Running away from pollution. Literally

That’s what a group of us did this Sunday morning.

We decided to escape the filthy toxic air enveloping Delhi, for at least the time of one nice long run.

So, wake up at 4.30 (well, I did)

Rendezvous in the chilly dark smog of Delhi at 5.30.

Gather the troops, and off we drove for an hour to Bhondsi in search of clean air.

To put this quest for clean air in perspective, this was the PM2.5 reading when I was getting ready in the dark this morning:


(And it got progressively worse during the day, maxing out at a terrifying 999)

As we drove from Delhi to Gurgaon, the satellite city next door, the smog got worse, and we all sat in slightly shocked silence, wondering what on earth we were doing to ourselves.

But as we drove further and further away, and into the Aravali Hills, the air cleared and by the time we arrived in Bhondsi, the air felt clear.  They sky was still quite grey and the sun never really broke through, but it felt way cleaner than Delhi, and since we were running through a forest, it has to have been healthier.

It certainly felt it.

We were a small group – 10 of us from our ASICS running group + our hostess for the morning, the super dynamic Mamta Singh, who ran with us, showed us all the sights along the way, and then gave us a fab breakfast afterwards.

Total win-win.

This was one of the sights, an old temple, with a supposedly fierce looking lion outside, his fierceness kind of ruined by the Barbie Doll pink paint.

We climbed up to a look-out point, with a lovely view of the Aravalis:

With Vaibhav (above).

Without Vaibhav (below).

And here is a lovely slo-mo clip of us in action:

This was just part of a slap up breakfast that was waiting for us after our run:

And this is my Garmin track log of where we ran, to justify all the food!

We did 2 full loops, climbing up the hill to the jolly pink temple twice, and a slightly truncated last loop.

Bhondsi jail is the large square compound in the bottom left corner, by the way.

Total distance was 13.89 km.  Which is the same as 14km, right? 😛

When we reluctantly left Mamta to head back to Delhi, about 4km from her home we drove back into a shocking wall of smog that saw us all the way back to Delhi.

And, happy after a brilliant run, we all agreed that (a) it was totally worth getting up for and (b) we have to do this trip again.


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