Hurry to Hurray

Blog MTR-2014 The 13 Runs
December 21, 2014

Asima meets the Tatris at Secunderabad Station

Asima with Runner @Sec Station

There was definite chill in the air. The temperature was 12 degrees, forecasting the colder times ahead in our journey. The jackets came out. “There you all are. I have finally found you” -, beamed the ever energetic Asima and all the thoughts of  the 75 minutes late train vanished from our minds. She performed the role of a perfect traffic cop at 6-45 in the morning to help us wade thru the bumper to bumper traffic in Secunderabad station’s parking area. We reached the army cantonment area at 7-30. am. Needless to mention we had to get ready in the train itself to make up for inefficiency of Indian railways. The big group of Hyderabad Runners was already in the last leg of their long run. Udit and Samuel had long been waiting for us. After brief warmup, the Yatris started running once Sunita, an ultra marathoner from the city, and Asima flagged off the run. The 7k loop took us inside the cantonment area - the wide and clean roads, sports complex, Railway crossing, the Gurudwara, the temple. Shiv and Rajesh from the Hyderabad Runners joined us on the way. At the end of the loop, we were overwhelmed to see more than 50 runners waiting for us. It was heartening to see couple of amputee runners in the lot. We talked about MeraTerahRRRun. They were all excited to hear about it. We clicked some group pictures and then continued for our second loop. A few runners joined us while others volunteered to provide us support.

Hyderabad Runners

The Hyderabad Runners: after the first loop, Two female runners need special mention. Devyani was training for Comrades Marathon 2015. She was running her second long run in two days and was all cheerful. Madhavi was training for her first full marathon and was doing her longest training run. They gave us good company in second loop. The last loop saw five of the Yatris - Jagdish, Vinit, Ajay, Siddharth and Brijesh - running together. The support was available all the while we were running. The 4th of the MeraTerahRRRun finished well with all the Yatris in good spirits and well supported by Hyderabad Runners. Rajesh took us for a nice breakfast. Dr Satyamurty, RIM board member, also joined us for breakfast and had some nice words to say about the campaign. We exchanged t-shirts with Hyderabad Runners football style. We felt like one big family together. We were tight on schedule due to the late arrival in the morning. We quickly took showers in our Hotel rooms while Asima and her nephew got us the famous Paradise Biryani, Khubani ka Meetha and Paan. On that delicious note, we started on  our way to the next destination knowing fully well that we would be in caring hands of our friends wherever we go.

Brijesh (from the 12645- Nizammudin Express)

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Day 2: The first thing you notice about Cochin after getting down at the Railway station is the humidity, even at 5 in the morning. We started worrying about hydration. The enerzal packets were emptied into water bottles. The first of the out-stations run of the MeraTerahRRRun looked daunting. We got out of our hotel, a little anxious. That’s when we were welcomed by the Soles of Cochin runners. They had been waiting for us for more than 15 minutes.

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Many of us dream of changing the world. And some go about working on those dreams to bring it to fruition. Bengaluru Runners with Dr. H. Sudarshan This morning 18th December, circa 2014, a bunch of enthusiasts committed to a cause, assembled at a stadium in Bangalore called the Kanteerava Stadium to flag off Mera Terah RRRun. It was truly an assemblage of yours, mine and ours. People directly connected to the cause through a common network and those separated by 6 degrees of separation came together to run for a cause.

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Today is the 13th of December exactly three months from when we kicked off the MeraTerahRRRun; I suddenly remembered that I had left the question of “Why 13” unanswered. Many ask me - Why 13, why not 9 or 11? Thirteen is considered unlucky in many cultures and countries and many people suffer from “triskaidekaphobia” or the fear of number 13. (The word itself is quite a mouthful and I am sure is on the list of many spelling bee contests).

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Why am I so passionate about trains? It is not just a child’s fascination for the locomotive, it goes far beyond that. Growing up near a suburban station in Western Mumbai (Bombay in those days), my life revolved around the railway line and its happenings. The station, the hustle and bustle of the commuters and the railroad, is where I learnt about fragility of life and resilience of us human beings.