Running for charity

Last night I attended a running event of a very different kind, here in Delhi, and what a revelation it was.

In November 2017 I, along with thousands of other runners, took part in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.  Most of the focus at the time was on the runners, the elites, their times, and – inevitably – our own times.

But as well as racking up the miles as they run, there are thousands of people who also use the race to rack up millions of rupees for charities, and last night was the Charity Awards dinner.

Just look at the figure raised for charity through the 2107 edition of the event:

That translates to about US$1 1/4, by the way.

I had no place being there, being brutally honest, but was kindly invited by Kevin Pereira, one of the head honchos of Procam International Pvt Ltd, the company that manages most of India’s most prestigious races.

What an eye opener the event was, and what a truly humbling evening.

There was I, quite happy to run for myself, to improve my timings and yes, let’s be honest, to try and win a medal in my age category, and then last night I learned about runners who raise hundreds of thousands of rupees for charity.


The evening was moving, and – yes, let me say it – inspirational.

Listen to this young girl from the slums, educated by one of the charities that receives funds raised by runners and their supporters.  Just listen to her, speaking in English & telling the audience that she wants to be a neurosurgeon.

If that doesn’t make you tear up, then I don’t know what will…

There was also a nice category, recognising the best press photos.  Like these amazing photos of the dramatic finish of the Indian men’s elite race:

What an interesting look into the behind-the-scenes aspects of staging and running such a major running event.


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