Monday, November 27, 2006

Two Hours and Forty Minutes

I almost wasn’t allowed to run the half marathon. Five minutes before the run, this official comes up to me and says the number on my chest is meant for the 10 K run and not the half marathon. A small flare up, getting hold of an organizer, letting them know that I hadn’t come to the venue to run in some stupid 10 K run. Having them find an alternate chest number and safety pins (Mom had stitched my previous number) before the countdown for the run started.

The run was extremely enjoyable if you leave out the last couple of kms., which were a test of the mind as my legs were pleading me to slow down and walk. But that was one of the two things I had resolved not to do. The other was to look back.

The weather was wonderful, nay, charitable. A harsh sun later in the morning could have seeped out my last resolve, who knows. The old city of Hyderabad is enchanting. It’s a pity that one can hardly notice it in the daily chaos of the traffic. I got a rare opportunity to go around the Charminar on near empty roads and take in the sights. It was also fun watching the motor vehicles wait for a long, long time at busy intersections, as we runners trudged our way slowly over their roads. I felt a lot of bad vibes.

The race got extremely irritating at around the 15 km mark when we started sharing the track with the 10 K runners whose run had started an hour later. As every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane overtook me in every direction, I wanted to shout out, "Hey Bozos, show some respect! I am running the half!". But they wouldn’t have cared and it didn’t matter any way. I just put my head down and kept running.

My thanks to the volunteers, who handed out the water to me during the run. It kept me going. 0641-My chest number. They even gave me a certificate notwithstanding the fact that the guy who finished first could have done the run twice over in my time.

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