For (shockingly) only the 2nd time in 2014, I met up with my gang of girls to go running this morning.
It was damp and grey and a little chilly, but utterly brilliant to meet up (after far too long) with these inspirational ladies + our mentor Dr Chauhan + Vish, the physio who saves my bacon over and over again + Neha’s devoted husband who ran with us today.
From our usual 6.45am meeting place in Chanakyapuri, we set out for what is our longest run so far (excluding our star runner, Kathakoli, of course, who eats up half marathons as though they were going out of fashion…) – a 12 km run to India Gate and back. Actually, many of the girls have run to India Gate before, so let me re-phrase that – for me it was a first and my longest run ever.
If you have to pound city pavements, the manicured streets of Lutyens Delhi when they are virtually traffic free are pretty special. To run past Rashtrapati Bhavan and down Raj Path to India Gate is as brilliant as it gets.
And despite grey skies, the vistas were fabulous.
We ran through empty streets. As in empty streets :
On past iconic monuments :
That’s Rashtrapti Bhavan (above), the residence of the President, glimpsed behind the inevitable barriers.
The spring flowers are in bloom, warming up an otherwise gloomy morning.
We met people out for a segway ride down Raj Path. As one does.
Our fearless leader, Doc Chauhan, made 3 of us sprint up a bit of Raisina Hill, and it will come as no surprise to anyone that I huffed and puffed in last, with darling Chaivi shooting ahead, leaving even Doc a tad speechless, followed closely by Sonam. I could unsportingly mutter, “well, they do have youth on their side” but the truth of the matter is these kids are all in excellent shape, and I have (as we say over here) been absconding.
And it shows.
I ran part of the return on my own, and it is all part of the specialness of running that it seems the most normal thing in the world to run alone across empty roundabouts in the heart of an otherwise hectically busy city.
Here are some of the things I saw…
Never noticed this before.
It’s on the roundabout where Mother Theresa Crescent starts. Can anyone translate the Urdu for me, please?
God is everywhere in India (above).
More colour to lighten up the greyness.
I have to admit to a weakness for the architecture of the Pakistani High Comm…
One happy chappy in a rubbish bin.
I do have my “trophy” photos of India Gate, now that you mention it…
My take-home moment?
Oh, running round India Gate, without a doubt. Too, too fabulous. Plus breaking another personal milestone – 12km…
So, yes, March 16th and our first official 10km race…bring it on.