Friday, February 26, 2010
Monday, November 02, 2009
Ahh!!!! I hate getting up early in the morning, and by early I mean waking up from 5-9am on week days and before 10am on Sundays, but not today, at least my 20 day running practice will go in vain, if I am late today. If you know me, you know that I am not athlete but I do keep myself fit by working out once in a fortnight. It was the D-Day, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, November 1, 2009, how can I miss that.
It was the last day of registration for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2009, and afriend of mine (Dr. Prashant), askedme if I would like to run a marathon. I looked at him with curiosity for any hint of the joke, if he is trying on me, but could not find any.Though I was getting late for my lab, I thought, ah why not. I am fit, I can run, 21 km big deal!!! We directly went to the Reebok showroom at CP and got our self registered, big deal with the registration; it was as easy as giving Rupees 500 to an uninterested, rude Reebok fellow.
We started practicing, me and my friend, almost daily used to go for running in the morning. He was more prepared and only intensified his practice of running as he was already running few Kms daily. I only started any kind of workout after some 6 months, bit due to busy lab and a lot due to my laziness. Our practice was going on well; the only problem was we had only around 20 days of which I skipped some, due to late work nights and inability to miss my sleep oncozy “just before winters” morning, damn I love that sleep in the early morning hours. And guess what, I started keeping track of the distance and time we were jogging out daily (or almost daily). I am sure you are going to laugh if I give you the details (it was like day one – 3km, day two – 5km, day three – missed, day four – 5km, day five – missed, day six – missed again, after that many days of rest due to laziness), with my own explanation to myself for giving body proper rest for the missed days.
I was really excited about the race. It was all peaceful except few problems with the work in the lab. Big talks started among the friends, some believed that I won’t ever be able to complete the marathon, motivation from almost everyone else, I found it funny when I came to know someone even thinks that I don’t even need a practice to finish the race, though its an honor, ah people have so many false believes. The race was on Sunday, November 1, 2009, there were many other events. The HALF MARATHON started at 07:30 AM, the GREAT DELHI RUN started at 09:30 AM, SENIOR CITIZENS’ RUN at 07:10 AM, the WHEELCHAIR EVENT at 07:45 AM. And it was November, with Average Maximum Temperature 28.3° C, Average Minimum Temperature 12.8° C, Average Humidity at 0830 hrs IST 61%, Average Humidity at 1730 hrs IST 40%, and
How irresponsible can we be? We were late for this big event. On the event day, though alarm on my newly bought Nokia 5132 music express did its work properly and gave alarm at 5am in the morning,but when I peeped outside through the window I saw gradually sun moving out, but there was also a hint of fog and cozy and bit chilling Sunday morning. I gave my cell a glance with half open eyes and kept alarm to snooze, pulled my bed sheet and snuggled again and gradually drifted to my peaceful sleep, that I enjoy more then anything. I am not sure if my cell snoozed again, but after what I thought it to be 10min (which was actually more then 30min) my neighbor friend who was also was to run along with me, banged my doors with as much rage as he could, and I regretted registering for the race.
Anyways, I slowly got up and started to get ready for the event. Within half an hour I was ready but he was still getting ready. It is understandable when girl take time to get ready, I could never understand nor I will, why boys take so much time to get ready. Anyway, I waited outside my room for my both neighbors (one was just coming along to give us company and to cheer for us (Deepak)). We came out at 6:30am from our rooms. Not to mention that we were already late by one hourby our own plan that we decided a day before.
I kept reminding them and myself that race starts at 7:30am. Metro was a better option, I thanked E. Sreedharan. It was 7:10am when we reached Central Secretariat and wondered, what now. There was facility provided by the event organizers to take participants from there to the event venue. We got into it. It was interesting to know that many of them were first timers, except one girl that said she has experienced in half marathon in
We reached event venue at around 7:20am, my heart was beating much faster then any run could ever induce it to. I do not want to be late, damn it was embarrassing. And guess what, we did not know which way to go, no volunteers were at the sight, we ran along with the people in one direction to reach the start point. Finally, we reached to a place everyone was in line for the Half Marathon after asking some 5-6 fellows including few security personals that have no idea. We handed over our belonging to the friend (Deepak) who came along to cheer us up, he was a great help, at least to we can give him our belongings and run peacefully, moreover he is cheerful, I was glad to have him around.
