I finished the Chennai Half Marathon amidst tough conditions of lack of water, high humidity, indifferent attitude shown towards runners apart from first 100 or so by the organisers.
I completed in 2hrs 25mins which is way below my expectation but I did not give up even though I was contemplating on giving up initially after crossing 5km mark.
Day was filled with funny announcements.
1. Neenga naria dooram odannum 21.09kms, adanaala ellarum dooram nillunga (You guys have to run long distance of 21.09kms, so stand at a distance)
2. Ellarum pinnadi ponga. Odravanga pinnadi nikaraanga, neenga en munnadi nikareenga. (Everyone go back. Runners are standing back why are you guys standing in front)
3. Ladies ellarum aambalaigaluku pinnadi odannum muppadu nimisham kayichu. (Ladies have to run behind the guys after 30mins)
4. Appa vai tholaita kozhandaigal Gandhi selai varavum. (Kids who have lost their father’s come to Gandhi statue)
1. After the 1st km mark, there was no water point for next close to 6kms. Which such high humidity, runners who did not want water initially like me, went without water for next distance.
2. There was no proper plan on requirement of water. After some time there were no water bottles. One had to carry a bottle and fill from bucket.
3. There were physio’s in many points which was good.
4. The cops were really nice and ensured that traffic remained stopped for such time.
5. After first initial set of runners, the organisers were disinterested in other runners. When I reached the 12.5km mark to turn around and return nobody noted my bib number.
6. Near the end point there was no clear indication where half marathoners had to stop. After the marking of 19kms there were no other markings.
7. I was not sure if they provided certificates to runners who finished 21.09kms. As such in Chennai no finishers medals are distributed.
8. Later when waiting for water, lot of people crowded a van which brought water. The guys distributing water started beating the guys asking for water.
Some of the photos, can be viewed here.
The most unfortunate incident was a student from Anna University died. My heartfelt condolences to his family.