Sunday, June 5, 2011

Laufen gut

Well, I can say that this was a good start to begin the monsoon this year. The weather was absolutely beautiful and it was a perfect day for running. I just want to post some of the random running thoughts that came to my mind while running this year's TCS World 10k Marathon. 

I entered at the Gate number 6 and it was completely crowded with corporate category runners. They were then sent to a different venue as the Gates 5 and 6 were for Open 10k runners. Initially I wondered at such a huge participation. 

We were about the start the run, I noticed a lot people jumping the fens rather than waiting in the queue to start the run. Policemen were trying to avoid those people but they hardly could succeed. I said to myself, we were supposed to be responsible citizens and what is the urgency to start the race when you know that the run will be anyway considered as per the start time at the first beep till the last beep? And I just moved on. I also overheard someone saying "The whole nation has this mindset of letting down themselves." (I have forgotten the actual words. But this is what he meant)

By the time I reached the flag off point, it was 8.10 am. And at the first beep I said to myself, 'you will finish the race.'

It was a beautiful day and a perfect weather for running. I went past 1 km mark and heard somebody saying, 'Hey, 1 km got over, lets go!'. I just continued to run.

Every 1 km the drinking water arrangement was made. But I did not feel like drinking at the first km. 

At the 3rd km there were a group of drummers playing the typical regional folk 'death beat' kind of stuff. It was a real motivator for many folks for sure. Instant energy listening to those beats and that kept me running.

Between the 4th and 5th km, I overheard a guy telling his friend - "dude!, there are so many people out here, and there are so many body shapes; each body is in a different shape. Some look like a pear, some are like mangoes and some are like apples." I looked at them and smiled. They laughed and I moved on. 

I wanted to stop at the 5th km and drink water. I did and I continued my run. (that was my first break; although I was running very slow)

A lot of people were walking. I was running. I had not given any other option to myself.

I gave the empty water bottle to a lady who was collecting all the bottles thrown away by many folks. She smiled at me. I smiled back. 

I noticed a guy with a T-shirt saying "Save Water" and saw him throw away water bottle with half the water left in it. I said to myself, I wish I had my camera to capture the ironical moment. I also thought whether people are ignorant of what they are trying to communicate? 

At the bus stop opposite to the Chinnaswamy stadium, a beautiful lady with her little kid were cheering for us. She was saying "Come on! you guys can do it". I said to myself, yeah! and continued to run.

I noticed a lonely crow sitting on the rain tree and watching us run. It looked cute.

At the 8th km, I saw Oranges on the table. It looked very tempting. I picked one and enjoyed eating it while running. 

When I was on the road in front of Vidhanasoudha, I noticed two wheel chair participants running faster than us and asking for the way. I said, it is all yours and cheered for them. 

There were huge flocks of doves flying in front of the High Court. May be they were cheering for us saying, just fly off. I said to myself, I wish I could. 

When I reached the Cubbon Park entrance, I stopped looking at the Km marks as I knew where the end point was. In fact my mind had already finished the race and it was just waiting for my body to complete it physically

Inside the Cubbon Park I noticed a small kid waving hands at us and cheering for us. I thought may be the kid was not aware of what exactly is happening. He might have thought this is an event to support Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev against the corruption. I thanked him anyway. 

I noticed a guy wearing a T-shirt saying "It is tough, Are you?" I said to myself - What is tough? 

When I was nearing the Cubbon Park exit gate towards the Hudson Circle, I noticed a group of old people cheering for us. I felt good. 

I was almost 300 meters away from the finish line and I noticed a guy wearing a T-shirt that said - "Born to run, forced to work". I agreed. 

Shakira was welcoming us with the famous Soccer World Cup 2010 song 'Waka Waka' which gave a perfect spirit to end my race. I touched the final beep and felt heavenly. 

I collected my finisher medal. And I asked for one extra bun to eat at the refreshment counter. I offered them to take back the glucose biscuit packet. They said they cannot. I said, ok sorry!

Today is supposed to be the World Environment Day and most of the people who took part in the event were (at least in my understanding) responsible citizens. But it was disheartening to see them waste water (people were celebrating their run by pouring water on themselves) and throw away plastic on the roads without even thinking that there are designated garbage bins (or at least search for it?). I am glad my friends Abhi and Kowshik tried telling them not to waste water. I tried telling the same to some folks. But I don't think it worked. 

Ich bin laufen gut! :)

And the eighteenth horse ran with me till the end!



Sudhi said...

Great man !

Keep running...

Anonymous said...

Congrats dude....

Imagine if this run was in Kalapattar and you were with TS. ;-)


Srik said...

@Madhu: haha! I know, I cant even imagine that! :)

Harish said...


Your description of things which remain unnoticed by many is excellent.At the end these so called "little things" matter a lot.My cheers to you for the run and for your narration.

Manjunath Byadigere said...

Hallo Srik,

Inspirierenden aufzuschreiben geck. Halten zu genießen.

Danke und Grüße.
Doc Manjunath.

Narasim said...

It is wonderful to see you sprint through 10 km in 70 minutes for a good cause.

The critical observation by a sincere participant about several people jumping the starting line is right on target. It seems as though we have a fear of success and constantly disappoint ourselves. The avoidance of start line is also indicative of a more profound problem. We want to take short cuts in all things. Bribing to short circuit the regular process is the most egregious example of our character. Why is it so important to bypass the start line and time in a run for a good cause?

The person wearing the T-Shirt emblazoned with SAVE WATER throwing away a bottle with water is a classic example of saying one thing and meaning something else. He, of course, was following in the foot steps of Adi Shankara (trad. 780 - 820), the brilliant writer on Advaita (non-dualism) Vedanta. Shankaracharya had no trouble explicating the unity of all, sarvam khalvidam Brahma (all this is Brahman) and other Upanishadic ideas about Brahman but when it came to dealing with an ex-Untouchable on the street he behaved in the same bigoted way that so many Indians do to this day. There is something in our gene pool that makes us mean one thing and say another thing. Sad indeed.

Reading your nice Blog was heartening because so many people were taking the time, making the effort, and displaying talent in support of a global cause. My admiration goes out to you all.

By the way, I stand corrected. I was under the mistaken impression that Kowshik Nimbkai only ran up vertical rock cliffs. Thanks to you, I now know that he can run on horizontal ground.

Srik said...

@Doc: Danke!

@Narasim: Thank you for the comment. Although I clocked 70 min from gate to gate, the official timing is about 80 mins. The delay was because of the initial rush of people going out of the gate which was very slow.

Vaishnavi said...

Hey good to read that you ran the race. Sounds like fun. I was supposed to be there to cover it, but couldn't because of the 'midnight misadventure' in Delhi!

Srik said...

ah ok! I was actually looking for you just to pose at your camera! ;)

What is this 'midnight misadventure'? sounds like fun!