Tag Archives: marathon

Interview with Vaijayanti Ingawale

1. How does it feel to win the MRR award?
I feel very happy to be the first recipient of this newly introduced award by MRR. Deepak and I have been attending MRR award function since three years. We have enjoyed getting nominated for various categories and have been receiving Best running family award for the last two years.
2. Tell us about your association with MRR?
It’s lovely to be associated with MRR. Its a community of runners with kind hearts and intelligent brains like Ram Venkatraman.
3. What are your goals for 2019?
To just chill and enjoy.
4. How do you suggest on improving the running scenario in India?
I see a lot of improvement taking place in the running scenario in India. I feel a lot more women have to give importance to their own health and participate in running events.

What it means to be MRR

It was on a hot sultry April morning in 2015 that I stumbled upon this vibrant group of runners, thanks to a runner friend Ajit Singh who invited me for the run.  “It is from Bandra to NCPA which happens every first Sunday of the month”, he told me.

I remember stepping out of the car at Otters club like a nervous teenager setting foot in college for the first time. Everyone seemed to know each other while my husband and I looked around hesitantly. Sensing our discomfort, a friendly looking guy wearing glasses came up to us and flashed a warm smile. “Sam”, he introduced himself and instantly put us at ease with his affable demeanor. He went on to explain about the route and the volunteer support at 4 different points.

It was for the first time in the scorching summer month that we clocked a 2-digit mileage. We reached NCPA impressed with the arrangements and the contagious enthusiasm of this group. What started off as a mere means to get our mileages going, resulted in long term friendships and an extended family of runners. Suddenly the number of people that we were interacting with grew overnight just like the beanstalk in the story of Jack and the beanstalk.

It’s been 3 and a half years since our first run and I can say that I am proud to be a part of MRR. Even the last one year when I been away from home, I have managed to stay connected with this community. Meeting people from different walks of life and learning about their background has been a humbling and exhilarating experience. With many people, I started off connecting as a fellow runner only to find other common interests that strengthened the bond even further.

People often ask me what it means to be a MRR. It’s a community that embraces and encourages all-irrespective of their time, pace and experience.  In one word-unconditional acceptance!

MRR Race Ranking 1st December, 2017

The MRR Race Ranking as on 1st December, 2017 is out, which means the races in November are included in the list. And we have a new race leader i.e.

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is the new Race Leader.

IDBI Federal Life Insurance Spice Coast Marathon, Kochi enters the list at a super creditable no. 7 ranking while Aurangabad Heritage Half Marathon debuts at no. 9 in the list. Both Kochi and Aurangabad have performed admirably to come in the top 10. It helps that both have Runners as main organisers.

WNC Navy Half Marathon, Mumbai comes in at no. 15, IL&FS I Run for Fun, Mumbai at no. 22, Adidas Uprising 10K, Mumbai at no. 24, IIT Bombay Half Marathon at no. 36, Pune Running Beyond Myself Marathon at no. 39. WNC Navy Half scored well on all parameters but lost out on the timeliness aspect i.e. starting the race on time. They probably need to work on that aspect next time around. The ranking list is given here.

Lots of races lose points in the “During the Race” element. That is the absolute core for any race, the most key element in organising a good race vs an average race. Organisers need to pay attention to this factor the most – frequency of water/ energy drinks/ refreshments, medical facilities en route, km markers, traffic arrangements etc.

We have created another list this time, that of races which did not garner adequate responses, but we have done the rating for them, but not included in the ranking list. For races to enter into the ranking list, we need at least 10 responses, which itself is inadequate but since this is a first year, we thought of keeping a low threshold. This list is given here.

Here also from the limited responses, if you see, Jalna has done well and so has Surat and Gurgaon. The situation will obviously change if there are more responses. We hope that more and more runners take part in this rating exercise so that a good database could be built which will be helpful to the runners in future. This is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

A total of 68 races have been rated so far this year, which exercise started in February, 2017.

MRR Race Ranking as on 1st November, 2017

MRR Race Ranking as on 1st November, 2017 is given beside here. There were 5 new races added to the billboard in October. Dehradun Half Marathon comes in at joint 2nd, followed by Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon at 4th spot, Vodafone Coimbatore Half Marathon at no. 12, Mumbai Customs Half Marathon at no. 16 and Yeour Hill Half Marathon at no. 25.

Coimbatore rankings were going good and they would have made it to the top, but their toilet rankings were not so good, so they slithered down the ladder only for that factor. Mumbai Customs suffered due to the route mismanagement where they did multiple loops inside Ballard Estate which led to a lot of confusion amongst the runners. Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon did extremely well in all parameters. This being a big city race, it was a commendable performance.

Of the other events that were considered for rating, HDFC Bank Millenium City Marathon, Gurgaon got only 1 vote, ICICI Bank Starry Night Half Marathon, Gurgaon got 2 votes, Pune FLO Half Marathon – 9 votes, Lokmat Nashik Half Marathon – 4 votes, Surat City Half Marathon – 6 votes, Veterun Half Marathon, Pune – 3 votes, so these events could not be considered due to the very low responses. Hope the responses from these cities go up in the near future, because these kind of ratings are never done before and considering the exponential increase in the number of races being held every year in India, it will in turn help the runners only in choosing which race to take part in.

