Twenty-seven-year-old Dheepesh Bhatt enjoys working out just as much as he enjoys partying. But tired of the same old rut of going out every weekend, he decided to mix fitness and socialising to create The Midnight Run. Every fortnight, the city’s insomniacs join him in 5 – 10 kilometre run around Mumbai’s popular promenades and streets.
“Running at night is much better. The weather’s cool, the city is quiet and the traffic is less,” Bhatt says. The first run took place at Marine Drive where about 15 people ran from The Oberoi Hotel to Peddar Road; the second event was organised at the Carter Road promenade in Bandra.
“We ran from the Otters Club to Pali Hill, Bandstand and up to the Mount Mary Church,” says Bhatt, stressing on the fact that the city presents ample spaces that double up as decent running tracks. “We ran up slopes and hills. About 15 people turned up, and it was great fun.”
Apart from serving the purpose of being a fitness exercise, these runs also allow people to meet like-minded others. He also plans to cash in on the Mumbai Marathon hype. “I got bored of partying after a while. Last Saturday, when we went for the run, some of us actually went and got a beer after. The idea is to have fun and keep that balance,” says Bhatt, who also trains various Bollywood actors for their roles in films like Band Baaja Barat and the forthcoming, FALTU. Meant for people who enjoy running and can’t make time for it during the week, this programme is free for anyone to join.
Bhatt, who runs a fitness studio called CrossFit in Juhu, will also be giving people tips on running during the weekend. “Many people complain about never having run in their life. So after I see their technique, I help them get it right. That’s what I do at my studio. CrossFit is what you do to get better at a sport,” says the fitness enthusiast, who will take the midnight runners to Worli this weekend. “I map out a new route every fortnight and put it up on my Facebook page. We will run about 7- 8 kilometres, starting from the end of the Sea Link.”
Next in line is a cycling programme. “People just need some time to buy their own set of wheels, then we can start the cycling routine as well,” says a hopeful Bhatt.