Review of the 2nd edition of the New Delhi Marathon

Yesterday, many of us took part in the 2nd edition of the IDBI Federal Insurance New Delhi Marathon.

Last year’s inaugural event had, naturally, teething problems and these were discussed at some length here in this blog.  It makes interesting reading to go back to a year ago, read peoples’ thoughts and then see how things have changed in a year.

Here are links which you might enjoy reading – our collective thoughts from this time last year.

This post shared the opinions on the 1st edition of the NDM of Sanjeev Chhabra, an experienced runner and an all-round thoughtful kinda bloke.  The feedback, in the comments section, from other runners was very informative.

And this was my own balance sheet on last year’s race;

Fast forward a year to yesterday and let’s see how the 2 main concerns of last year (water and marshalling) were handled.

Water

Bottles, loads of them, given out by loads of super cheerful and enthusiastic volunteers.

Whew.

But I still carried my small running hydration backpack, since I wasn’t sure beforehand what the water situation would be. Even though, thank goodness, I didn’t technically need the backpack for water, it was useful, holding my other clobber too – cap, which I didn’t need till the second half of the race, running gels, and so I didn’t regret carrying that extra weight.

But water on the route was not a problem – though I suspect it might’ve been towards the end, when the heat intensified.

BUT…lamentably few rubbish bins along the route.  With all that very necessary water, we needed bins everywhere.  The 5km section was touted as a “Swacch Bharat” run…well, if anyone had chosen to look at Rajpath, for example, it was the opposite message – as un-swacch-y as you could get, with bottles tossed everywhere.  What is wrong with having waste paper bins plastered with the sponsor’s name?

Marshaling

All good.

After the fiasco last year of sections of the route up near Buddh Jayanti Park and beyond, leaving us all searching for signs and marshals, there were no such problems this year.

We full marathoners ran the half marathon course twice, which was OK given the realsitic alternative, and everything was well signed and there were loads of cops and marshals, so absolutely no complaints on that score.

The route, which was 95% the same as ADHM is a lovely route – flat and wending its way through Lutyens Delhi, so super picturesque, too.  Nothing beats running past India Gate

What else?

It seemed to me that there were WAY more runners this year than last.  Was there a 10k & 5k last year?  On which subject – there needs to be better handling of the finish line.

When I finished there were so many 5k and 10k folks waiting for friends or selfie-ing away, that the place was packed.  Given the  increasing numbers taking part in races in Delhi, I think the organisers need to get stricter and clear the finish zone, so runners can run across without cannoning into people taking selfies.

But otherwise, everything was great.  Huge improvement since last year, and I for one loved every single second of my race.

I deliberately took it easier than I could have, determined to enjoy it. Now, of course, that it’s all over, I’m kicking myself for having taken it too easily, knowing I had reserves and could’ve run faster, but what the heck.

It’s done, and I had a great time.

The first half of the race, which was a half marathon was superb.  Empty roads, great mood, the sun coming up over Delhi.

Best moment?

When you run in Mumbai, there is crazy, hectic, non-stop crowd support, which gives you such a boost.

In Delhi, let’s be honest, no one turns out for races.  Literally no-one, other than one’s own family, perhaps.  But definitely no Mumbai-style noisy generous crowds egging you on.

So my best moment was rounding India Gate on the return leg of my first half marathon, and seeing one of the sailors on duty at India Gate standing smiling and cheering.  As I ran past, he called out with a huge smile “Well done ma’am. Keep going!”

So yes indeed, well done to everyone who ran yesterday, and an even bigger “well done” to the organisers, who clearly listened to feedback from last year, and implemented peoples’ suggestions.

PS –  can’t wait to see the drone footage.  We were all super excited as it flew over us in the holding area – like little kids 😛

One comment

  • Sanjeev Chhabra

    That’s a relief.
    Sad I had to miss it last minute.
    Had an insightful talk with the Adigas the day before and knew it was going to be all plugged.

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