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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Is running a Marathon just a fad or we Indians aspire to be fit and healthy

    Not long ago, marathon was a event of the west. Over the last 12 years the Indian Marathon scene has evolved rapidly. Now there are Marathon events hosted is many major cities and for various charitable and social causes. We see more and more people enroll and completing 5K,10K half and full marathon. Many runner's groups and formal organisations have bloomed. So, does this mean that the Indian men and women have become more health conscious or it's just a fad to say I too ran a marathon.
    Hope the spirit of running a Marathon is not turned into a commercial money spinning event like cricket to IPL.
  • #608197
    Good post raised by the author. Of late we are coming across many marathons on almost every Sunday being organized by one company or the other. Though the concept of Marathon is never doubted and every healthy conscious people would love to run for a cause, but what is seen as the regular that the so called marathon is reduced to a publicity stunt. First they say sell the accessories like T SHIRTS, bands, even shoes while registration for a cost and thus they have earned enough money. Then they rope in celebrities of young generation to grace the occasion and who never run or walk. So the entire episode turns to be gate crashing even to watch the celebrity and shake hands with him or her and taking selfies. Thus the run or walking marathon is almost lost. This kind of things are happening every time and hence I miss out intentionally.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #608200

    I do not think it is a fad, it is here to stay. Participation in such events has witnessed an upward trend. Initially, it was the young blood from the corporate world that took part in these runs, for a cause. Today you find people of different ages registering for such events.

    Are Indians aspiring to become healthy?

    Running and walking and other forms of exercise give an adrenaline rush. Exercise, in a way, is also addictive. So, once one gets running, they continue to do so because it has positive effects on their physical and emotional health.

    Monthly runs (2km, 5km and 10km) are organised in the apartment complex where I live. There is a dedicated team of runners who organise the events, right from getting sponsors to charting of the route to setting up refreshment kiosks etc. They are part of a bigger runner's group comprising of many housing societies. They travel to different cities to participate in major events held there.

    I think people are learning to enjoy the pleasures of physical exercise.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608202
    In my opinion, in case of 95% participants (who take part in marathon/half-marathon), the participation is a style/ fashion statement and an opportunity of photo-session. However, for the rest 5%, it is a matter of fitness (although at different level). But I must add that the percentage of serious participants has been increasing slowly in India.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608209
    To be able to participate in these runs one needs to be physically fit. Running for the sake of a photo op could result in medical disaster. It is not easy to run even fifty metres if you are physically not up to the mark. Apart from physical fitness one needs the stamina to compete in these runs.

    I was never a long distance runner, but I know the pressure it puts on the body. No fool would go through the grind, just for a photo op.

    Some people get goaded into registering because others around them are doing it. But, then that is how the love for running or anything else for that matter starts. You venture into something new, aping others, but once you learn to enjoy it, you make it a part of your life. It could be more of a need to be part of something, but I wouldn't call it a photo op. People run for causes they support and labelling 95% of them as photo opportunists is being cynical.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608218
    Ms. Juana: You are 100% correct. But have you noticed that maximum participants can't run (jog) beyond 500 metres from the starting line?
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608219
    I haven't and I tell you this, I have lived in an area where marathon events started barely 500 metres from my residence. Not just that I was always present at the events, by virtue of being my husband's wife!

    I was there to cheer people. I always noticed a lot of enthusiasm, especially among first-time runners. I never looked for people who couldn't run beyond a certain distance because that was never the aim. What I saw was people huffing and puffing to the finish line. They didn't give up and that is commendable for those who couldn't run beyond the first 500 metres.

    There is always a first time to everything and first-time runners are expected to fall behind the more seasoned and experienced runners. I won't term their presence at the event as a photo opportunity. I think their effort is laudable. People turn up at these events from distant places and quite early in the morning. They also walk great distances (because parking areas are designated at a distance) to be at the venue, where the runs are flagged off. I won't belittle their effort. It is the spirit that counts.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608220
    If you say that maximum participants complete marathon/half-marathon in India, then I humbly disagree.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608231
    Not everyone who participates chooses to run the full/half marathon. There are other categories too and yes, people generally complete the run that they register for. This is from experience, from what I witnessed.

    Coming to running the marathon and half-marathon. Special training and skills are required to run these races. Big events attract international runners. Only serious runners take part in running these distances. I have never seen or heard of a novice decide to run the full or half-marathon. It takes some bit of training to be able to run these distances without experiencing fatigue, cramps and dizziness etc. No sane person would attempt these runs without first getting into a proper fitness regime.

    I see the training sessions the runners in my apartment complex go through, especially before every major event. And I have no doubts that the majority of participants complete the race they choose to run. Not necessarily the marathons, but the 5k and 10k runs.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608268
    Thanks for the responses
    members have touched upon
    1.registration fees
    2.accessories sold at the venue
    3.MNCs & celebrities at events
    all of these are part of any public or sport event
    BUT more importantly the
    1. atmosphere
    2. passion to run
    3. as rightly mentioned many can and do finish 5k and 10K

    Being in Bangalore, a couple of years ago a senior colleague of mine go be hooked into running. I heard about a event called Bangalore Ultra and it had runners who had completed 50K, 75K and 100K !. Yes 100 kilometers ( adults and senior class). That motivated me to prepare and run a half marathon. Hoping to complete a marathon 17-18...

    My only hope is that these events don't get overtly commercialized as it takes away the pride and sense of achievement that one get after completing any event

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