Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Thursday Thrill

This blog entry begins with an admission. I am photographically challenged. This does not mean I look exceptionally ugly in all my photographs (which might be the case, but that would make me not photogenic - this is another topic), but that I do not know a thing about photography.

For me, taking a photograph means, in a nutshell, that you aim your camera at the object you want to photograph and press a button to capture the picture. If it is dark, you use a flash. That is my knowledge of photography. And that is all that there is to photography as far as I know. So, when on Wednesday, Ahmedabad Mirror told us that they wanted to do a follow-up story on us and the Ahmedabad Runners, I did not actually understand what difference 5:45am, 6:am and 6:45am made. They said they anted to take photographs of us running, so the light conditions would need to be conducive. To me, it still did not make sense.

Lihas took over the job of co-ordinating this part, so I had to focus only on the running part of things.

As I planned the run, there was a one line directive from Lihas. To ensure that the entire group is present at Jai mangal BRTS Bus Stop at 6:45am.

We met at 5:45am and after exchanging pleasantaries, we began to run. Everyone was charged up. This time, it was one big, long bus instead of many separate busses. Runners kept joining us - at the Helmet 4 Rasta flyover, at Valinath Chowk BRTS Bus Stand, at the Naranpura flyover. We were doing a pace of about 00:06:10-00:06:15/km and so it was decided to run up to Akhbaarnagar Circle and return to Jai Mangal BRTS Bus Stop by 6:45am. There would be some time to spare if we kept this pace. However, I knew from experience that this probably wouldn't happen. Some of us ran the full distance at the same pace. Some slowed down. Some did the walk-run cycle to get to there.

As we reached Jai mangal BRTS Bus Stand at 6:45am, Jignesh Vora, the photographer of Ahmedabad Mirror was waiting for us. We regrouped, began to run and Jignesh got down to clicking us. His job done, he left. Our run was not yet complete. Traversing both flyovers, we all ran back to Keshavbaug.

I guess the photographs being cliked, the prospects of media coverage, al,l of us running as a group had its impact and that, I guess, pumped quite a bit of adrenalin into the system.
Reaching Keshavbaug, we all finished our run. Had we recorded the time, I am sure most if not all of us would have recorded our personal bests.

There were 18 of us. And all 18 did at least 9kms, the base that we had targetted for Thursday. This was not the end of happiness. There was more to come. As we reached Keshavbaug,Prasanth Menon of Ahmedaba dMirror was waiting to speak to the various runners.
Everyone gave their opinion.

When Lihas and I were asked, we very proudly said that these runners were exceeding our expectations and our focus was now changing. From 'every runner completing the Marathon' we were now talking of 'completing the Marathon with every member of the team recording decent timings'. As we waited for the report to appear in Ahmedabad Mirror, we all were also looking forward to another 'road-pounding' run on Saturday.

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