I ran in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, the much awaited running event of the year, yesterday.
The weather was perfect, the atmosphere electrifying and buzzing with energy and the event was impeccably organised. High-fiving the runners on the way, looking at the Kenyans and Indian elite runners fly by, pausing to look at Rahul Bose and the Blade Runner, enjoying the beats of the dhol – I felt strong and happy during the 21 kms stretch.
But then the moment I reached the finish line, I kept hearing only one question – “Kitna?”. It was as if the whole stadium had just one conversation going – finish time. Is finish time the only thing that matters?
I understand we all have our target finish times and share them with our close running buddies. But is that all? Wouldn’t it be nicer and warmer to ask “Did you feel strong?”, “Did you enjoy your run?”, “How are you feeling post run?”, “Did you enjoy your first?”. When you meet in person, aren’t these better conversation starters? Bragging aur liking ke liye toh facebook hai hee.
By the time I was asked the same question the 10th time, I got cranky and started giving ridiculous responses. Running to me is sacred. Running is my form of recreation and fitness. Running is solace and meditation.
While we all may have started running for different reasons, those who have stuck to it certainly did because of our love for it. Somehow that love doesn’t come through in the post run/event conversations. It’s overtaken by just one aspect of the sport – time.