Today marked a new step in my very short running “career” when, for the first time ever, I ran more than 21.097494 kilometres.
Yes indeed, correct. That’s the distance of a half marathon. And the furthest I had ever run. Until this morning.
The occasion was a 100km-in-12-hour run organised by a group of dedicated runners, including my very own running guru Dr. Rajat Chauhan.
Obviously I didn’t run 100km, and had never even intended such, but I wanted to push beyond the HM mark, setting 25 km as my goal.
The logic was “What better way to do this than with a group of serious runners, running a tough event, quietly and without any of the hoopla that attends many running events?”
And it was such fun.
Hey, any non runners reading this, I can SEE you rolling your eyes, you know, at the mention of the word “fun”.
Yes, yes, yes, I got up at 4.30am in the hot and humid darkness, though my 5.45am running start was hours after the hard-core runners set off.
Yes, indeed, it was humid, humid, and did I mention humid.
But the group were so welcoming – I’ve blogged before about just how nice runners are – and the arrangements were amazing, and to see such low-key but oh-so-dedicated youngsters running was inspiring.
There was masses of food and water, initially manned by friends Sonea Mudgal from my running group (the one where we started running 100 metres at a time and felt shattered by it…) and Chetan Sehgal.
Some folks started out by running on the road outside the park in Dwarka where the event took place, but I decided to forego the dubious pleasure of running on Delhi roads I don’t know, and ran inside the park which had been chosen as the heart of the race.
(Though with hindsight, the roads actually look fine.)
Any initial misgivings I had about running short loops in the park were totally unfounded, because what happened was this : every kilometre there was the option of food and drink, and a mandatory cheering or applause or “Well done” from the volunteers as I trotted past, and the sense of support and comradeship was amazing.
Long after I had come home, chuffed beyond belief at my 27.5 km, the hard core runners were running and running, and Srini finished his 100km in 11 hours and 55 minutes – talk about an amazing achievement.
And all for the love of running.
Here are just a few of the lovely, welcoming people from this morning:
Thanks to Ravi Kishorre and Doc for the photos.
The former kindly sent them, to be used
Doc’s pictures I swiped from his Twitter feed without telling him…
And here some of us are, having a pit stop.
By the way, 21.097km + 6km (the first distance I ever ran in a race and a kind of lucky figure for me) = 27.097. Once I’d done 25km it was obvious that the 27km barrier needed breaking.