In April 2014 I joined a group of runners with an intention of completing the 10km run in The Wipro Chennai Marathon 2014 some 8 months later. Today a day before the TWCM it all feels quite anticlimactic and strangely the excitement of the first race is no longer there. I have already completed 2 Half marathons of which 1 was a trail marathon and 1 10 km run and I am now encouraging new comers to run their first 10km race well. What is more, the group that I run with got named as Tower Twisters and is now over 100 members strong with nearly 40 runners meeting and running regularly.
There are many reasons for both the developments but in hindsight I would like to think it is the selflessness of some members especially the senior members of the group who were willing to sacrifice their personal time so that a new comer could run. The term senior refers not the actual age of the member but their age with reference to their running life and some senior runners could be younger than me in actual age. These runners do not mind running slower to ensure that the struggling new comer is able to finish his / her run, always generous with a word of appreciation and tips for better running. All these and more with a smile and usually they get nothing in return except maybe a grateful smile from the tired but excited new runner. Something similar will happen during the actual race when dedicated runners will don the role of a “Pacer” to guide new comers to the finish in the planned time.
It has been an amazing journey and I have lost around 14 kilos somewhere on the way to CSI Ewarts school during these 8 odd months. I have had to visit my tailor to get my ill- fitting clothes altered, incidentally clothes I wore a decade ago fit me again well almost as I have dropped one size. I am having fun as I run and I am able to chat with new runners and gently pull them along to their first landmark. In a way Iguess I am doing a lit bit of pacing too. Along the way I still get mentored by senior runners, still learn to run better, still make new friends and generally have a good time.
Another development is that now I am also cycling and have discovered that it is fun. I have completed a 120km odd cycle ride recently and I know this will not be the last. I am part of an awesome cycling group that started as an offshoot of running and is now a complete team on its own strength. In the months ahead I will finally complete my long delayed and twice discontinued swimming classes for which a new time has started. All along this journey someone is there with a smile to take me further.
If someone had asked me at the same time last year, you know the time when resolutions are made to be usually broken if I will run a race or cycle I would have probably laughed them off. Today I will say “sure why not?.”
It all starts with a single step…
I took mine on April 2nd 2014, how about you?