Want to Run a Marathon?

It is strange how many people I know have started running. Some have suddenly become health conscious,  some have it as a task on their bucketlist and some run simply to network with other runners. In Mumbai, running seems like the new ‘golf’ – a common ground that the who’s who across industries share.

A few years ago, Ankur used to run the half marathon – been there, done that… he has no desire to join the runners’ clan again. I have never been able to do it till date,  but it is on my bucketlist. I am confused whether the maiden attempt should be in Mumbai, making me feel at home, or maybe a city that excites me! Here are five cities that I have shortlisted for the task:

Museum Square in Amsterdam

Museum Square in Amsterdam

Ankur has spent a few months in Amsterdam in the past. The first time I walked the streets of this city was in March 2015. I was mesmerised by the architecture and the canals. But what caught my fancy was the number of cycles on the road. Everyone seems to be riding a bicycle…to work, to a restaurant, to the library… to almost anywhere and everywhere! Understandably, it is as flat as a pancake… Seems ideal for a newbie to run, doesn’t it?

View from the top of Hallgrimskirkja

View from the top of Hallgrimskirkja

I hate the sweat, grime and chaffing that come along with running, especially with long distance running. A warm environment surely adds to the discomfort, which is why I have second, rather multiple thoughts about running my first marathon in hot and humid Mumbai. I have feeling that I will melt en-route and never reach the finish line. Reykjavik seems like the perfect place to sort this problem. The highest temperature during peak summer is about 15 degrees Celsius at sea level. Plenty of oxygen to breathe and cool temperatures will ensure that I do not melt and complete the run in respectable time.


Temple of Zeus, Athens

Legend has it that Pheidippides, a day runner, ran from Marathon to Athens to convey the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. This distance was about 26 miles/40 kilometers, similar to today’s marathon. There is so much more to this story as there is to ancient Greek history. I am mesmerised by ancient Greek history and enjoy finding similarities between Greek and Hindu mythology. Maybe that is why I want to run Athens… to recreate in my mind how glorious the Greek kingdom looked centuries ago.

Would you like to run across their terrain?

Would you like to run across their terrain?

I have met animal lovers who are runners and it surprises me that no one has ever heard of the Limpopo Big Five marathon. The run is held through the Entabeni Game Reserve between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. The run let’s the participants be one with the wild… running through a terrain with zebras, giraffes and antelopes around. A stretch passes through the lion territory as well, which sure does give me jitters. While I would love to run this marathon, I am not sure if Ankur will let me venture into the wild on foot!

South Mumbai

South Mumbai

Home sweet home! I can crib to eternity about the weather… the heat and the humidity. I can detest the pack of cleanliness in pockets. I can find a million things wrong with the city. Yet, it will still be the city I have been living in for the past decade. It is home! There is a comfort associated with being at home, which is unmatched. There is a solace experienced when little kids cheer you in your very own language. It’s the encouragement that pushes a lot of runners across the finish line, regardless of physical strength. Maybe I should just start running in Mumbai… the destination for my maiden marathon.

Are you a marathon runner? Would you want to want add any cities to this list?

You may also like

Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips, Tulips, Tulips
Amsterdam: Day Trips
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai with Asus ZenFone 2 Laser
Chai pe Charcha: History with a Cuppa!

Leave a Reply