Hiranandani Thane Half Marathon “7 kms Green Run”
With my routine work going on, I glanced across my tablet which was bright all of a sudden with a pop-up notification ‘Reminder: HTHM 7 kms Green Run Marathon’. I had added the reminder so as to make sure I do not schedule anything on this date of 16th February 2014.
It was my first marathon, a 7kms green run!
I had not prepared, neither mentally, nor physically for it and to be very honest, I absolutely had no clue how to plan or go about it. All the more reason, I was still unsure on 15/2/2014 whether I would go for the same.
My brother Anand, had registered for both of us and neither of us had remotely been prepared for what was to follow. Well, let me not make it sound like it was a horrid experience, it was actually superb, simply wonderful and awesome, but we did not honestly expect that either.
Why? Well, like I said, we had absolutely no clue of what was to be expected from this benevolent event organized by Hiranandani.
We left at 5am from Mulund west heading towards Hiranandani Thane for the marathon and we were half way en-route when we realized that we did not have to ask for directions as the roads were clogged with traffic as scores of vehicles were rushing towards the venue for the same. We could tell, since most of the drivers and others with them in the cars had their bibs from the event already pinned to their tees.
Well, at least we knew we were on the right track and so we continued. There were superb parking facilities made available and we then headed towards the starting line.
We were probably among the 500th in the line as we looked around the place which was sparkling and gleaming with the runners smiles and joys, the music,display of lights, beautiful exhibition of garden flowers well orchestrated with colourful lights and balloons all around the venue.
First was the Half marathon which started at around 6am and the runners began with a loud cheer of “Yes! We are ready.”
We awaited our turn and at around 6:30 am we, the “Green Runners” took off with the same zeal and spirit. It took me and my cousin about 5 to 8 minutes to get out of the massive crowd and actually start running. Did I tell you we were really not prepared? Oh yes, I did……
Well, our goal was, when we started, merely to be able to finish the 7 kms run somehow or the other, but I am unable to zero-in on the exact reason behind the energy that we suddenly seemed to have had at that particular moment somehow looking at the massive crowd filled with so much verve, that, well, we just kept running.
The arrangements were beautiful throughout as the volunteers were everywhere helping everyone out and giving directions. There were many volunteers who were cheering all of us as we crossed each milestone of one kilometer with loud cheers of “you guys are doing great’, ‘don’t stop and yes keep running’ and ‘yes, that’s it another kilometer done, keep pushing guys, great job’.
In just about 15 minutes or so we found ourselves quite ahead in the crowd as we could see scores of runners slowing down every now and then or slowly starting to take longer and quicker strides instead of running and there were few who had decided, that well, its time to start walking from here onwards till the finish line. Whatever was their decision, their spirit and the energy levels in the atmosphere was tremendous. And most importantly, it was contagious.
We did not stop at all and we kept on pushing. Soon, I saw a sign which said, 3 Kms more to finish line and I could not believe myself. All I had planned for the day was to merely show-up and somehow walk and finish the 7 kms marathon green run and here we were, running and already completed more than half the target run.
I don’t know about others, but these sign boards throughout the area played a crucial part in keeping me geared and charged at all times to keep running and not stop anywhere in between.
There were water bottles, juice bottles being handed over to the runners throughout the journey by the volunteers. There were medics, ambulance, volunteers all around looking carefully at all the runners, just to make sure everyone was doing ok.
Finally, I saw the sign that said I could slow down for a minute or two and drink the water that I was carrying with me. The sign said, ‘1 km to finish line’. I paused from my pace, but I was still walking, freshened up with a bottle of water and just then I saw two elderly people on the opposite side who were part of the run too. The whole area for the green runners was planned in a way wherein runners could see those ahead and behind them across few selected ‘u-turns’. Looking at the elderly couple who were merely just about 2 kms behind me, I got re-energized and started running again.
And then yes, I saw the most beautiful sign I could ask for at that point of time “500 meters to finish line” and I started pacing and I finished the 7 kms Green run with a smile on my face.
The best part about the whole thing was, I was still fresh, not at all exhausted or tired and stood there eagerly waiting for my cousin who joined me at the finish line soon enough. I did what any social media enthusiast today would do. First things first, I uploaded my picture on facebook and tweeted about it too @AnanthV9!
We then headed back towards the car park area, but there was a surprise waiting for the runners. The HTHM team had also arranged for a quick breakfast for everyone out there. It was a neatly packed healthy breakfast which we peacefully sat and ate at one of the park benches at the beautiful Hiranandani estate area. The breakfast was nothing fancy, but more than what was needed at that point of time. We were completely refreshed.
Did you run in this marathon? Have you tried running in any marathon? Feel free to share your marathon experience with me here. Would love to hear from all of you. And if you have tips for me to prepare for any upcoming marathon, do share the comments on that too.
It was a wonderful experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much that I am now looking forward eagerly for my next run.
But rest assured, I will be prepared in every manner possible, both mentally and physically the next time so as to be able to make it a much more wonderful experience. Most importantly, someday even try for the half marathon.
This marathon was in support of our Indian Hockey team.
God bless those guys and I hope they make it happen this year! All the best to them and thanks to Hiranandani (Corporate and team) for organizing such a wonderful event.
Have a wonderful day ahead.
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