|The 6:15 am Start|
Most of the Mumbai half-marathon is run along sea-fronting roads. At 19 kms, you reach a psychological milestone when you take a sharp turn and start running inland. That is the point when you know you have almost made it. That is the point when you would expect people to start speeding up because they are so close to the goal. But they don't.
I maintained my even pace after turning in, and in the next kilometer overtook not one or two but Sixty-nine people. They must all have run a good race to reach where they had in the time that they did. And yet, without even increasing my pace, I was effortlessly overtaking dozens of them every couple of minutes. Why?
So close to the end, when they knew they could crawl the rest of the way and still make it, their soul had given up. It was as if they race was over and the remaining two kilometers were just a formality to be gone through before picking up their medals.
And me? The agony of running with acute stomach cramps since the 8 km mark spurred me on- I sprinted the last 500 meters in less than two minutes- that was a promise I had made to myself last year. I kept it.