3 30. in the morning! Now, that’s no time to be out on the roads, unless you are flying high on a late night party or it’s the day of the Dream Runners Half Marathon and you are the volunteer-cyclist. Fired up with Adrenaline, I was there sharp on time to be the route marshal for the third woman runner. Laying for her a bridge to run on the sea of eager runners was my task. Man, did I enjoy shouting on top of my voice “Please move, winner running!!” to a sea of runners,? You bet!
The first two women runners passed me by like bolts of lightning. And then came Kavitha. Slender like a willow, dark and with not an extra ounce of fat in her body. I happily took my position a little behind her as it was a free road. And I loved seeing her while she ran. The graceful form and rhythmic movement of an elite runner was indeed a treat to the eyes. Not to mention my wistful fantasies to be able to run like her and wishing for the nth time that I had taken to running when I was younger.
The first surprise came when she called me to the front and asked me to be sure to clear a big way for her on the way back. It was still dark and I didn’t notice the details of her face. It was just surprising that she didn’t even gasp after having run a kilometer. She did not seem to be able to follow even a simple sentence in English. I don’t know if I am going deaf or if her tamil was so different from Chennai Tamil, I had to make her repeat her instructions thrice. She did without losing her breath.
All of a sudden, my eyes landed on her feet and what the heck!!!, She was running BAREFOOT!! Imagine running 21 kilometers on tar roads, with all its tiny bad spiky pebbles which are quite tricky if you just walk, how bad can they turn when you are landing on them at fifty times your body weight!? I kept waiting and waiting for her to slow down, but she didn’t. And the worst part? When I told her that I am assigned to lead the third runner, she firmly shook her head and said, “Second, I will finish second.” That was on the first kilometer. How awesome is it to have such confidence on your own abilities, when you are just in the first lap!