I had to do something which would go beyond just my race, my timing, my qualification for this or that, my other this and my other that. Somewhere, running had become something to do because my role model did it. And running had to be fast because the guy who started running with me could now do sub-4:00 marathons while I still struggled to do a sub-5:00.
The fun of running had been lost, and running had become a chore to be done, a job to be completed. Everywhere I saw, everyone who was running was running a comparative run and it all boiled down to my race, my timing, my qualification for this or that, my other this and my other that. The descriptions about enjoying a race were negligible; it was all about competition. Competition with self, competition with others, competition with the virtual running buddy, competition to keep up, competition to not be left out and every other what have you!
Maybe I was the odd man out. Maybe I am the only one who runs because I enjoy running. Maybe I am the only one to who company, conversation, and all those things which are completely unrelated to running matter a lot. But like everyone else, I too would want my breed of runners to increase.
I was very sure I did not want it to be a mentoring program because knowing I am basically a back of the pack runner, it creates unnecessary hassles when the runner one is mentoring starts running at a faster pace and after exactly 5 training sessions, begins to believe that the mentor is good for nothing because she or he is slower. I thus wanted a ‘cross the line and get on with your life as I get on with mine’ kind of a program.
I have already sounded out Brijesh about this and have told him that I wanted to take this forward as something of significance to be achieved in the course of the year, more or less in course of the next 12 months, give or take.
Brijesh, of course, will along with me, be taking this forward, trying to involve and create a core team of 12 people; however, everyone who reads this can take this forward individually as well and let us see how we can build up on this.
12 Core Team Members (Team Quadro12) Cumulatively do 12 Ultras. Each having their own 12 (for want of a better word) mentees. Crossing the Finish Line at 12 Marathons. All runs will be for 12 different causes. Winners all 156 of us. (12 Core Team Members and their 12 mentees each.)
We, the 12 core team members will each help 12 different mentees cross the finish lines cumulatively at 12 different marathons. So we will technically have to look for at least 12 different marathons that each of us 12 core team members will need to run with 12 mentees. And 12 different charities can associate with us for raising funds as we do this.
The Modus Operandi:
The primary focus has to be on persons who are the most unlikely candidates for running marathons. School children, senior citizens, persons with lifestyle diseases for whom, running and completing a marathon will be akin to a lifetime achievement. I have already booked a domain name, www.quadro12.in and as soon as we tie up all the loose ends, the site can be up and running. I feel the website should feature the candidates, their story, their photos (before/during/after), their progress as the training progresses, training tips, various guides, motivation in the form of stories, videos or whatever.
The candidates will have to fill up a form which we shall put up on the website once we launch The Quadro12 Project. They will also have a choice of selecting their mentors from Team Quadro12; however, the mentors will have the right of first refusal.
In case you feel you are up to this kind of masochism, either as a mentor or a mentee, do get in touch with Brijesh or yours truly or leave a comment with your contact details; either of us will surely get back to you.
This is just a concept note that has been finalized. I hope this is an organic program which grows with time and takes its own shape as it grows.