Coaching moment:

Injuries are a part of life for runners. Beginners suffer the most, but all of us have to deal with it.  Here are some of the most common reasons for injuries:

  1. Overuse. Running too much or too fast without the proper buildup.
  2. Running with the wrong shoes for your type of feet or not replacing your shoes when they should be.
  3. Running on uneven or unforgiving surfaces.
  4. Not warming up before a run. Not stretching regularly.
  5. Not taking rest days.

There are many articles online about any and all of these. Here is one that I read today. But the advantages of running is so much that it dwarfs the danger of injuries. We find ways to recover while running, or we rest until we are better and then we start again. Just don’t give up!

Race report:

The SBI Green marathon happened in Chandigarh today after it was postponed a week. It is always bad for many when that happens since accommodation and travel have been booked, schedules have been fixed. Luckily I could still do it. Many complained that they did not receive the SMS or email messages about the cancellation and then later about the BIB pickup. I got mine so I cannot complain.

It is almost summer, but still a bit chilly early morning – the best kind of weather for running. After the race, it became hot in the sun and shade was hard to find.

The half marathon started on time at 6AM. 150 runners lined up, and as usually happens about 20 guys sprinted ahead, most of whom slowed down within a kilometer. I felt good. No personal best chase for me this time.

I know this route very well since most half marathons in the city follow approximately the same way. Starting at the Chandigarh club, it goes up towards the lake. At the lake, go right and left and pass in front of the golf club. This is where I push hard since it is downhill. Make up some minutes that will invariably be lost again on the way back! Then turn right until past the Strawberry Fields turn. Left at the next junction and turn around shortly after that.

By this time I was third. And then I got to see the rest of the field. So many encouraging shouts, so many of the runners knew my name. Kamal was running strongly, so was Munish and uncle Amar. Going back is mostly uphill. Two runners sped up and overtook me shortly before the beginning of the second round. But then one of them turned where they were not supposed to. I almost followed, but by that time the volunteer woke up and called him back.

I was third again, but a different person was in front of me. I saw him and his buddy on a cycle becoming smaller in the distance. Then he ran out of steam, and I caught up with him just after the turn. I stopped for water (the volunteers did not hand out water, so one had to stop and get it) and then I was behind again, but chasing hard. A kilometer later I came close and sped past him as I do nowadays to discourage my opponent from trying to keep up with me. He wanted to follow, but his buddy said: “Angrez chor do.” (Leave the Englishman.) With a bit of encouragement, that guy could have beaten me.

I finished happy enough to be second and want to give credit where it belongs to Jesus, my strength, and Friend. The winner was far, far ahead of me. My time was 1:26:05. I do not know what his was. They had a decent breakfast and coffee afterward, and then I waited to see if there was anything in the line of prizes. Nothing was announced. But, I was not disappointed. (SBI is a big bank after all!) I got a little cheque.

WhatsApp Image 2018-03-11 at 10.51.38 AM

They had veterans and masters (although the ages included was not defined) for the 10k and 21k and equal prizes for male and female.  Everyone got a plant. They had different bins for waste separation. The bibs were made from recycled paper, but they surrounded the chip with some plastic…


The organizers did quite a good job. My biggest criticism is that volunteers were not trained or supportive. Also, there was too much traffic allowed on the route. At some point, it became downright dangerous around the circles.

Keep running