Last weekend I ran in my first race: The Bengaluru Pinkathon. I ran the 10K race (they also offered a 5K and a 3K) and despite some timing issues and the overuse of the phrase “Pink Sister” it was quite fun and well-run. Pinkathon puts on races across India throughout the year to promote running in women and also teach about proper technique. And, India’s beloved heartthrob Milind Soman (who is somehow related to Veena) even made an appearance, causing the ten thousand women preparing for the run to go crazy. It was like Justin Bieber walked on stage in a high school auditorium. Luckily, 10K runners were already lined up to run and I hastily made my escape.
We waited at the starting line for a few minutes…apparently there was also a half marathon which was unadvertised, and the course consisted of running the 10K course two times. We waited for them to pass, and off we went! The course was well-planned and well-marked along the way with big banners every few kilometers to remind you of your distance. Traffic was stopped (at least for the first group) and included a nice sprinkling of minor hills. The hills were small enough that the uphill portion wasn’t too bad and the downhill portions were just inclined enough to give weary legs a rest. Just around 8.5Km, when I began to get pretty tired, there were two cows in the middle of the course AND two drummers on the side of the road, drumming away. These provided me with enough amusement until I reached the banner that said 1000 METERS. Woo! I was quite proud of my first race: 10K in 1:04. Not a winning time, but not too bad for my first attempt and faster than my practice runs. I’ll take it!
After I finished my run I picked up my snack bag and found a nice, empty spot on the ground to relax, stretch and enjoy my snacks while waiting for my friends. Despite stating that there was a 5:30am reporting time for all…5K participants didn’t actually begin their run until around 7am. Veena was running the 5K so I had some time to kill. While I relaxed and enjoyed the fantastic people watching which never disappoints in India, a man walked up to me and asked if I wanted a free foot massage. There weren’t many things in that moment which could have made me stand up, gather my acquired prizes and move from my comfy little corner…but the phrase free foot massage was certainly one of them. Nice touch, Pinkathon.
Veena, Gayatri and I hanging out in the Winner’s Area before the race.
Pinkathon had photographers along the route to snap shots. Mine came out pretty horrible…they’re so bad they’re actually quite comical. Here is the only one which is was acceptable. The guy in the bottom left corner with the pink head wrap is my drumming buddy.
Zumba-class warm-up, starting line, and my favorite: the Avon table which was set up to “refresh make-up” for all of the sweaty runners. Only in India.