When at 4:08 AM, I left for running a marathon on my now familiar route including the Beach road, my mind was on my many running friends who must be preparing for their 5:40 AM start at the Mumbai marathon. I had taken a decision after the Auroville marathon at the beginning of this year not to participate in any paid events.
It was initially a knee jerk reaction to the boredom of having done each of the major events three to four times and finding them no longer challenging. The added problems of travel, stay and diet (Vegan to boot!) only made me more resolute in my renunciation. I did miss the crowd cheer and the atmosphere. Having moved to a city with a popular running culture, every day of my morning run has been like a miniature version of one of the organized runs. Occasional visit by runner friends from other cities have ensured that I don’t miss company. I found the overheads for running for less than four hours to be too much in most of the organized runs of today. I find the Expo and events preparatory to the run too cloying with commercial overtones that the benefits of being able to compare notes with runner friends too small a compensation. The exorbitant price tag and travel have decided it for me now. All said and done missing Mumbai marathon was heart wrenching and my thoughts during the run on Sunday were with the runners in Mumbai.
I was not expecting to see many runners in my run today, but, I found good company of @Srikumar Rengarajan He met me just after the War memorial when I was on my third four kilometer loop and on the way to the Napier bridge. I still had two stretches from Lighthouse to Napier bridge and the run back home to complete my quota of a full marathon. He immediately abandoned his run and joined me. He was with me from Napier bridge to Light house and one more loop from Lighthouse to Napier and back. We had interesting discussion on the Hindu Lit Fest and religion.
I finished the last loop where I met one regular who stopped me to find out the route and distance I run each day. Neither of us got the others name, as they say ‘Jaat Na Poocho Saadhu Ki’. On the way back I was feeling strong and despite humidity opted to not take the water break at AVM choultry. I met @Jayendra Soni near Valluvar Kottam near the finish. I finished the run at 8:24 AM and it was a creditable 4:16 hour marathon.