Can you imagine, it took us more then 20min to reach to the starting point after running through a ground that was a holding area. I somehow did not understand why they have closed the doors for the entry area, just few meters away from the start line. There were barriers with the volunteers guarding them, it was already 7:45am and people were getting crazy and frustrated for not letting them onto the track, my neighbor jumped the barricade and I somehow manage to open and cross it. When we entered the track I was amazed to see how many people were around. Lots of media attention, few celebrities and a huge crowed to cheer up, and few runners in surprisingly interesting getups.
Anyways, I started first marathon run of my life with the clock on start line indicating 8:00am (huh? already 30 min late). I said to myself after glancing around people running with me, I can do it, and I will make it to the end.
I started with the slow pace and gradually increased my speed; I settled whe
n I was normal with my pace. I did not stop for water at the first stall when I saw, I kept running keeping in my mind that I have to do this, after some 20 minutes of run that looked like eternity, I saw another water stall coming, it was inevitable not to take water from there, I was too thirsty and exhausted, I took a bottle of water and asked the volunteer what is the distance I covered, I stopped myself from throwing water on him with the anger when he said its just 4km, for the fact that so much effort just for 4km, instead I thanked him for water and thought to myself what if he was not here. I left Prashant behind telling him that I am moving forward as I knew he will pick up later and will be well ahead of me, he nodded and I moved on. Soon after that I saw best of the runners coming back, dran, I am so behind, though I was happy to see some of the best world runners and thanked my friend for brining me to this event.
Rest of the run went uneventfully with my mind kept me reminding that I have to doit, there were various people performing on the stages on the way. The co-runners were doing all shorts of things, some were dancing, some were busy taking pictures of each other, some were walking slowly and few were still looking very determined, running with the peace, I said to myself, keep moving I have to make it.
Something around the mid of the race near Rajpath someone was performing on guitar, then I got a pad on my back, I realized Prashant was here and he moved ahead and I nodded him to go ahead. Somewhere around the 16th km I was all exhausted and muscles in my leg started cramping, I wanted to walk out, go to my room and lie down on my bed to sleep, but I wished I could. Each km was taking a lot of toll on me and I took a water bottle each time I came across the stall.
When I was around 19th km I thought to myself, I think I can do it easily now, then I saw another co-runner on running with scream mask, symbolizing something I feared a bit, symbolizing the inevitable, talk with the girl in bus from Central Secretariat came to my mind, but I ignored and I waved him and he waved back.
I took some rest by walking fast instead of running till I saw the 20th km sign board. I started running again when I crossed it, it was only one more km to go and I was exhausted then ever before, I ran until it was just 100 meters left, then suddenly my eyes went to the clock just above finish line that said 10:27:46 am and I remembered that I read somewhere it was written that only those who could finish run before 10:30 am will get the certificate stating total time it took to finish the run, I did not want to go my efforts in vain, as every muscle in my body carved to rest, I gathered my all efforts and ran the finishing line with my hands in the air, ignoring all sounds, people moving around etc, and felt as if I have achieved my world, thinking that people are only cheering for me. Timing was recorded by interesting small chip timer tied to my shoe.
I have finished the marathon before time that took me around 2.5 hours, though I took a lot more time then Deriba Merga, who completed it within 59 min 54 seconds, it was my personal best and I was smiling inside for this achievement.
After collecting my finishing medal, I felt like I am the one who won the race. There was a sense of achievement, though it took me another one day to recover muscle cramps to be able to write this blog, but it was incidental and I think I am going to remember it as fresh as now for the rest of my life.
And this is what I got from Organizers "Congratulations Sanjiv on completing the 2009 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in a finish time of: 02:37:03".
And the certificate from ADHM 2009