It was in the year 2012 when Amit and I were training relentlessly for the full marathon for SCMM 2013 which meant running for several hours on the road even when the sun would be up shining fiercely. There were times when our throats would be parched longing for a drop of water as our bottles would have emptied after a point.

That’s when the water stations posted by strider’s would come to our aid, readily refilling our bottles without even questioning if we were a part of that group. I would often thank them gratefully wondering if I would ever be able to repay them for their kind gesture.

Today after almost 3 and a half years when we were volunteering for the MRR run, stationed at Wilson college, one runner came up panting, almost pleading for water. While taking a sip he glanced at our MRR T shirts and looked enquiringly at us. “We are volunteering for the MRR run” we told him. An apologetic look instantly crossed his face as he profusely said sorry numerous times and said he was from Striders. We reassured him with a warm smile saying it was alright.

As he thanked us and continued his strides, I looked at his diminishing figure muttering a silent thanks to all those  times when striders had come to our aid when we needed it the most. The year 2012 flashed instantly as I knew that our chance to give back had come in an unexpected manner.

Volunteering certainly provides that certain kind of gratification which cannot be expressed easily in many words. Today when we saw parched runners drenched in sweat, staggering up marine drive, with their eyes drooping, we felt blessed to provide that instant source of energy with water and fast n up which allowed them to continue to their destination.

Someone once told me it’s always blessed to give and never refuse water even to an enemy. Today those words echoed as we humbly served our fellow runners as volunteers. When you take back, make sure you give back with equal gusto is something we learnt today and hope to imbibe this in our runs as well as in our lives.

Thank you MRR admin for providing this golden opportunity to volunteer.