Saturday, October 19, 2013

Navagraha Ottam - Run Like Neville

Navagraha Ottam - Part#6 - Run Like Neville

Over the period 4 days, the running prowess of the group clearly showed and groups emerged.  If Balaji and I were like siamese twins for all the four days, Selva and Bala were the other twins.  We had mix of  elite, DQ, Stealth and slow runners.  Here is the story of these running pairs and what Neville had to say about my desire to run like him..

Selva & Bala are the DQ pair.  Selva in particular would say that they would be the slowest and going to struggle.  But, this shirtless pair would always do much better than many of us and finish stronger.  Well done Selva, you have come a long way since your struggle at 2012 Hyderabad marathon.

Durai and Vadivel are the stealth pair.  For some legs they would be with us and many times,they would quietly slip away and latch on to other groups which were much faster.

Balaji and I were the slow bunch.  We always start early and finish last.  We would talk more than run.  We will just about talk to and about everything under the Sun.  If we see kids, we talk. If we see drunkards, we talk.  If we see laborers, we talk.  If we see a inebriate Police Officer creating a ruckus in the middle of the road, we talk.  Simply put, we talked to anyone who would talk to us.  Basically, we used this ruse to stop running and catch breadth.  It was fun though.  Here is a 'Only Balaji' conversation snippet..

This was actually a conversation Balaji had the previous day with a political party worker.. some Vattam / Mavattam likes.. Balaji and this Vattam / Mavattam were traveling in a bus together the previous day and after some initial conversation..

தொண்டர் - தம்பி, உன் வயசென்ன? சுமார் முப்பது இருக்குமா ?
பாலாஜி  - ஆங், இருக்கும்
தொண்டர் - கல்யாணமாயிடுச்சா, தம்பி ?
பாலாஜி - இல்ல….
தொண்டர் - ஏன் தம்பி ? காலா காலத்துல கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கவேண்டாமா?
பாலாஜி - எதுக்குங்க? அம்மா மாதிரியே நானும் பண்ணிக்கல..
தொண்டர் - :- ...... (ஏன் பேசறார் அதுக்கப்புறம்? அமைதியாக நகர்ந்துவிட்டார்)

That 'thondar' is a AIADMK party worker.. and you know who Balaji is referring.. Now, tell me.. who else can come up with a line like that... without a doubt... only Balaji can..

Neville, Sri, Vishwanathan and Peter are the Elite group.  These guys would generally start well after us, catching that extra sleep and a little extra rest.  But they will always overtake us at each leg, each day.  I became so envious of that gang and asked Neville, how can I run like him.. this is what he has to say..
He is right, I would be lot better with 5 less kilos on me.. but has been struggling to shake it off..  Neville - I truly wish to run like you one day.. Glad to have been part of your running journey in a small way.. Sri Lanka, Mettupalayam and now Navagraha Ottam.  Your annual dawn to dusk run for a good cause is simply awesome.  I hope the charity angle of running catches on in Chennai and many more follow the example set by you.

Detailed booklet on the Navagraha Ottam here
Navagraha Ottam album here
Navagraha Ottam Post  #1   #2  #3  #4  #5