Friday, January 21, 2011

16th Jan 2011, the day I’ll never forget

Starting at about 6 that Sunday morning
I was waiting for the 16th Jan 2011 with bated breath since over six months...but when this day finally arrived I panicked, got nervous and wasn’t too sure whether I would be able to do all that I planned to do on this mysterious eventful day.

It was the day of the 8th annual international running competition, the Mumbai Marathon 2011. The Sunday morning on which the entire nation especially Mumbaikar’s turned up together to either run for a noble cause or to simply run to test their resilience and endurance power. Despite all the distasteful affairs in Mumbai, I’m in love with this exuberant cosmopolitan city, and I ran to be a part of an event which showcases the consolidated strength of the people of Mumbai.

Marathon fever
On the previous night before the Sunday Marathon, I frantically set the alarm on three phones to shake up at about four the next morning. Well, I could never wake up that early even in my dreams but the very excitement of being a part of the Marathon definitely did the trick. I reached the meeting point well before time where I met my running mates (Kiran, Arun, Kinnar) who seemed all charged up.

Well, we reached, we warmed up, we discussed our plan of actions, and in no time we stepped on the starting point of the Half Marathon (21kms) which took off from Bandra Fire Station and finished outside C.S.T station en route Bandra Worli Sea link - Haji Ali- Mahalaxmi race course-Jaslok hospital – Wankhade stadium-Trident hotel.

Yes we did it!
Motivation, hip-hop, cheerleaders did all the trick
It was a cool serene dusky Sunday morning and my team of four were bubbling with overflowing energy. The four of us found ourselves in the midst of over 10,000 participants each one stretching their bodies to eternity as we braced ourselves to complete the 21km stint that was set right in front of us. The first 3-4 kilometres was claustrophobic, slow, and kept me guessing if we were ever going to be running. But as we got going down the traffic prohibited lanes of the Bandra-Worli sealink, we got a breather.

The entire Marathon stretch which on a routine day has vehicles exhausting gas and polluting the environment…was embraced by environment friendly enthusiastic beings exhibiting a ‘never-say-die-attitude’. Passion, enthusiasm, and resilience can actually make the impossible possible. It happened to me and I can vouch for it.

Singers, Dancers, musicians scattered at different patches en route did a terrific job keeping us marathoners on our feet and enlivening our spirits all through the race. I now understand the reason why sporting events exclusively budget for cheerleaders. I agree that they indeed are the crux of any adrenaline pumping event. Making a petition to the sporting committees (specifically the IPL), I earnestly request them to stop fussing about granting funds for cheerleaders...they indubitably make a difference!

Doubly, I was also driven towards completing the Half Marathon by my running mate Arun who kept me alive and kicking by persistently guiding and motivating me all through the run. Additionally, the 3 letter's (M W M) scribbled in bold on the back of his T-shirt kept reminding me that I had to live up to it come what may. It meant "Marathon With Mearl"...and how can I ever let that message go pointless huh!

When we were 10secs away from the finish line.
That streak to ecstasy
We went ecstatic after crossing every 5km mark on the Half Marathon track. But after the 15km achievement, we celebrated every kilometre by dancing and singing with artists all the way. I still can’t figure out where did we get all that energy from...but yeah we even did that extra bit! After the 18km successful run, our eyes went hunting to spot the finishing line...just like a tiger which has its eyes on his prey until it latches onto it. Well, eventually I lost my mind after touching the finishing line...and why only me alone...I believe everyone on that pitch eventually were on cloud nine. Yes, we did it!

So hope to see you at the next Marathon 2012. Trust me, it is an attractive power-packed event you just can't afford to miss.

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Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!