Legend has it that in the year 490 BC, an Athenian soldier named Pheidippides ran from the town of Marathon, Greece to Athens, a distance of about 42 kilometers, to announce that the Greeks have been victorious over the invading Persians. Pheidippides ran non-stop the whole way that when he arrived in Athens to pronounce the great news, he only managed to exclaim “Victory!” before collapsing to his death.
Fast-forward to 1896 and the marathon became one of the first Olympic sports in the very first running of the Olympics. At that time, the race was only pegged at 40 kilometers, and only 17 runners lined up at the starting line to compete in the first ever Olympic marathon. Out of those 17 valiant competitors, only 8 runners crossed the finish line. The winning time was just a hair under 3 hours by a guy named Spyridon Louis who wore leather shoes donated by his fellow villagers.
Fast-forward again another 121 years. Legend has it that Ram Bhamidi will attempt to run 42.195 KM in October 2017. All he wants is for you to pray that he does not collapse like Pheidippides did!
After 3 years of half-hearted and unsuccessful attempts (2013, 2014, 2015) at making a habit out of running, I can now claim that 2016 was indeed a breakout year. I think there were 3 main reasons for this.
1. My wife ran Pinkathon in January 2016 (her first official run) and this was a great motivation for me to make another serious attempt at running.
2. I suffered from typhoid in late February / early March 2016 and this was devastating on my limbs. I resolved to take control of my body.
3. I joined a running group ( Soles of Bangalore ) after my first official run in May 2016. The support system of a running group helped enormously in staying motivated. I started looking forward to the Sunday morning runs whenever I was in town even if it meant waking up at 5 AM or earlier, something I loathed before!
Finally, the pic is from the finish line of my first ever Half Marathon, a feat unimaginable at the beginning of 2016.
Behind that smile lies the satisfaction of completing my debut Half Marathon and the pain endured in running 21.1 KM.
I have come a long way from my Typhoid days in March 2016 when I was barely able to walk and resolving to take control of my body to completing my first HM today in a fabulous timing of 02:16:45 (#awesomedebut) with two 10K runs in between.
Here’s to many more such smiles!