Runners are strange people, I tell ya’ 😛
Firstly, they get up at dawn and run.
And then, as if that in itself isn’t strange enough, they also decide to run for a cause.
And then they do it day after day after day.
And they do it in the worst of weather.
As I said, strange folk, runners!
Since I count myself as a runner, I accept that I am, by default, also strange too!
I freely admit to being part of the getting up at dawn to run part, but what my lovely running friend Mihika Gupta and Gaurav Pant are doing is in a whole new league altogether. (By the way, I’m sure Gaurav is lovely, too, but you know what I mean!)
These 2 amazing people are running a half marathon every day for 30 days, in an effort to raise awareness about the need to make Gurgaon, where they live, a safer place.
For those of you who don’t know this part of India, Gurgaon is a satellite town next to Delhi, and the two are almost one now, closely linked by road and metro.
But just like Delhi, Gurgaon has safety issues, especially for women, and so these two
crazy I mean lovely people decided that enough is enough. They decided to put their money where their mouth is, and go out there and draw attention to their mission to make their city a better place.
I have nothing but the hugest admiration for these two runners, who coolly run a half marathon every day, and then just as coolly, go off to work. I collapse in a dramatic heap after running a half marathon, expecting praise and admiration from the world – and these two are churning out the miles, day after day after day.
The world needs more
crazy gosh, did I say crazy runners like you, Gaurav and Mihika 😛
I asked Mihika to tell us more about their venture, so without any further ado, let me hand the blog over to this sassy, fearless runner.
“We were already doing the 100 days of running challenge and then thought of going the extra mile by running a half marathon in the last 30 days of the 100 days running challenge.
Here I would like to thank Dr. Ramit Wadhwa for instigating us to take up this challenge. He has played a vital role in motivating us and putting our thoughts into reality.
So while we decided to run a half marathon daily for 30 consecutive days, we thought of doing something for our city and run for a cause, which needed to be addressed, and what could have been more apt than running for a “safer Gurgaon”. Since our run was spread over 30 days which is a good enough period to make significant observations, and while running we thought we could do that which generally is not possible when we are in a high speed vehicle.
While running we have been talking to people about issues like ‘lane driving’, ‘no wrong side driving’, ‘compulsory helmets for 2 wheelers’, ‘no jumping at traffic lights’ – basically, have been educating people to take ownership of their own safety and follow safety rules. At the same time we have observed a few lapses from the Gurgaon administration too.
To highlight a few:
Since we start running at 4 AM, we observed there weren’t enough street lights in the lanes. The only option we were left with was to run on Golf Course Road, one of the most lit roads in Gurgaon. We faced a few drunk people approaching us while running, and found minimal police patrolling.
Therefore we would like to highlight *Women Safety* as one of the biggest safety issues of Gurgaon.
During the rains, the roads were clogged, and there were many potholes. Pedestrians and cyclists were stranded.
There is a lot of dog menace throughout the route which would scare pedestrians and cyclists when the dogs ran after them.
So all these issues need to be addressed.
We hope to create an awareness while running. We don’t expect things to change overnight, but someone needs to voice the issues and that’s what we have tried to do in these 30 days.
Mainly we want the administration and residents to come together and work towards a safer Gurgaon.
One has to stop the blame-game and do their own bit. Administration has to take effective safety measures and residents have to take ownership of their own actions and follow safety rules.
We generally run the same route daily which is Golf Course Road and the areas around it, since that’s the only road that is well lit in the dark and has minimal potholes.
On week days we start our run at 4 am since it’s a working day and we have to get home in time to take care of the household chores and routine.
On weekends, we start at 5 am and lots of other runners from the running fraternity come and join us to support the cause. Our start time for both weekdays and weekends has never changed be it rain or sun. Our run is never dependent on the weather we have been out running on the roads come what may.
I was so impressed by these 2, & this amazing physical challenge, that I asked Mihika a really silly question: Aren’t you tired?”
Pretty silly question, right?
But Mihika just politely replied:
“Yes, we are tired but as the day goes by, we recover and are up and running again the next morning.”
We are taking care of our recovery very well, which includes a good amount of •stretching
•good nutrition, which includes good intake of protein and carbs
•consumption of fast and up BCAA during running & fast and up recover post our runs
•proper rest and sleep
As I said in the title of this blog, the world really does need more runners like you 2.
Instead of grumbling, the way many of us do, you 2 are going out there & making your voice heard.
A couple of things Mihika said particularly resonated. I like her observation that while running your can observe things and interact in a way that’s impossible when you’re in a car – as so many of us are. So true, Mihika.
I also appreciate the way she says that we citizens have to take ownership of our actions.
100% spot on.
We all love to blame someone else – and in all fairness our civic fathers are often at fault. But we can’t blame someone else all the time. There comes a point when we need to stand up and be counted, and that is EXACTLY what you two are doing.
I got a lovely follow up message from Mihika, adding a few words thanking her children for their support.
Mihika, I have a sneaky feeling that you don’t actually need to thank them. I bet they are very proud of you already.
Also, since we know that kids learn by example, I feel we have some super dedicated future citizens in the making here.
But here is your message to your children 🙂
I also want to thank my kids for there immense support. When I started with this challenge there schools had just opened after summer break and I have not seen them off to school even one single day. They have supported me very well and have never missed their school or school bus either. Have got ready on time without any pressure on me.
Looks like your challenge has made your children step up, too.
Total win win!
FANTASTIC job, you two wonderful, crazy, dedicated, caring runners.
Shabash! You’ve both got dedication, grit, the whole 9 yards, and are using it to better our world.