Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come or discussed over some really nice coffee.
So it happened that one day over some fine coffee some of us decided that may be the best way to raise money for Chirag school is to organise a marathon. And not just any Marathon the Mukteshwar marathon, its first edition and at an altitude of 2200 mts above sea level.
Fast forward 3 months and come to 5th May 2013.And it is actually happening. There is a huge flex banner welcoming runners, people are pouring in for the run , everything is set and in place.
In the 3 months that I quickly fast forwarded we launched a website, asked for registrations, got permissions in place thanks to Chirag, finalized and ran the route and put the whole event together.
We had two categories Half Marathon 21kms and Fun Run 5kms. Our theme was – Run at 2200 mts above sea level and run to help educate kids. A day before the marathon we had organized ” Marathon Expo- which is fancy word for a place where you can collect your running bibs and goodie bag. We also coupled that with some Kumaoni “Song and Dance” by the local school kids.
For those who don’t know Mukteshwar, it is a quaint little town about 50kms or so from Nainital. If it were not the buzz of Taxi’s ferrying tourists to “Chaoli ke Jaali” or the famous Mukteshwar Temple it would almost qualify for the idiom- One-horse town. On a clear day Mukteshwar has some breathtaking views of Nanda Devi. So if your idea of holiday is to going out for lovely walks, watching the mist play hide and seek and enjoying chai and samosa then Mukteshwar is the place to be.
On 5th May 2013, 7.30 am was the flag off time. Aid stations were all set with Gatorade, Biscuits, Water and all the good things that runners like to eat on the way. Aid Stations were manned by enthusiastic volunteers from Chirag. We had a doctor and an ambulance on call in case of any emergency. As soon as Vihan waved off the green flag 150 runners from all over the country participated sprung to action in one of the toughest runs in India.The running route had some really mean looking climbs. Our advice to all the runners was- take it easy, remember- what goes up, goes down too.
Mukteshwar Marathon was probably the biggest sports event in Mukteshwar and nearby areas. It connected locals, outsiders, NGO people, Local Police and administrations to the love of running. Like one local participant commented- people flock to Mukteshwar during Shivratri now people will also come here for running. Amen to that.
Three months before the event, this was just an idea. Yes we wanted to organise a marathon. But it was so hard to believe when it actually happened. It’s a surreal feeling. You will know what I mean if you have gone through the experience of creating something from scratch. It is like your idea has come to life and so many people all across the country have contributed to it.
Some of us are runners so we knew theoretically how to organise a marathon. But then actually putting something together is a huge logistics exercise and costs time and money. But what truly overwhelmed us was the kind of support that we got from sponsors such as makemytrip.com, B2r and Sure wave media for the marathon. Everyone we went to was willing to lend a helping hand.
For us Mukteshwar Marathon connected the twin love for mountains and running. Not only the idea has taken shape, it is infectious too so rest assured we will be back with a bang in 2014.
I also write a piece about the Marathon on Makemytrip.com blog. We are thankful that Makemytrip.com for generously supported the making of mukteshwar marathon.You can read the blog here and show them some love 🙂