19th June 2016 , Pune M.G.Road run
We have Arya samaji Havan/Yagya at Pune almost every quarter on any chosen Sunday.
This is more in continuation of our Gandhidham tradition as it is aimed at a compulsory “get to gather “of our greater Pune family ( with or without one invitee family from greater aapin saja/greater harani family from Gujarat)
This gives us ( me and Sheila ) an opportunity to run in Pune as Sundays are meant for long distance running. Post injury recovery for me 12 km and more has become long distance !! 21.1 km is my cut off for 2016.( No more Full/ Ultra/s for me )
Pune university is our favourite. Unfortunately one has to do loops within University to even do 10km.
Taljai run is the most beautiful but it is a trail run which can become very rough at places.
Niten/Nitin Pandya is the big boss of running in pune.
He is one hell of runner who can do 50 km aaramse.
All I do is call him and ask him their Sunday run programme.
In next 5 minutes he sends me “Flower Valley( Wanowaori) to M.G road ( Arora towers ) run programme .
They have NIBM/East pune run group which takes running a bit seriously.
19 th June : Morning
We are up by 4.45 am . Of course we had reached Pune late on Saturday night but our body clock is all set.
Morning chirping of birds with parrots being extra vocal also help us.
The reporting time is 6.00am and run is going to start at 6.15 am
We reach before time and find one solo runner ( who also is new to the group )
As we park our car more runners join.
Jitu ( Nair ) aptly comments “ the amount of carbon foot print our groups leaves behind every Sunday so as to just reach at start point of various runs is quite interesting”
His comment obviously has back ground of series of discussions they must have had within their group/s.
Almost every one has come in car. There is no car pool.
For our living on this lovely planet “ mother earth “: we all consume some amount of natural resources.
“How much is enough to survive and live “is the interesting back ground to above comment ( of Jitu )
We Indians ( not the rich and super rich: they are always in category which does not “ self question “ ) have just started our journey of “ consumption driven economy/society )
Unlike west our per capita consumption of food/ energy/water/ etc is miniscule , but we have huge population.
For many to fully reach the status of “developed economy “and have a guilt of basically abusing mother nature needs the complete cycle of “over consumption “and then realising “all the urge to use/consume more and more “is futile.
I still remember the words of French lady who was working as a volunteer- manager at Rain forest jungle cottage stay coorg, medikeri,Karnataka
“ oh why do you need an autorickshow? It’s only 3.5 km one way , you can walk it down ! you see I have travelled all the way from France to reach at this place and I will be here for next 6months . I have to nullify the carbon foot print I have left due to my air travel. Walk wherever possible , if not use public transport or vehicle pool whenever possible.”
Will I ever have this kind of guilt???
Sheila and me are into our warm up exercises. Overall group is not very enthu for detailed warm up . Even there is no call to have common group warm up. Few are doing little.
Either they have done their warm up or today ‘s run ( 10km as preannounced but one can easily do 11 km to 15 km with little improvisation ) is not great enough for proper warm up.
At 6.15 every one is “ on the go “
As we pass by flower valley , Utopia Complex almost every one in the group is far ahead.
Most of the runners are running at 6.30 to 7.0 ka pace.
We stick to our slow pace and I need constant flow of photographs for this very photoblog . ( only difference I take max photo one way i.e only while running towards MG road: Arora towers . In return journey cell-camera is in side the pouch.
At Lula nagar/kodhwa-bibwewadi junction : also called “kalyan bhel “ signal by pune runners group ,we take right turn towards golibar maidan.
There is a good incline from kalyan bhel till CTO.
From golibar maidan there is long downward incline which almost goes till Bata chowk/mahaveer chowk at centre of MG road ( main street )
As you are running there are three major points where you have to be very careful.
1)At parvarti villa road there is a T junction and traffic is coming from your right and the turning is very sharp. You just can not see or predict the flow of traffic coming from military hospital side. ( more so when you are running on right side which is against incoming traffic
2) golibar maidan chowk . : a really crowded junction as it is main road from swargate bus stand to Sholapur-Hyderabad road.
There is steady flow of state transport buses and hadapsar traffic.
3) At krishnakunj near Poona college where road just drops down and gives every one option of V bifurcation .
Either you take left one and go towards MG road or take right and go towards East street.
At all three points I decide to walk and cross over.
It is drizzling in typical Pune style.
The sand is wet and giving out the typical mitti wali khushbu.( sweet smell of wet sand )
Try luck restaurant is open .
The first set of runners Jitu and his friends are returning. “ Kenyans of our group” : is all I shout… as they zoom pass. Royal bakery is yet to open it’s gates. ( but one can see and feel the early morning activities happening inside.)
Kohinoor is more active . May be during month of ramzan( ramadan ) the pre Roza( pre dawn ) eating: “ Suhur/Sehri” is reason for people movement.
Next set of return runners cross us at this point.
MG road is still one of the charming market of Pune.
The business activity of previous evening has resulted in too much of garbage at few places. The sweepers are yet to start their job.
Beyond Bata chowk we cross the last set of runners who out of concern try to boost our morale “ good going ! “
“ good going ! , great running “Come on keep it up “
Are the standard pep up dialogues we all runners do when we greet “slower than us “runners. This is a common practise and frankly very satisfying to the most.
At Arora towers we are supposed to take U turn and return on the same path.
The newspaper vendors are busy segregating their deliveries.
One of them ( speaking in English ) helps us with our mandatory photos and we move back .
My return running is not interrupted by any photo urge.
Overall it is a wonderful feeling .
This is my road. I have spent my childhood , but never ever imagined that I will be running like this. I must have walked, crossed, cycled, covered on 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler umpteen times …but today’s morning hours running gives me great feeling.
Soon we are beyond try luck and our continuous upward incline starts.
The drizzle is now little more intense and we love it. It does not last much.
Niten and his co runner have returned and soon cross us with their pace.
“ we had gone till Sasoon Hospital as we want to do 15 km “
Is all Niten can tell us as they move ahead.
Road running has one interesting feature.
When you are running on left side of road , there are times you match your running on the white strip which is a kind of road end sign.
The paint makes the surface smooth and if you are attentive to your surroundings you can feel the difference when your shoes hit the painted surface or just the asphalt.
By the time we reach our start point , most of the runners have reached the “ wind up mood”
“did you complete 10 km ?” someone asks just to be sure whether we left the route mid way.
As per garmin we have almost done 11km.
Some group members go for post run breakfast, but Niten has home duty to attend so he decides to leave .
We chat for a while and he informs me about the ultra which they are planning.
“ we want to keep it simple and very economical “
Niten is one of the dedicated runner who is not comfortable with the idea of increased commercialisation within running world. Every year events are getting bigger, the costs are continuously being pushed higher .
Fees /charges for events definitely are in fast pace lane.
They want to do ultra event where fees are within Rs 500ka range and event has simple focus….enjoy your run.
We have our jadu ki zappi as we depart and head straight home.