Monthly Archives: October 2015

Run Mumbai Run – article in Mid-Day

Article in Mid-Day dated 27th October, 2015 by Dipanjan Sinha

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/health-social-media-savvy-mumbaikars-run-together/16635183

A long-distance run was once a solitary activity; lonesome silhouettes would rhythmically jog through roads before the crack of dawn with little company or cheering. But now, with social media and the increased popularity of hitting the tarmac, the Mumbai runner is no longer flying solo in his/her achievements to cover that extra mile or to improve timings. – See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/health-social-media-savvy-mumbaikars-run-together.

New-age running apps like Runkeeper and Runtastic and social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter have turned this community into a close knit one, where they share hurdles, achievements, and routes across a space-starved metropolis. Be it Thane or Borivali, Shivaji Park or Worli, city runners are going the extra mile to help others with routes (check map) and challenges, and to announce upcoming events, informs Mumbai-based runner, Girish Mallya, who some of his running comrades call the Running King of Mumbai. – See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/health-social-media-savvy-mumbaikars-run-together.

Mallya, 39, a marathon runner for 15 years now, has completed several marathons, multi-stage ultra marathons and completed the Marathon Des Sables, titled the toughest footrace in the world. He says that they announce all major events on Facebook and Twitter. New runners from different parts of the city get help from the other: be it how to treat knee pain after a long run or what could be a possible running route in congested parts of Santacruz. – See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/health-social-media-savvy-mumbaikars-run-together.

“We post details such as timing on social media platforms. For details about the run, I use apps like Runkeeper, which is now very popular in India and hence a lot of my friends are on it. I also use Pumatrac, which has good social media integration,” informs the media professional. – See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/health-social-media-savvy-mumbaikars-run-together.

City on the run
Mallya is a part of the Facebook group Mumbai Road Runners that has 3,527 members and is bustling with activity about upcoming running events like the Bandra NCPA Half Marathon powered by Tirumala Mulund 10K Run on November 1. “Mumbai Road Runners is one of the premier Facebook groups that connects several runners in the city and away. But there are smaller groups spread across the city that connects runners from those areas,” he adds.

In the far-flung eastern suburbs, Kalyan Dombivli Runners (KDR) has a promising 167 members. A member of this group, Mandar Kakade, a 33-year-old finance professional, informs that they usually train on the Badlapur highway. “The stretch is of almost 19 km with good inclines necessary for training. We train there every Sunday. We also have a Whatsapp group where we talk about various events to participate in, the experiences during the run and post-run feedback.

There are plenty of motivational ideas exchanged on the Whatsapp group. Planning for events is also done on this platform,” he says. Another member of the group, Devendra Mane, a 30-year-old insurance professional, informs that the Kalyan-Dombivli stretch offers many short practice routes as well.
People living in Andheri are not left out either. The Lokhandwala Running Club in Andheri meets at Lokhandwala Jogger’s Park and heads off from there. “We meet every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 6 am at the entrance of Lokhandwala Joggers Park. We have running routes ranging from 6k to 21k. Rain or shine, we have no off days,” Darshan Divakaran, from the club, says.

Suburban cool
Those in Thane and Navi Mumbai, seem to be blessed with scenic routes that draw people from the more coveted real estate zones for a run. Sunil Gwalani, 49, a motivational speaker from Thane informs that the route in Upvan, Thane (W) is lined with trees and climbs up to 1,300 ft, thereby testing the runner’s endurance. “The route is not just popular with Thane’s residents but also attracts a lot of runners from south Mumbai,” he adds. Amlesh Karle, 40, a chemical engineer from Thane who runs with a group, who call themselves Runtastic, agrees, saying, “The social media groups keep the running community together by initiating various activities like Navrun where many of us ran 9 km for nine days in a row. We runners are now a big and beautiful extended family.”
However, the stretch that starts from Carter Road in Bandra and winds its way down to NCPA in Nariman Point, via the regular route of the Mumbai Marathon —Mahim Causeway, Cadell Road, Shivaji Park, Prabhadevi, Worli Sea Face, Haji Ali, Peddar Road, Babulnath, and Marine Drive — remains popular.
Route of the matter

Ram Venkatraman, who is a moderator of Mumbai Road Runners, and has been running in different parts of the city for several years, now, informs us of a perfect stretch inside the Aarey Colony’s forest that is under constant threat from development and possible transformation into a cluster of high-rises. “We run beyond the New Zealand hostel, which is a strenuous climb for about 1 km and then further there is another beautiful patch of 1 km climbing up to the Aarey Guest House. People who run or walk or cycle inside Aarey Colony are amazed that such a beautiful green part of Mumbai also exists,” the 53-year-old company secretary shares.

Some runners, however, are not very comfortable about making their routes public by posting them on social media. Shakti Salgaokar, a 31-year-old writer who mostly runs in Dadar, says, “I do use apps like Runtastic to train because it gives me good feedback on my running but I am averse to posting routes on social media for security concerns. I share it in closed groups or among friends.”
Run Alert

The Bandra NCPA Half Marathon powered by Tirumala Mulund 10K will be organised on Sunday, November 1 at 5.15 am from Bandra.

Mumbai Runners (monthly) Ritual by Shyam Sunder

Shyam Sunder shares his MRR – Bandra to NCPA experience………
Three years ago, when Swami of IRIS introduced me to MRR and Bandra-NCPA run, I didn’t realise that it was going to be an integral part of my training schedule. Initially, I did only a couple of these runs every year, but over the period I have found that there is some kind of magic that attracts runners like me from Navi Mumbai to come all the way to Bandra for these training runs. In fact, I am happy to say that I have not missed any single Bandra NCPA monthly run this year so far. What makes this training run click? First of all, it is a training run, that tries to simulate the conditions of a HM race. At the same time, you run at your pace without the pressure of racing. Secondly, the route is a familiar terrain for all those who have done SCMM. On a Sunday, when the traffic is less, you can have a peaceful run along this well-known and enjoyable route that also includes running along the Worli and Chowpatty sea face. More than these, what strikes any newcomer to this run is the sincerity of the organisers (like Ram, Giles, and many others) and the dedication of volunteers, who help out at the water stations and photographers, who make every one of these runs memorable. You pay just 50 or 100 rupees and get this kind of service- and even sumptuous breakfast sometimes- whenever the run is powered by a sponsor. It is all the more remarkable, when we think of other running events, where the organisers fleece the participants to the tune of Rs.800 to Rs.1000 without providing any reasonable services. So, it makes even economic sense to ditch expensive outstation trips for marathons and choose Bandra NCPA runs instead. That is precisely, what I have been doing these days. I am impressed by the fact that this training run always starts on time- exactly at 5.30 am, whether there is sufficient quorum or not. Another important offshoot of coming to Bandra-NCPA runs is that we get to know the who’s who of Mumbai runners. Personally, I have had the good fortune to rub shoulders with some of the finest runners in this town and enjoy there comraderie. MRR tries to make this run a fun run. At the end of the run, there are always some surprises. May be it is a lottery to win an MRR tee or it is to honour some interesting running personality. I will always remember the day, when MRR surprised me and Amit Yadav (of Navi Mumbai) by offering us flower bouquets for our podium performance in the Thane Hiranandani HM. These are some of the interesting aspects of Bandra-NCPA organised by MRR that makes me canvass for it among runners in Navi Mumbai. This is precisely the reason, so many runners from distant places come all the way to be a part of this what I may call MRR – “Mumbai Runners( monthly) Ritual”. –