Since I had started running in India last year, I had not participated in any running event. I was eager to know what it must be like here, after all those fun and exhilarating runs in the Philippines. I got to know about a run called Pinkathon – a multi city, all women run, to raise awareness about breast cancer and promote fitness for women. I decided to participate in it. After all, it was for a good cause and offered an opportunity to run with Milind Soman. Apart from fact that he’s hot, Milind is one of the best amateur distance
Pinkathon Pre-run (or What a BORE!)
runners in our country today. There were a couple of pre runs (for both men and women) which were organised in collaboration with RunWithMe foundation across NCR. I couldn’t think of a better way to get to know the running community of Gurgaon. On race day, I reached just in time to take it all in – the buzz, chaos, excitement, a lot of pink, stretching, nervousness and of course Milind Soman on stage. How I loved it to be back running in a community again! The feeling was a little short-lived though. I was aware that not too many runners, specially women, had opted for the 10km and that there would be stretches where I might be running alone. Honestly, I was scared and didn’t want to run alone on the notorious roads of Gurgaon. As I started running, I tried to break ice with one of the runners since his pace matched with mine and in all earnestness, I told him about my fear. Not sure what he thought of me, but the guy just sped off, leaving me completely flabbergasted. My notion of “Delhiites have a bad attitude” was further affirmed. So there were indeed these long stretches where I was running alone but there were enough RWM volunteers around, giving me confidence to keep going. Around the 9th km, I was feeling strong, and therefore a tad positive – smiling at people who made eye contact. But it felt like people had forgotten their smiles at home!
I was among the first few to finish. I tried to strike up a conversation (the general weather, the run, the time etc.) with folks who had either finished their 5km early and other 10 km finishers. I was appalled! Nobody seemed to hear me. It was as if I didn’t exist…
I felt like an over enthusiastic, over friendly, but dirty puppy who nobody found cute enough to play with. I was nearly certain that I’m not going to enjoy running here. But that didn’t deter me from getting a nice picture clicked with the sweaty, sexy MS.
I left the venue with a heavy heart and a craving for some good running buddies.As it turned out, the pre run did help me after all. I was pleasantly surprised when Ankush (founder of Runbugs, a runners’ group in Gurgaon) got in touch with me a few days later. He asked if I would like to join them on their next long run, over the weekend. It was
an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I was finally beginning to find a fraternity I so wanted to be a part of.