Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Did just another Marathon!

At the start of the run
After two successful Half Marathons in two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), I’m just wondering whether I can now officially call myself a Marathoner. But then…aah…I don’t really think so yet. Perhaps the day I don’t complain of swelling, muscle pain, and difficulty in walking up and down the stairs after the run, will be the day when I can give myself that official status. Until then, I’m just an amateur runner.

The 9th edition of the 2012 International Mumbai Marathon got even bigger. Over 3,500 runners participated in the Full Marathon (42km), 11000 participated in the Half Marathon (21km) and over 22000 registered for the Dream run (6km) this year, making it the biggest blockbuster event ever. Personally, the pressure built up on me was even more, since I had set a benchmark of either repeating my last year run-time or at least do better than that. Whatever it is, I just wanted to complete the Half Marathon within the cutoff time as per the international standard. And thank God I did it this time as well. Of course, I was not alone. My group of 8 sporting running enthusiasts put our best foot forward and made this run a memorable one. So much was the excitement and on-top-of-the-world feeling that we're all set to take on the 2013 Marathon with an even bigger bang.

Nevertheless running is not about timing, it is more about will power and endurance. Runners who completed their Marathon stretch within the international marathon standards surely need a pat on their back. But the ones who continued their journey even after they crossed the time limit are no less. The never-say-die spirit is something that we need to learn from the ones who strived to reach the end point even after realizing that they had crossed the time limit. I perhaps would have taken a cab home if I had crossed my time limit. Finally, if you run, you are a winner!

As every year, the crowd was amazing even this year. There was not a single meter on the entire Half Marathon stretch that I felt I was alone. Along with runners, there were so many people standing on both sides of the running tracks cheering us all along the way. And how, I can’t forget this guy who came from nowhere to offer me his share of oranges, when he saw oranges slip from my hand during the run. Big hugs to the people of Mumbai who went all out to cheer runners, offering us biscuits, energy drinks, water, and one septuagenarian even serving lemon juice to runners. What more could anyone ask for huh? Even more, large musical stage shows put up by The Indian Navy, Maharashtrian folk dancers, Disk Jockeys kept runners charged up right till the end. 


At the end of the run
 The senior citizens' run was the cutest of them all. Loved to see the young at heart give in their best shot. Perhaps if I was in the selection committee, I would request many of our senior citizens to do the full Marathon, because some of them were really good. Additionally, there was a special wheelchair event organised for those physically challenged. All in all, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was inclusive, catering to the needs and wants of everyone in the community.

This year, the Mumbai Marathon churned out a whopping 12.2 crores in the form of charity. Indeed, it is one of the biggest fund raising events gaining immense popularity in India. As an individual, it certainly feels really-really good to be a part of this maximum event held in a maximum city (Mumbai) in which ‘Charity’ is the heart of it.

See you folks then in 2013!

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