“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon”.
I had read this a long time back, but shifting from one city to another kept my running enthusiasm to running a mile only. While I was in Mumbai, had heard about Marathons a lot. Mumbai is one of the cities that hosts numerous such marathons and half-marathons. But it had to be Pune where I start my marathon journey. And it’s just a start.
The group “Earn Blessings” that I am part of posted that there was a Marathon for Breast Cancer awareness. Being an enthusiast I quickly checked the running categories which were 3 km, 5km, 10 km and 21 km (half-marathon) categories, and being a novice in running a marathon I thought it would be better if I take part in 5 km category.
Though I run on alternate days and for 5 km on an average, I didn’t want to be over ambitious and go for 10 km category. One of the reasons behind it was I wanted to taste the waters first, I wanted to check if I could do the 5 km run easily or not. I didn’t want to be in a position of being over-zealous, take part in 10 km category and find myself huffing and puffing at the end line. So 5 km it was.
The marathon was on the morning of 31st Jan 2016, and the start line was Police Ground, FC Road, Pune. The start time for 5 km was 6:40 AM and the call time was 06:00 AM. I along with two friends of mine (Varsha and Sarang) arrived at Police Ground to find ourselves lost in a huge crowd dancing and warming up on the tunes of some catchy Bollywood music. The ambience was full of energy, every one was pumped up to run and were waiting for the starting whistle.
At 6:45 AM starting whistle was blown for 5 km runners and 5 minutes after that for 3 km runners. With an ambition and determination that I would complete this run in less than half an hour was what propelled me and helped me maneuver through a sea of runners.
A healthy competition is something that exists in marathons and it propels you to do more. This is something that lacks when you are running alone. Though self motivation to better oneself has to be there anyway, but when someone is running along side you and is challenging you it adds a pinch of salt to the recipe. And that’s exactly what they say about Marathons.
I didn’t have a time chip to check how much time I took to complete the run precisely but after reaching when I checked I was astonished; I had taken 24 minutes to complete 5 km run bettering my daily time for the same distance by almost 10 minutes.
After the run was completed, we were given medals to acknowledge our achievements in completing a run and different banners were kept there to click your photos with. There were different banners for 3 km runners, 5 km, 10 km and half marathoners. And it wasn’t surprising to find people lined up to click their photos in front of the banners, flaunting their medals and satisfaction oozing through their smiles.
It was a fantastic experience to run in a marathon. It’s a late start to participate in a marathon, but nevertheless a start J And we resolve to attend all the marathons that will happen in and around our city.
Next marathon that is happening in Pune will happen on 28th February 2016. If you are free and around, please do attend. It’s FREE for everyone.