…for my consistently lousy running times.
Seriously, it’s all their fault.
Every day I try and run to India Gate, simply because it is the most fantastic place to run to (ooh, ugly sentence construction there, Christine) but ne’er a day goes past when I don’t stop and dawdle at the sheer spectacle of it all.
Some days there is simply the honour guard – and usually someone polishing the memorial to the Unknown Soldier – but at least once a week, there is some splendiferous ceremony or rehearsal taking place.
Like this morning.
And however much I tell myself to concentrate on running and bettering my slow times…well, the sheer gorgeousness of the whole India Gate thing always wins the day, and my time goes for a toss.
Like this morning.
I was itching to run, after a week away, travelling. I walked miles in Himachal, up and down those steep country lanes, but I didn’t run, and so I very much need to train before this Sunday’s 10km – and (gulp!) the half marathon in a month.
But the army was having none of it.
There was a full scale practice for Infantry Day, and so obviously I stopped, and there was my timed run over and done with.
But what a pageant, in the crisp early morning sunshine, with just one other runner to share it – and he was lying flat on his stomach trying to take arty photos with his GoPro.
There were soldiers from several different regiments, standing in groups around the memorial, some of them chatting and some rehearsing, like these young men :
While the buglers practised the Last Post, which has to be one of the most evocative pieces of music going…and don’t miss the sweeper-upperer-of-leaves and flower petals:
It was lovely and relaxed, and so I trotted round and round India Gate and then headed back down Raj Path. I had the avenue pretty much to myself, which is always an amazing feeling. This is from Raisina Hill, and I love running up and down that yellow line. Just because I can :
I then went for a run up towards Rashtrapti Bhavan – barriers removed after 8 am :
You can no longer go right up to the gate, as before, as there is another barrier, but early in the morning, the cops are all super relaxed about photos.
There was a distinct nip in the air this morning, even though I left a full hour later than usual…winter is clearly a-coming. What with the rehearsal and lots of photos at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and dodging the monkeys, and nipping into the National Museum to use the loo – I tell you, Delhi is a totally different world early in the morning. Can you imagine being allowed to zip into the museum during the day? – so, yes, I had a brilliant, but slow 14km run. Not my fault. Too much going on.