Will we ever race again?

I was just ‘tidying up’ my iPad, ie closing down all the tabs I’d left open, & came across an article from The Times about the cancelled London Marathon, and how people had, nevertheless, marked the event, running it virtually, or solo, or in their back garden.

The article was dated April 27th.

Seems like a lifetime ago.

But it’s not even 2 months ago.


I don’t know how you all felt then, in late April, but I know that for me there was almost a sense of (dare I say it) joy and relief at the deep blue skies, and the clean air that lockdown was bringing us. (For those of you who don’t know me, I live in Delhi, one of the most polluted cities on the planet, so the clean air of lockdown was a blessed hidden benefit).

At the time of The Times’ light hearted article about people virtually running their London Marathon, here in India we were locked down & still not allowed outside, so I was trotting up and down my 30m drive way with the dogs by way of exercise, or walking round and round and round the terrace.

It would be a further 2 weeks before I left the house for the first time, to go for that first, slow tentative run outside.

All of which is to say that, as I closed the open iPad tab about the virtual London Marathon, I can’t really see a way out of all this coronavirus mess. I’m only talking running here, folks, by the way. Running. That’s it.

Here in India, some of our flagship races are the Delhi Half Marathon, which usually takes place in late October, trying to beat the Diwali pollution. Then comes THE race, THE Big One, the Mumbai Marathon, in January. For the past few years, these 2 races have been fixtures in my winter calendar, but as to the future…

Who know what will happen between now and then?

Will the Indian winter races even happen?

If so, will masks be required?

When you think how things have changed out of all recognition in the 2 months between the (cancelled) London marathon and today, there is obviously no way of predicting how our world will look in 4 months.

I have no idea whether I would wish to run a race in whatever our #newnormal world might look like.

Certainly I can’t see myself racing in a mask.

Due to injury, I didn’t race at all this past winter. I tore the meniscus in my left knee, and that injury (which STILL niggles, even now) cost me the Delhi half, and the Mumbai and Delhi marathons.

I just hope to God that I haven’t, inadvertently, run my last races.

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