Hand in Hand on Track

 I picked up running in the month of August 2016 considering only two things. First one, I will keep improving race after race beating my previous best. Second I will inspire others to take up running for a healthy life and a reason to wake up early morning until and unless he/she finds a way to run at night like I do at 10 PM. I have been able to enjoy my practice runs whether it is a tempo run or endurance run only because of the support and environment my wife provides taking care of our 1 year old kiddo at home. Within 7 months from running my first timed run, I am ready to run my first HM at The RRRun-2 in February 2017 and it has been possible only because of my life partner. Not sure if it was completely planned or just the need of an hour which made me realize that I can attempt HM.

It was at Ajmera Thump 2016, where I registered myself for 10K (my 7th 10K in 5 months) and told Neha that she will be running 5K as I have registered for her as well. As the flag off time for both events was approx. 1 hour apart and my PB was 58 minutes for 10K so we planned that I will complete my run within 1 hour, come back and stay with Ayansh (my 1 year old big boy) and then Neha can get ready for her run though it will be like touch and go.

Everything was going as per plan, in fact I would say better than our plan. Devesh (my brother in law) visited us on the weekend. Neha made him to stay back Saturday night and accompany us to the Ajmera Thump venue next morning for the run. As it was her first run so she was able to convince him. Now I was a bit relaxed that even if I take a bit longer and finish after 5k flag off, at least Devesh and Ayansh would be together and I can join them after my run. On the run day I completed my 10K in 56 minutes and saw my team (Ayansh, Neha and Devesh) at the finish line clicking pics and cheering for me. It was the best finish I have ever enjoyed till date not only because of my timings but also because of my team aroundJ. I collected my medal and met them. Had a few discussions regarding the route and weather with Neha and wished her. Neha joined other 5K runners at starting line and all 3 of us started walking ahead on the route as per plan. Oh yes, my planning didn’t end here, I had another beautiful plan. On a 5KM track, I was supposed to meet Neha at 1KM mark, run with her till 2KM mark and then while she goes running from 2KM mark to 4 KM mark, I would walk down to 4KM mark (it was 2.5 KM loop) and then we can run together hand in hand and I mean it, I wanted to make this run special for both of us. BUT….

While we were walking on 5KM track I saw Thomas Bobby Philip sir encouraging runners just before the finish line and so I thought of interacting with him as I had been reading his blogs, about him on different blogs and have been following him. While we were interacting, 5KM run was flagged off and so we quickly clicked few selfies and took one side to follow Neha. Both I and Devesh kept on looking for her but we were able to find her. So I asked Devesh to take Ayansh under a tree shade and I will go back to the start line to enquire if she didn’t start at all but I didn’t realize what was in store. I went to the start line and didn’t find her there as well. I don’t know why but I decided to look for her on the 5KM track till which ever point I can find her. After few minutes of completing my first run, I was ready for my run number 2 on the same morning and in those few minutes I was all around the place. It was about to start and I was at the start line waiting for my mind to flag off and it did. I started my run with the opposite rule of good running (start slow, finish strong). I kept running at a good pace as I was aware that Neha likes to start strong and try to take it as far as she can and then slow down a bit. I kept on looking or at times even staring at the girls whomever I crossed on my way to my 2nd run of the morning but didn’t find Neha till the water station at 2 KM mark. I never like water breaks in my 10K and after finishing my run I hardly got a chance to have a glass of water so finally I decided to take few sips before I start my hunt again. It was not mentos but still dimag ki batti jali and I decided to stay next to the water station and wait for Neha as she will come back after taking the U-turn at 2.5 KM. It will give me some rest time and I can run with her hand in hand. I was there may be for 5 minutes and saw Neha running across the water station. For a moment I was thinking whether I should be happy that I saw her or otherwise as still I was catching up my breath. And then I realize throughout the morning it has been more than what I had planned for so even this is the same, I had planned 1km to run with Neha and here I have double of that.

It is rightly said, journey matters more than the destination. I will never forget that 2KM stretch we ran hand in hand, posing for photographer, waving hands all around, chatting like one chatter box talking about our fellow runners, telling the same story that I just shared with you all. About 200 meters before finish line I asked Neha to finish it the way she wants to as I knew she can pose far better than me and I didn’t want to spoil her first run. I moved to the side giving way to other runners and then saw Devesh and Ayansh struggling with each other to keep calm and stay quiet.

Till this run I had never run anything more than 10KM but today I did. I signed off 2016 running calendar with just one thought, if I can run 14-15 KM with little break, why can’t I practice and run HM. So 2017, here we come.


8 thoughts on “Hand in Hand on Track

  1. What a beautiful way to express how special the run was for you, Ankit! Your blog reminded me my first 10k with Rohan 🙂 You said it right, journey matters! If the loved ones are around, the joy of achievement/victory is more.. but when the loved ones are part of that journey too, we feel stronger, content and happier 🙂 Good write! Keep sharing your mann ki baat and continue winning our hearts 🙂


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