Well – me and 27,000 other participants did it!
We participated in the Half Marathon in New Delhi on Sunday, and in true Indian style it was colorful loud and fun and very participatory!
The true athletes took off at 630 in the morning – long gone by the time the Dream Team dashed out amidst great fan fare at 945 – in fact a Rwandan had already taken first before we took off -advice from experienced dream teamers – a fashion model and Delhi socialite, a head of an NGO, an architect, - not an athlete among them -said run for the first kilometer wave at the cameras and stay to the side so you don’t get run over.
This proved to be good advice as the Indian Air force team was breathing down my neck at take off and these people ARE fit!
I ran with a great burst of enthusiasm out of the gate with backward looks for my own company team [some 10,000 souls or so behind me. Eventually ‘Shiv’ in his new running shoes flew by me with a cheerful ‘ hi Ma’am!’ and he was the leader of our pack from there on in, my son Lee, at 6 feet towering over most of the participants could not be spotted in the crush of people, eventually I saw three of my pattern masters in a bunch – we had a brief chat and jogged on, Tarun our in-house artist dashed by at a respectable pass, and Jai head of IT was kind enough to slow jog with me for a while, my head of finance Satish kindly walked with me a while and eventually with my face apparently glowing red , I found the finish line and the Cornell team hip hip hoorayed ourselves for completing the run!
To say that there were all levels of participation would be an understatement – there were wheelchair runners, a senior citizen contingent, many corporate groups, enthusiastic children -the Mary Kaye branch was wearing pink wigs, Vodafone runners [ the primary sponsor ] had smart red track suits, Tata – the national car manufacturer had people with cardboard cars around their necks and many runners just looked good in their new shoes and sponsors caps.
Thanks to all of you for helping me and the Cornell Overseas team contribute more than 6500.00 through the Giving World Foundation and Concern India. This money will support street schools for illiterate children, a mobile crèche for children on construction sites and a school for 300 first generation learners, to name only three of the worthy projects involved.
From my part it was a blast and I hope to do it again next year with an even higher goal – no not the time clocked – the money raised.
Thanks for your generosity – you are part of the circle of success, giving a hand up, not a hand out to people in need.