The fifth edition of the Delhi Marathon took place in Delhi on Sunday, with over 22,000 runners lined up at the starting point, braving the early morning chills, and waiting to be flagged off by none other than the cricketing great, Sachin Tendulkar.
The event, held across four categories — Full Marathon of 42.2 km, Half Marathon of 21.1km, the 10K Timed Run and 5K Swacch Bharat Run — also had a few runners from Hyderabad, including Santhosh Bhadran, Jagan Reddy, Subham Mishra and Adhip Gupta, who were also among those who ran and completed it under 3 hours 20 minutes.
For Adhip, 35, the marathon was a mix of a couple of firsts. For starters, this was his first visit to Delhi. Secondly, this was also his first full marathon. Talking about how great it feels to be part of such a well-covered event, he says, “It’s very motivating to see people from various age-groups and people from different walks of life running here. But what stole the show for me was to see the visually challenged, people with artificial limbs, etc., running to keep up the marathon spirit.”
Surface, no tension
Unlike Adhip, Santosh, a 45-year-old banker, was running this particular marathon for the second time. So also, his reasons to run the marathon were a wee bit unlike that of Adhip. “Unlike in Hyderabad where the terrains are uneven and have lots of slopes, the track surface for the Delhi marathon is flat throughout. And the low elevation makes it easy for runners,” he explains.
But there was more than just the flat surface of the terrain that worked in favour of Santhosh, another runner from Hyderabad.
“I did not have to deal with humidity as the race started at 4 am and finished by 7 am. Moreover, it was very chilly, and as the race was wrapped up almost before the sunrise, my body didn’t get weary.” elaborates Santosh, who is a techie.
Shubham, 36, who had been preparing for the marathon for the past three months, believes that the flat track surface provided the runners with a great opportunity to achieve their Personal Best (PB). “This kind of track gives runners the chance to register their personal and career best timings,” explains Subham, who also believes that runners who want to qualify for international matches come to Delhi to improve their timing.
For Harshad Bhutada, 42, the joy of training and running together with friends is an experience that is second to none.
The software professional, who like Santosh, also took part in the marathon for the second time and has thrice run the Mumbai marathon, says, “I felt gratified and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.” For Arun Kalliapan, 44, a techie, the motivation to run-besides the very encouraging crowds and the wide roads-was the sights of the historical monuments along the road he was to take, such as India Gate, Rajpath and the Parliament. “That alone was a different kind of high for me. The wide roads further pushes the runners to give their best,” describes Arun.