A reader told me that my last post about the train ride did not have an ending and stopped rather abruptly. He may be right about that. So, where was I? Ah, yes, the Foundation for Mother and Child Health team was just about to leave CST and head out to Azad Maidan, a large, grassy field known for its cricket fields (and recently riots).
The location was the main gathering point for all participants: marathoners, half-marathoners, dream runners/walkers, senior citizens, and handicapped participants. All 38,000 of us. Of that 38,000, more than 20,000 participated in the 6K Dream Run/Walk. To be honest, I don’t think that many people could run at the beginning of the race. Moving through the start gate opposite CST was a slow process indeed.
But, eventually, we managed to get ahead of the herd and walk comfortably. Along the main route, many groups had set up stages for performances.
The weather was beautiful. It was a perfect day to walk through South Bombay. The route took us from Azad Maidan, past CST, down Marine Drive, past the Trident and Oberoi hotels and Wankhede cricket stadium, and then back to Azad Maidan. A lovely 6K walk that is not possible with normal traffic.
No cars were allowed to enter the route, which as you can imagine snarled traffic a bit elsewhere in SoBo. The driver who picked us up had to park the car quite far from the finish line. So, we probably walked another 2K just to reach the car.
We finished the walk in about an hour and a half. Not bad considering we had about 70 people walking with us. That is right. 70 people walking to free children from malnutrition. Like many NGOs, the Foundation for Mother and Child Health uses the Mumbai Marathon as a major funding source. In addition to sponsoring a half-marathon participant, the foundation sold Dream Run bibs. I also received a generous spontaneous donation the night before the race when one of Brian’s colleagues found out that I was walking. Everyone was thrilled at that news. Every bit helps. Perhaps, next year, I will run the half-marathon, but it was great fun to walk with everyone this year.
Until next year!