Viv’s update and my fb memory showed that today (April 5th) marks one year since we (Amit and I ) ran our first run with MRR. As I walk down memory lane to see how the journey began, it all started on a random day when we were playing Ultimate Frisbee at Juhu Beach. I saw this really fit chap coming up to me saying “You must be a runner”. I nodded in surprise wondering how he knew and it struck me that I was wearing the ‘running and living’ cap. He introduced himself as Ajit and from then on began the customary runners bonding. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned about the monthly MRR runs and asked us to join in sometime.

Not having been a part of any group before, we decided to just give it a shot and landed up at Otters club one sultry April morning. I remember stepping out the car with an air of uncertainty, not knowing a single person besides Ajit- feelings almost like our first day in college where we were trying to find our feet. Looking at our forlorn expressions, a friendly looking person came up to us, flashed his warm smile and introduced himself as Sam. We instantly felt at ease as we started chatting about this concept of the monthly run where people from different parts of the city came together to run as one big family. There are no medals or no timing chips but just high spirits, we were told. We completed our first MRR run that day and the energy at NCPA was so contagious that we decided to block every first Sunday of the month just for this event, even if it meant compromising on our occasional Saturday night outs.

From thereon began our journey with the Mumbai road runners. Months flew by as we slowly got acquainted with the MRR admin, runners from different walks of life, participated in several events be it the colourful Navrun, the whacky Halloween one or the festive Holi run. From initially starting out as lone runners, it felt nice to be a part of a family and acknowledge some known faces at various events-which otherwise was a solitary affair of just running the race and collecting our medals without the privilege of knowing a familiar face in the crowd.

The last one year has been an incredible learning experience and not just with regards to our running form. The MRR community certainly humbled us as individuals to a large extent where we have learnt to express gratitude to the selfless volunteers and photographers whom we would often take for granted earlier. Hearing about other people’s journey into running was overwhelming as it especially made me realise that I wasn’t the only one battling woes of a health attack or the struggles that one goes through as a mother with an infant trying to balance her running, career and family. This is one group which showers you with unconditional love and acceptance even if you were the slowest runner banishing those apprehensions we initially had about the fear of being judged.

Looking back at the years, I have had people walking out of my life when I was attacked by ulcers and that’s when running gave me that new sense of purpose. Today that is manifested into a meaningful way of existence as we bask in the love and affection showered by MRR folks which makes it feel that the year 2010-11 was just a bad dream.

It is said that being amidst the right people tends to bring out the best in you.  MRR community precisely does to such an extent that a person with a bruised self-confidence knows which door to knock on besides a psychologist’s clinic,. 😉

Little did we realize that that one hot April run would gift us with some warm hearted individuals who we would proudly call as friends today.

Thank you MRR admin- you guys are just terrific in every aspect, our running buddies who are forever in high spirits and most importantly the dear photographers and volunteers at the MRR runs who have made it even more special. Cheers to you all!