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Delhi, in the long run

delhi Updated: Nov 10, 2008 01:29 IST
Ritika Chopra
Ritika Chopra
Hindustan Times
New Delhi

It was an event that might have temporarily stalled the Capital’s slide towards flabdom. And strangely, it happened on the proverbial lazy day — Sunday.

Armed with determination, a little over 26,000 Delhiites chose to veer from their normal Sunday routine and kick-started their day with a strenuous run in the heart of the city.

They were all in it together, but for reasons of their own. While, for some, the 21-km Delhi Half Marathon was their only hope of burning the festive (read Diwali, Eid and Dussehra) fat, for others it was an attempt to discover their latent athletic abilities. For the health freaks, the race was just an extended version of their exercise routine.

Like any marathon, this endurance run, too, took its toll on many of the participants.

Friends who started together were separated halfway thanks to the competitively inclined among them. They were reunited only later with the aid of the all-mighty tracking device — the mobile phone.

Families, in contrast and predictably, stuck together.

“My friend is way ahead of me. I just couldn’t keep up with her pace,” said 20-year-old Leena Mehta, even as she pleaded with her friend on the cell phone to slow down for her.

Apart from youngsters and adults like Mehta, who huffed and limped their way to the finish line, the race had quite a few enthusiastic participants.

The latter were easy to spot from the not-so-enthusiastic, as they didn’t spare even a moment to interact with journalists.

“I am feeling quite dizzy actually, but thanks for asking,” snapped an angry man at a young reporter’s concern about how he was feeling.

No matter how painful and strenuous the race was, it did send practically everyone home feeling happy.

While some were elated over their achievement of completing the entire 21-km route, the unsuccessful went home eagerly looking forward to the rest of their Sunday and to do what they do best on the lay day of the week — sleep.