What did you see on your run today? #14 comes from London

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Our running photo today comes from Bushy Park, London, courtesy of my friend Romit (he of the beer bottle photo. Exactly, well remembered).

Romit told me about the concept of Park Runs, when he was on a visit to Delhi late last year, and we trotted sedately down Rajpath, chatting about different running cultures.
Park Run is a global movement, whereby runners rock up at a local park, and run. For free. Local volunteers organise it.
What this means is that if you are travelling, you can just go online, find which park everyone is running in, and Bob’s your uncle.

Not sure how this would work in India.
(Actually, it might work quite well, having seen the brilliant organisation of the 100km run 2 weeks ago in Dwarka.)

Back to London.
Romit whatsapped me this photo, above, of his run this weekend. 902 people turned up.
Heck, but that’s a lot of people for a casual weekend friendly run.

What did you see on your run today? #13 comes from Kuala Lumpur

I went out for a run late last night in Kuala Lumpur – and as an aside oh, the joys of running in a city with proper street-lighting and safe roads.  More anon…

Yes, so I went out running late last night, and set out just as a massive tropical storm broke over the city.  Thunder, lightening, torrential rain, so I took shelter under a footbridge with a smiley Chinese Malay man who politely offered me a plastic chair.

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We sat there in companionable smiling silence for ages (probably about 20 minutes) while the storm raged, and then when it began to calm down, he got up, smiled even more and said “When stop rain, you go run” and off he went.

Despite the downpour, the streets were not flooded, the traffic lights were working, the traffic was flowing normally…fellow dilliwalas, you get my drift?

So off to the pretty KLCC park I went, and watched with delight as the remnants of the storm raged around the top of the Petronas Towers.  Lots of lightening but not much else, as the storm blew itself out, and as it abated, the sky was just gorgeous:

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What did you see on your run today? #12 comes from Delhi

Shikha Dadwal, a charming young lady I met during the Dwarka 100 km race last weekend, sent me today’s running photo.

During that long hot and oh-so-humid race, since we were both running in opposite directions, we would pass each other every loop, and never once did Shikha fail to give me a thumbs up, a smile, a cheery “Well done” – so, better late than never, thank you for being so welcoming and supportive.

Shikha spotted this little Ganesh propped on the railings outside her park in Vikaspuri, and she told me that she wondered whether or not someone had just abandoned their faith…Shikha, I am neither Indian nor Hindu, but surely no…not abandoning Ganesh-ji? Would someone really leave him like this?

I’d much rather imagine it to be someone leaving him there to bless their morning walk or run…😀

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Thanks for the photo, and please keep on running and photographing for us all.

What did you see on your run today? #11 comes from London

Photo #11 also happens to be a throwback, and I’ll explain why, right now.

On a day when registrations opened for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016, it seemed fitting to post the ultimate marathon photo.

No, not the one with the medal, silly, but the one with the space blanket.

The image of weary runners wrapped in what looks to be tinfoil, is one of those iconic marathon moments.

So want one.  A space blanket, I mean.

And so here is my friend Romit’s photo from his first ever marathon, the London Marathon –  just a couple of months ago.

Well done Romit.

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And now here’s a serious question for those of you who have run SCMM…do they have space blankets? Please tell me they do.

What’s on your running playlist? IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY

I almost feel as if I have to say “obviously” about this iconic, super, feel-good perfect-for-running music.  It just HAS to be on your playlist.

Basically, I always feel good when I start running, and since this song by U2 is at the beginning of my playlist, while I am still easing into the morning and the run, it always hits the spot.

Yes, indeed, it truly is a beautiful day –  and off I trot.

 

I’m sure this track is already on your playlist, but if for some reason it isn’t, you can remedy that right now!

What did you see on your run today? #10 comes to you from Paris

My Belgian girlfriend Chantal, whom I met in South Africa and who now lives in Paris (still following?) sent me a photo today of where she and her husband went for a run.

It’s a path along the banks of the River Seine in Rueil-Malmaison, and when I commented on the total tranquility of it, Chantal pointed out that since now is peak holiday time in France and all the Parisians have left, they pretty much have this otherwise popular running venue to themselves these days.

