New Delhi (Half) Marathon

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I ran my 9th half marathon last Sunday in central Delhi. This is the first time roads of Delhi were blocked for a full marathon. The event was supported by Adidas and sponsored by IDBI. They had organized many training runs prior to the event to create a buzz and most runners I know had registered for it. Sure, quite a few of them didn’t turn up on D day because by Feb end, everyone is exhausted and lethargic after participating in Bangalore half/full, ADHM and SCMM. The winter cold also makes training difficult. I was excited about the event but it was a disappointment.

  • The event started on time which was very, very good. I hit the road at 6.10 am- the scheduled time
  • The expo was small and I prefer it that way. Who shops for shoes and running clothes one day before the event?
  • The tee shirt quality is very good and so is the fit.
  • The problem started during hydration. There were no bottles of water. A runner does not stop and gulp down water. We carry bottles and sip along the way or stop on the way to sip water. When water is served in a glass, there is the pressure to stop and drink it even if you are not thirsty because who knows when the next hydration point will come
  • The glasses were being washed in dirty water and we all had to share glasses which I hate. I don’t even like KC drinking from the my glass though his logic is that putting my tongue in his mouth is more unhygienic and maybe I should stop doing that first. I had a hard time with hydration and if the organizers had mentioned it earlier, would have carried my own bottle of water
  • There were no kilometre markers on the road. This is very, very strange because at every event you know how many kms you have run. And in the last kilometre, the markers are at every 100 metre. I wanted to check the accuracy of my Tom Tom watch but couldn’t.
  • The breakfast was good but I skipped it
  • When I left at 9 am, I saw full marathoners alone on the road running along with the traffic. This pissed me off the most

When I plan a long run (and I have run 27 km at a stretch) I plan everything perfectly – route, time, hydration, post run breakfast, traffic conditions. I have never had an issue while running alone. So, it pisses me off when brands make us pay for the event and can’t make basic arrangements. It seems like they take things very lightly. I pay 1000 bucks to be able to run on a good route without worries. So, when I see people dealing with traffic while they are running their first full marathon, it makes me very angry.

I have decided not to run in events which are lax with their arrangements. Why take a risk with my life and waste my time?


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