When a dream starts to take shape it is always exciting and fun to define it. So it was with the Mera Terah Run. It was a blank sheet of paper on which the contours of the program were defined last year. And hence the first edition came to pass. 13 days. 13 Trains. 13 Half Marathons. 13 States. And all for a cause- Fundraising for the Rejuvenate India Movement. Another year comes around and when the team sits down to start the planning for year 2, many discussions are had around what the shape of MTR version 2, will be.
Here is what emerges- 13 days. 13 Cities. 13 Half Marathons. The fund-raising is central. Now, let the new theme emerge… And emerge it does! A remarkable coastal caravan that starts with a sun-rise run at Kanyakumari, the Southernmost tip of peninsular India and ends with a sun-set run at Koteshwar, the Westernmost tip of peninsular India. And in-between are strung together 10 pristine locations washed by the ever-changing (and yet never-changing) sea. Causes worthy of support via fund-raising are identified along this route and the team decides that we will strive to ‘See Change. A Sea Change’.
With the theme and destinations nailed down, the hard work of planning and executing the complete yatra begin. And what a journey it has been! An all volunteer team, pooling their wits and their spare-time. Discussions, changes, frustration, laughter, disagreements, joy, late-nights, recce-trips, tying up loose ends… all the fun elements that go into any project and that lead to incredibly high levels of cohesion within the team!
Who should join? Who can join? 13 days leave? Doable. Not for me….
All the usual. Out of all this, another germ of an idea emerges. ‘Lets not restrict the spirit of the MTR to only the yatris. If others want to run in solidarity with the causes and the mission, let them be free to do so wherever they can!’ and hence is created another outstanding off-shoot of the MTR, the MTR+.
2616 km covered by the Yatris on their run-walk journeys on the main MTR.
20 yatris travel to one or more destination. 7 yatris do all the 13 destinations. 150 + runners join the gloriously successful MTR+ in 29 locations across the world and run/walk over 3900 km in support of the cause!
As we look back at an exciting second edition, we see something fantastic starting to grow.
_MTR is truly beyond just these statistics. It is simple. It is compelling. It serves a social purpose _
(Already, over 15.7 lakh INR have been raised, against a target of INR 17 lakhs). It is now truly global!
So is it a Movement? Maybe, not yet. But, hey, hang on… Let this fledgling spread its wings a bit more and let the dreams continue to take flight. MTR 3.0, what will you be?!
Wish you all a very happy 2016