Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tagged in Dare to Run

I never wrote down the experience of my first full marathon but was pleasantly surprised yesterday to find out that Amit Sheth's book - Dare to Run - has an anecdote that involves me running my first 42.2 Km at Auroville'10.

Relevant excerpt from the book: 

"Many of the runners were first-timers and at 30-35 Km mark I saw them walking with their heads hanging, totally drained of all energy. Although young and strong, these chaps had made the mistake of starting out too fast and consequently they crashed around this mark. I saw one real hunk, walking the walk of death and when I reached alongside him, I saw the dazed and disoriented look on his face. He was taller than I was and much more muscular and he was soaked in sweat as it was now very hot and humid in the forest. On my asking, he told me that it was his first marathon and that he was from Hyderabad. I told him that he had run exceptionally well to this point, this being his first race, and that no matter how many marathons he ran in the future, he would never forget this race. I told him that what will make it special for him is the memory that he ran through the pain and discomfort and these miles will make him strong. When I finished my little speech, something just turned on inside this guy and he sprinted off. I could not keep up with him, but was happy to see him run strong. 
I later saw him at the 41st Km marker and he was once again walking the walk of death. I was about 10 feet behind him and I called out and said, "Hey Hyderabad, come on man, you are looking good, you are strong, come on, you want to run last Km strong. You will always remember that you ran the last km of your first marathon with your head held high!" Without looking back, this guy sprinted out of my sight. I laughed when I saw him sprint ahead; it was great feeling. As I crossed the finish line, I saw him standing to my right. He came up and said "Thank you!". I just loved that moment.
He introduced himself as Sachin."

I remember talking to Amit during that Auroville run. He was training for Comrades (http://www.comrades.com/) - an 89 Km Ultra Marathon in South Africa, which is even more difficult that it already sounds. He (along with his wife) later finished the Comrades that year on his second attempt.

P.S. Will get down to read the whole book in few days and will post a review thereafter.
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