With daily runs and stamina-building stretches,people across the city are preparing for the second edition of Chandigarh marathon.
The wind in your face,the racing heart beat and the adrenaline rush running can be addictive and those who run regularly vouch for it. For those who are just beginning to step out or want to experience the joys of running,marathon man Rahul Verghese cites many reasons to join in the 2nd Chandigarh Running and Living Marathon Fest,which is scheduled for April 14. Running is yet another reason why Chandigarh is a great tourist destination. Where else can one run by a lake,at the Rock Garden,past two chief ministers residences,two state governors residences,a golf course,gardens and even by the side of a village in one go, says Verghese.
Having organised as many as 100 runs across 10 Indian states,his focus is to get 200 million people up and running. As the founder of Running and Living,Verghese switched gears after spending 25 years in the corporate marketing world and has run 46 marathons himself across six continents.
The first edition of the Chandigarh marathon attracted both regular runners as well as beginners. Verghese observes that like last time,this time too,many people have registered for the marathon from cities such as Delhi,Bangalore,Mumbai,Pune,Ahmedabad and Dehradun,opting for the new 10-km run and also the half marathon.
People travel to Chandigarh for a break. Its such a pretty city,with proximity to running locations,right infrastructure and good locales for running, adds Verghese.
The focus of his endeavour,is to have a turnout,which is intimate,yet big enough to be motivating. Its inspiring to meet people,engage in conversations,mingle with them and share notes on running and fitness. Its such a feel-good factor, says 32-year-old Naresh Sehgal,a Pune-based guitar teacher,who is training for his first marathon,running for an hour every evening in Chandigarh.
Running,says Verghese,is a fun and a healthy way to keep the engine well-oiled and in good shape. He cites the example of Fauja Singh. It is like a miracle drug with good side-effects and the simplest way to break self-imposed mental barriers, he adds. Verghese shares stories of those who have overcome insomnia,managed asthma and blood sugar levels,become positive and optimistic,apart from feeling more toned and having lost weight,owing to running.
Agrees Supreet Dhiman,a city-based interior designer who began running in 2008 and has ever since participated in the Delhi,Chandigarh and Mumbai half marathons. He is now gearing up for April 14. In her mid-thirties,Dhiman describes running as the simplest way to feel good and be fit. A good pair of shoes and a will to run is all it takes, says Dhiman. Having run eight half marathons,Dhiman feels that as opposed to the gym,its a whole new thrill to be running amid nature,watching sunrise and hearing the birds chirp. Dhiman,who also runs an adventure association,credits her fitness,stamina,health and strength to her running practice.
Set for his fourth marathon,Chandigarhs Sumit Virmani is also training everyday for the upcoming event. Running regularly for three years now,the 39-year-old veterinarian looks forward to his running sprees,which,he says,allow him to spend quality time with himself and also build strength and stamina. I was hooked after my first marathon. Its initially tough,but once you start,there is no stopping, says Virmani.
The event is supported by the Chandigarh administration. To register,visit http://www.runningandliving.com/chandigarhmarathon