How lovely.

I guess that’s a landing stage in the foreground?

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What’s on your running playlist? LANA DEL REY

Starting running at this late stage in my life means that pretty much everything is a new discovery.

How so?

Oh, things like

• Hey! Guess what, I can actually run.

• How lovely fellow runners are.

• The excitement of competing, after a childhood of always being the last one to be picked for a team.

• And, of course, music.

Putting together my playlist –  which gets longer, the longer I run and how fabulous is that? – means that I am now moving beyond the music of my generation, and discovering new music from fellow runners.

Runners such as my friend Lieze in Cape Town (who is yet another of the seriously talented and accomplished women friends I am lucky to have) who sent me various names of singers on her running playlist.

And so now, thanks to Lieze, I have discovered Lana del Rey.

Yup, I know, I know.

Am I the only person on the planet who didn’t know of her?

But better late than never.  Be it running or music.

What a fab voice.

 

I have just downloaded this song (below)

 

And if you, too, like Wes Coast, the just click on the link below and hey presto, it’s on your running playlist, too!

Running (just a short distance) with the big guys

Today marked a new step in my very short running “career” when, for the first time ever, I ran more than 21.097494 kilometres.

Yes indeed, correct. That’s the distance of a half marathon.  And the furthest I had ever run.  Until this morning.

The occasion was a 100km-in-12-hour run organised by a group of dedicated runners, including my very own running guru Dr. Rajat Chauhan.

Obviously I didn’t run 100km, and had never even intended such, but I wanted to push beyond the HM mark, setting 25 km as my goal.

The logic was “What better way to do this than with a group of serious runners, running a tough event, quietly and without any of the hoopla that attends many running events?”

And it was such fun.

Hey, any non runners reading this, I can SEE you rolling your eyes, you know, at the mention of the word “fun”.

Yes, yes, yes, I got up at 4.30am in the hot and humid darkness, though my 5.45am running start was hours after the hard-core runners set off.

Yes, indeed, it was humid, humid, and did I mention humid.

But the group were so welcoming – I’ve blogged before about just how nice runners are – and the arrangements were amazing, and to see such low-key but oh-so-dedicated youngsters running was inspiring.

There was masses of food and water, initially manned by friends Sonea Mudgal from my running group (the one where we started running 100 metres at a time and felt shattered by it…) and Chetan Sehgal.

Some folks started out by running on the road outside the park in Dwarka where the event took place, but I decided to forego the dubious pleasure of running on Delhi roads I don’t know, and ran inside the park which had been chosen as the heart of the race.

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(Though with hindsight, the roads actually look fine.)

Any initial misgivings I had about running short loops in the park were totally unfounded, because what happened was this : every kilometre there was the option of food and drink, and a mandatory cheering or applause or “Well done” from the volunteers as I trotted past, and the sense of support and comradeship was amazing.

Long after I had come home, chuffed beyond belief at my 27.5 km, the hard core runners were running and running, and Srini finished his 100km in 11 hours and 55 minutes – talk about an amazing achievement.

And all for the love of running.

Here are just a few of the lovely, welcoming people from this morning:

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Thanks to Ravi Kishorre and Doc for the photos.

The former kindly sent them, to be used

Doc’s pictures I swiped from his Twitter feed without telling him…

And here some of us are, having a pit stop.

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By the way, 21.097km + 6km (the first distance I ever ran in a race and a kind of lucky figure for me) = 27.097.  Once I’d done 25km it was obvious that the 27km barrier needed breaking.

Such fun.

What did you see on your run today? #9 comes from South Africa

Remember Seamus, the Irish wolfhound who starred in a photo of the day last week?

Well, here he is again, out running with my friend Sarah in their olive groves near Paarl in the Western Cape, in South Africa.  You really couldn’t find a more idyllic setting for a run, could you?

Mountains, fields and such a happy dog.

For city dwellers, to run in such natural beauty looks like paradise.  You can almost taste that fresh, clean, unpolluted air, can’t you?

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Sarah, thank you once again.

Keep running, (keep writing) and give Seamus a big hug.

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