It has been almost 3 months when I completed the Half marathon. Yes, I did complete the run; 21.6 KMs in 2 hours 30 minutes on 20th January and then left running for good :). After all it was only a temporary hobby. I have to thank wonderful people of Mumbai who came out of their home on a Sunday morning just to cheer the runners all along the running route providing banana, buiscuits, water and different kind of juices. Around Haji Ali, I also saw one guy offering Samosas to the runners :). The whole environment was energetic, be it the motivation with which all the runners came to the venue early at 4.30 AM or be it the sheer number of people who actually turned out to run. I also have to mention the amazing arrangements done all along the marathon route. Kudos to the management.
Last but not the least, I have to thank that stranger who helped me in clocking this time. Well this stranger, a pretty girl in her mid twenties, nudged me around 4th kilometer when I was slowing down at the end of the Bandra-Worli sea-link. This also came with an advice to keep on running and not to stop. I was not surprised as that kind of support from fellow runners was visible all along the marathon route. It amazes me that, this was a crowd of which every individual wanted to clock his/her best timing and yet managed to find time to motivate others and cherish the fact the fellow runners are also at their best. Now continuing the story of stranger, when I slowed down again at the end of 5th kilometer after coming out of the sea-link; surprisingly the same stranger met me again with the same smiling face and same advise not to stop. Well how did I respond, I told her that now onward I will run with her till the end of the race and asked her if that is ok :).
Pretty and benevolent she was; she smiled, then I smiled and I ran along with her till the 19th
Kilometer and then suddenly she vanished at the sharp corner of marine drive. It was very crowdy and losing sight of someone is not that difficult. To add to it, I was so tired that I didn't even notice her missing and kept on pushing myself to the finish line. I finally clocked 2 hours and 30 minutes, immediately went to the makeshift tent after the finish line and put lots of ice on the legs. It was only then when i realized that neither did I ask her name nor did I see her bib number. So no way to trace her afterwards. I wanted to thank that girl as I pushed myself a bit harder and saved some 15 minutes just by trying to keep up with her pace. Afterwards I went to the Leopold cafe with some friends, had good breakfast, then headed home and slept for good. This running saga too ended for good.
So that was the story of how I ran half marathon in less than three hours, my initial target with least possible training.
Just to keep it ticking, I will write more frequently now. May be about movies I see, books I read etc etc..