The clock was about to strike 5:30PM on Jun 3, 2012 and the anxiety and drama was building inside Kingsmead Stadium. Sita, Raghav, Meera & I were wondering the fate of Balaji, who was still out there somewhere..
As the clock stuck 17:30 and the gun went off, Raghav came running towards me excitedly crying ‘Balaji finished.. I saw him finish’. He proudly showed some of the photos he was able to snap of Balaji’s finishing moments. The clock read 11:57:57 and I could make out the lanky outline of Balaji from the grainy photo. Felt happy and relieved at that moment for Balaji.
Within a few minutes, Balaji entered the International enclosure with the medal in his hand and not around his neck. I gave a big congratulatory hug to Balaji and next I saw him putting the medal on my neck asking me to keep the medal till I earn one of my own next year.
That thought of running Comrades again came the instant I decided to quite but nixed it at the very same moment. The physical and mental state I was in, I couldn’t even imagine running through those nasty Durban hills again. They took out every ounce or worse ml of energy I had and pained in the areas I never knew existed in my body. I must be totally ‘insane’ to Comrades again. That’s how I feel even almost after a week. But then, this could be my ‘pregnants' vow’ and might change my mind. But for now, I am sticking to my vow.
Balaji was generous and gracious to give the medal to me, but I politely refused saying I have no intention of running Comrades again.
Next: If I were to run Comrades again...