Mumbai Marathon – Losing steam?

An eager onlooker? 

At 7 in the morning when I walked down the road I was amazed to find the street corner alive with cheerleaders, regular cheerers and of course the runners of the half marathon who had started off from Bandra .  Most of  the runners looked exhausted already and I can imagine it must be quite a trudge – getting up early to be at the starting point, then running down the sea link and finally huffing up Cumballa Hill to get to the Woodlands’ Cheering station.

Kinnous supplied by Kingfisher
to quench the thirst

Woodlands has always been known for its raucous cheerers and many participants actually felt enthused and inspired to go for the last lap after hearing their lusty cries. This year the cheerleaders from Sophia College were joined in by the street children from the flyover below  who matched them shake for shake and cheer for cheer. Nargish turned her nose up at the urchins and “chokra boys” we couldn’t deny the fact that it was their street and their space that was actually being invaded. Apart from the Deejay who changed “Chamak challo” to “We are the Champions” to announce the arrival of the professional runners, there were by standers who cheered, and whistled and hooted , passing freshly peeled kinnous and bottles of water to the runners while they themselves feasted on hot samosas, jalebis and cups of tea and coffee.

 

Golden Mataji? 

As usual, people run for different reasons – some because they like to run, others because they have a cause. I wonder what this flag bearing runner was running for? I saw another lady, clean shaven and bare footed, running for a cause while another man was dressed like Sai Baba and another like a Golden Goddess . The professional runners were heralded by helicopters,

Running with the National Flag
The professional Marathoners running by

Yesterday evening while walking down Marine Drive, Hubby Dear and I came across some serious preparations for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon which has become a marathon event in itself over the last 10 years. When it first started out, it was almost entirely amateur race with several people I knew actually entering for a lark , casually transferring their daily run on the Race Course to a half marathon. Many gave up after that first attempt, while others continued, becoming more determined to better their performance and dedicating themselves to a regular training program.

A patrolling helicopter sharing air
space with the Mumbai kites

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has proved to be an enduring event , eagerly looked forward to by Mumbaikars and professional marathoners alike.

This year with around 25,000 entries in all categories, the race is proving to get bigger and bigger each year. Luckily this year our city is enjoying some bracing weather and for runners it has been a sheer treat.

Despite the numbers, the hype and the effort, something was missing in the race this year. By 10 am , the  street corner wore a deserted look with just a few by standers left, with empty chairs and a dirty street to wish the runners well.

 

The actual denizens of the street, dancing to Hollywood beats

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Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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