Fit Communities Story Contributed by marathon runner and Bandra-NCPA runners group member - Ram Ve:
The Bandra-NCPA runners group came about via a felt need for the runners to familiarise themselves with the actual Mumbai Marathon route. A group run was thought of, which after discussions was fixed as the first Sunday of every month long distance training run. The event started on a rainy Sunday morning in July 2010 and has since completed more than two years and has now attained cult status. The group became known as “Bandra – NCPA Runners Group” and has a patient following of more than 375 runners in facebook.
The route typically starts from Carter Road in Bandra and traverses to South Mumbai via Cadell Road, Shivaji Park, Prabhadevi, Worli Sea Face, Pedder Road, Kemps Corner, Marine Drive to NCPA which is the substantial part of the Mumbai marathon group. Water stations are organised for runners at selected places like Shivaji Park, Worli and Marine Drive for the benefit of runners. There are group pre-run warm-ups and post run stretching exercises at Bandra and NCPA respectively which are shown by the in-house coaches.
Along the way the group started having races for the benefit of runners, the first of which was the 6 kms run in Borivli National Park in March 2010 followed up with a 10K run in May 2010, a half marathon in August 2010, a 5K team relay race in March 2011. The half-marathon is into its third year in 2012 with the number of runners increasing every year. The group of passionate runners from this forum also started participating in races around the country and for that purpose group travel logistics was co-ordinated and soon Mumbai runners were known at other race circuits around the country. The group has run at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Thane among other races.
Regular group training activities are organised for the benefit of runners at Aarey Forest, Borivli National Park, Juhu beach among other places. Here we have two dedicated coaches to take the runners through the drills – they are Giles Drego a renowned coach from Bandra and Rajesh Vadgama, an ACE certified coach, an ultra-marathoner and martial arts expert from Goregaon. Speed workouts, strength training, yoga, cardio workouts etc. are all imparted to the runners. Regular training inputs and videos on training, injury prevention and management, diet and nutrition etc. are posted from time to time at the facebook page which is of immense help to the runners.
The group also had the benefit of renowned international runners who took part in the group long distance runs besides also gave the benefit of their immense knowledge to the runners – persons such as Barefoot Ted McDonald and Kothandapani K.C. from Seattle and Bangalore respectively.
Since the runners from the group train throughout the year it was thought fit to have a fun session at the end of the season and as the season culminated with the marquee event i.e. Mumbai Marathon in January, a Runners’ Bash was organised just after the Mumbai Marathon which is also into its third year. Awards were instituted for the best runners, most improved runners etc. and winners were selected on the basis of votes by the runners themselves on a secret online poll. The Runners’ Bash on the Saturday following the Mumbai marathon has been well received by runners and in fact looking at our model, similar runners’ awards functions are organised by the runner groups of Bangalore and Hyderabad.
All run and no play is not good for the body and mind, so keeping that in mind we organised a series of non-running related activities such as football during the lean season of January to May 2012.
The Bandra NCPA runners group has received critical acclaim from runners across Mumbai and runners from other groups also come around to take part in our group runs.
The main persons in the group are Ram who is a Company Secretary by profession but with a passion for running, Mani Iyer an HR professional from the Tata Group equally devoted to running and Milton Frank a Creative Consultant with two decades of experience and the brains behind this concept.
Ram is at https://www.facebook.com/v.ram25
Mani is at https://www.facebook.com/mani.iyer.12
Click here to join the Bandra-NCPA runners group on Facebook.
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