles you have been regaling us with. They would make a fabulous book of short stories. Waiting in anticipation. I salute you on your achievements.
Superstar I’m speechless, humbled, amazed, inspired what can I say.
Second half marathon – becoming routine? ! Seriously, I’m very impressed – well done. X
Well done, Christine – I’m dead impressed Cxx
Nonita, what a love you are. I had a blast, though am already kicking myself for not having trained more and run faster. Next HM in 2 months, one hopes…xx
Auntijie, you are awesome.
Love what you write!
We have come such a long way and you are our champ.
Why don’t we have a picture together? 🙁
lovely as usual, you captured the essence of it! you are such an inspiration! *take a bow*
It was a very well organised half marathon, i must say.
I have never, ever in my 14 yrs of living in & around the Subcontinent seen a ‘portaloo’ here.
Beatrix, this subcontinent can sometimes surprise one…but then again…there was no water in any of the portaloos I visited, so perhaps not…:)
By now Christine you surely could run up to Vietnam to meet us up in December!
Congratulations amazing sister: I sit back in awe! Now you know what bus to catch next year!xx
The 2.10 bus, if they have one ! Or perhaps go for broke, and aim for the 2.07…