Running has been growing in India like never before. There are many small city marathons which have crossed the 20th edition, so this is not something which happened all of a sudden. But those marathons probably did not reach the level where the common man was running for fun or fitness, but more for the professional runner.
Photo: Kaushal Karkhanis
The real boom of running in India really started in 2004 with the first edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. This is when the media too really got into the thick of things, and the event was being branded big time with an all-inclusive feel, no more was running the den of the elite few. Quite appropriately, in 2005, it was the launch of the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon (now sponsored by Airtel) which caught the nations imagination. Both are now great races in the India Running Calendar and stand out at the world level with IAAF Gold (Delhi) and Silver (Mumbai) Label accreditation.
In the next several posts, I will be covering the progress of running in India. We will be looking at the various running events in India, and take a sneak peek into their history and origins. We will also be looking at how running is becoming more organized in India with various running groups and communities coming up with promoting running in their cities and around, and how they are playing a key role in this transformation. I will also try to put in posts on some of the personalities associated with taking India to the next level, directly in terms of individual achievements, or indirectly through playing a key role through their passionate involvement.
If you would like me to cover anything in particular that you would like to see in this series, do drop a comment and I will make sure that I write something on that subject too.