Our role in this rating exercise is only to collect the results, collate it and present it in a tabular form for easy understanding. The raw data is not tampered with, by us.

What makes us stronger: lessons from the movie

Watched the movie ‘Stronger’ today: a film based on the Boston marathon bombings in 2013 and how it affected the life of Jeff Bauman. While standing at the finish line, waiting for his girlfriend who was just a few minutes away, 2 bombs explode, shattering lives, faith and hope. With both his legs being amputated, the story goes on to showcase Jeff’s struggles in building both his physical and mental strength through rehabilitation, fit enough to wait at the finish line for his girlfriend 3 years later after the unfortunate incident.
The movie incorporates an important lesson that ever person especially a runner/cyclist/triathlete can learn :
The willingness to live and move on even when faced with adversity.
Life doesn’t always follow the course that we want it to yet we must learn to move on.  When you are running a particular race/trail, the conditions may not always adhere to your expectations. You may feel like giving up in exasperation many a time. However what is important is to not get bogged on and find your way to the finish line with a smile.
Similarly with life, things may not always work out the way we want them to.  It’s essential to hold our nerve, feel every breath of ours that makes us feel lucky to be alive and embrace the gift called life!
Do watch it whenever it releases in India! A movie that will instill hope,  faith and makes you realize that adversities can make you ‘stronger ‘ ( pun intended) than crumble you!

A run on Friday the 13th

I was out for a short run today. There was a slight chill in the air and the colours of the fall were beginning to show on the trees.
The roads were quite empty and for a change I wasn’t carrying any music with me.  The route soon curved into a trail which I decided to venture into. I ran along the narrow pathway, noting the eerie silence of woods when I heard a sudden sound that made me stop immediately. It was the rustling noise of the leaves. I looked to see what it was and there wasn’t a soul around.
I continued running and once more heard that rustling sound again. As soon as I paused, the noise stopped. Strange I thought. I looked around warily but it was just me and the woods. As soon as I began my run, the rustling sound occurred again. This time I was determined to get to the bottom of this invisible intruder. I stood still for a few minutes.
Spotting a dark shadow near a tree, I crept towards it. Suddenly something jump up like a spring.  I screamed loudly only to find a minute later that this ghostly companion of mine turned out to be a bushy tailed squirrel. Feeling foolish yet shaken at the same time, I turned to finish my run.
On the way back I hit the roads again which were relatively empty. I ran past some quaint looking cottages. They had some pretty gardens and well manicured lawns. I suddenly caught sight of this deadly looking face with a hollow grin from the window. I shrieked loud enough for a cyclist to pause and see if I was ok. I trembled and pointed to that face only to find out it was a pumpkin carved with eyes, nose and a wide mouth. Halloween was just around the corner and every house invariably had some spooky decorations.
It was turning out to be a weird morning so I decided head home as soon as possible. When I reached my apartment, the front door was refusing to open as it was locked from inside. I decided to go to the backyard and enter through the patio door.  As I stood there, trying to open the back door with my key, a light breeze caused this rake placed in the yard to fall, making me Jump out of my wits at the noise.
After letting myself inside my apartment, I opened the front door to empty the garbage outside. Still shaken by the peculiar series of events , I was mulling over  a rather queer morning. Just as I was just about to enter my apartment, I heard a voice saying “hey how’s it going”. For the nth time that morning I was startled, only to come face to face with my neighbor. ” you look pale, are you ok?”. I nodded.
I was about to narrate my strange experience, when she said something that made me realize the reason for a rather spooky morning.
” Hey btw happy Friday the thirteenth! 😈
I was shook my head tracing back to my morning run. At least it hadn’t been a dream.

MRR Race Ranking as on 1st October, 2017

MRR commenced the race rankings from February 2017 and initially we are doing only all the races in Mumbai/ Thane/ Navi Mumbai area (including 10K ones) and all half marathons and upwards in other cities. Currently there are 32 races ranked in the list. The rankings as on 1st October, 2017.  This is first of its kind race billboard anywhere in the world.

DRHM Chennai grabbed the top spot a couple of months ago and is still holding on to it. Last month Airtel Hyderabad Marathon climbed to the 2nd spot. For September races, PNB Metlife Satara Hill Half Marathon jumped to a joint 3rd position whereas AFMC Half Marathon in Pune went upto a joint 6th spot.

Other new entrants in the list in September are MRR Aarey Race in 8th, Ladakh Marathon at 12th, Chennai Trail Marathon at 13th and Inner Strength Half Marathon, Chennai at 26th place.

Among the pure 10K ers, following are the top 5

  1. Bengaluru 10K challenge
  2. MRR Aarey Forest Race
  3. TCS World 10K
  4. Tridhaatu Monsoon 10K
  5. ICT Green 10K

Among the trail races, following are the top 4

  1. Jawadhu Hill Ultra
  2. Chennai Trail Marathon
  3. Alfa Trail Challenge
  4. Ruggedian Shivaji Raje Monsoon Trail Race