I have always looked forward to running Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I used to think its energy and vibe is one the best that such events can offer – until I ran SCMM for the first this year. In Mumbai, a city where I was told people are indifferent and “no-nonsense”, I was pleasantly met with folks in huge numbers, who had no reason for being there, come out and enthusiastically cheer for total strangers. It was heart-warming to say the least. In fact the overall experience of the event was so good that I didn’t feel the need to put on my head phones even once. Here is why I think every Delhi runner actually all runners should run SCMM atleast once –
1) You get to run 5.6 km on the scenic Bandra-Worli sea link.
2) Only in Mumbai would crowds at the 5th km mark shout out “only 37Km to go”. Only 37? Yeah, right! But love them for saying it.
3) For the two cool zones in the last 5 km stretch at 30 degrees with harsh sun shining down on you.
4) People of all ages offering food – dates, oranges, watermelon, biscuits, chocolates – and even ice; and cheering you during the entire stretch of 42km!
5) You get to distract yourself at the Peddar road incline by talking about the ugliness of Antilia with a fellow runner. And once again on your way back if you are running the full!
6) You will find kids most enthusiastic about giving high fives as you cross Mahim. And if you miss one of them and they shout – “Arre! Miss kar diya Aunty!!”
7) You get a glimpse of Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali, Chowpati, Queen’s Necklace – all in one run. (And twice if you running the full!)
8) People hold up funny placards to keep you going…my favourite being – “Run fast! I just farted!”
9) Post the run, you get a chance to bring the roof down at excellent hangouts like Café Leopold and Café Mondegar.
10) Women runners get a free volini massage and stretching by Reebok instructors.