This is a tribute to the ‘spirit’ of Mumbai when it ran for varied causes on 18 January 2009.

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1. Wheelchair event – 2.5 Kms – for the specially-abled brave hearts

2. Senior citizen’s run – 4.3 Kms.

3. Dream run – 6 Kms – for a breed of people known as celebrities (err! Not mouthshut celebrities) who like to SHOW & socialize at the same time, and also for those who think pink is the new red. No wonder this attracted the most number of participants!

4. Half marathon – 21.097 Kms

5. THE marathon – 42.195 Kms – I participated in this.

The eventThe spirit of Mumbai was so evident right from the morning itself. We reached the assembly point at Azad maidan at 5.50 and it was busting with energy. All happy faces, some clicking pics, some cracking jokes, some carrying a placard with 26/11 messages, some running for an NGO and all of this accompanied with loud music (I wonder the take of the residents in the nearby vicinity on loud music!)

The run started at 6.40 (for the slow runners like me) and 7.40 (for the professional runners). Since the half marathon and full marathon participant’s had to start from the same point, it was a bit chaotic in the beginning but the moment we came out on the sparkling roads, the kid-like enthusiasm of the runners overtook everything and we were all running, clapping, hands in the air…(some weirdos posing for the cameras..and shouting – mummy mummy!)Courtesy Radio mirchi, the entire marine drive was buzzing with music (I wasn’t complaining!). cherry on the top was the Dhol-band from Punjab cheering every runner.

I remember some people stopped for a quick bhangra jig. All in all fun! It was so overwhelming to see people on both sides of roads, cheering, kids shouting – run Mumbai run! There were some people near peddar road who were out of their houses with lots of bananas, biscuits, energy drinks and water to help the runners regain the energy.There were two choppers following the marathon, at least 5 ambulances and 10-12 bikes which were always with the runners to take care of any unpleasant incident on the way. I must mention that the sound of choppers is just so mmmmmmm! Okay back to marathon nowNear shivaji park, there were some kids who started running with us and clapped our hands…that was quite sweet! Add to it the fact that we were running on empty, sparkling clean roads of Mumbai early in the morning and you will understand what I mean. It was like a peaceful walk on the streets of Mumbai!

Things I liked

1. The arrangements were top-notch. The moment one felt the need for water/medical attention, it was there. Thumbs up for that!

2.The participation from the on-lookers and informal cheerleaders (it takes a lot to wake up at 6 in Mumbai to cheer others and serve them at the same time!)

3. There was absolutely no stupidity going on by the onlookers as far as the fairer sex is concerned. In fact they were cheering them more than they were cheering the guys!

4.Cannot forget the goody bag and the bib that Standard chartered gave the participants – The registration fee was INR 300 and the stuff they gave away in the goody bag was worth over INR 2000 (I know this quite a ‘cheap observation’ but I couldn’t help mentioning this!)

5. Special word of thanks for the Asian medical institute staff. A quick foot massage with ice and a relief spray (for routine non-runners like me) was so so relieving!

Things I missed

1. iPod – I am still living below poverty line, so cannot afford it, but it would have been a fantastic companion.

2. They should have kept the registration for the half marathon open for long.

Tips in case you want to participate for a run

1. Before running, acclimatize for at least 15-20 days by running on the road rather than the gym

2.Take high calorie diet before and after the run (for a week). This will ensure quick recovery of torn muscles after the marathon

3. For non-regular runners, participate in half marathon first and then move on to the full marathon

4.Buy good pair of shoes with ample cushion (preferably Nike Air)🙂

5. Do NOT wear cottons while running…the sweat makes the cloth heavy and after that it’s irritating and tiring at the same time!

6. If you participate for this marathon next year or in future, no need to carry water/refreshments..plenty of help is on offer!You will get all sweaty and tired..but trust me the exprience is as close to liberation as you can imagine..Please leave your rating and comments on this post.

Feel free to point out anything I have missed/mis-represented.