Preparing for the Delhi Half-Marathon

October 28, 2009

Running a 21-kilometre race is no joke, especially if you’re not an athlete by any stretch of imagination.

Thousands of websites offer advice on how to train, what to do and what not to. I’ve personally found most of them useless, considering that they don’t seem to understand the matrix of training in India, let alone Bangalore.

A big impediment to training, of course, is a full time job but preparing for a race in this metropolis known as “The Garden City” is an obstacle in itself.

Picture this! I’ve  dealt with pothole filled sidewalks, pollution caused by endless traffic jams, hostile stray dogs, Diwali firecrackers going off in every street corner and power failures that ensure I’m dancing and not running in the dark.

Last week, I was chased by a bull! At least the threat of a stone often scares away stray dogs.

On Saturday, I was one of 1,600 people who took part in the Nike Human Race 10 k. It wasn’t an unforgiving 4:30 pm sun on what was one of the hottest October days in the city in recent memory that hurt.

A ridiculous warm-up session turned out to be  aerobics promotion for a gym which left most runners tired before the race began.

I survived that and went on to clock 52 minutes and 36 seconds.

Considering that the average Bangalore person prefers the pub or the mall, many struggled to finish before the 6:30 pm deadline. Bangalore ranked 101st out of 105 cities in average time taken  to finish the race.

Now, four days to go before the big race, the New Delhi half marathon on Sunday.

Delhi’s pleasant early winter morning should help me run the 21k better.

There is also the incentive of running on better roads in the Lutyens layout of central Delhi.  Of course, the national capital, which resembles a giant construction site these days, is capable of springing its own surprises.

The Commonwealth Games 2010 committee are hoping to spring a pleasant one by completing the lagging preparations for the big event in October next year!


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hi Ajay,Good to know you are running 21km … I believe training for a big RUN tests your determination … and groups come to your rescue in enforcing discipline … People can find good community of runners within their locality on www.RunningAndLiving.comI would like to know what time you clock on 1st Nov.See you at ADHM on Sunday :)- Harsh

Posted by Harsh Thakkar | Report as abusive

The Delhi half marathon is a traditional affair. It not just tests your stamina but is a great way to connect with people huffing and puffing away along side you. The camaraderie between runners is truly something to watch.

Posted by Rituparna Bhowmik | Report as abusive

it would be very kind of u if could advice about some good websites which can help me in preparing for marathon

Posted by docvix | Report as abusive