AHM, Google loses to people across India while recognizing this acronym that most of the runners in country live and breathe for entire year - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon. Google still shows AHM as Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in 2nd in its results list. After seeing its 2017 edition, I am sure that time is not far when Google has to revise the listing :).
It was my 4th appearance in this mega event; however it is different for me than others in many ways:
1. Runners come to cover different Miles, while I come to discover thousands of Smiles every year.
2. Runners depend on year long practice and good form to come here, while I just need to close my eyes and recollect the memories from past years.
3. Runners describe AHM as one of the most difficult Marathon in India, while I recognize it as most energetic and engaging event irrespective of any sport.
4. Runners keep a count of number of Fly-over’s to conquer, while I keep waiting for musical bands, dancing groups, school kids to cheer up all of whom are running.
You may be wondering me mentioning this first and not sharing my AHM 2017 experience, however for me it is important to share the different aspect of this event than Running/ Health/ Fitness/ Distance/ T-shirt/ Injury/ Shoes/ Barefoot/ FastnUp/ Salt/ Personal Best (PB)/ Medal/ Podium Finish/ and what not that people do run for.
For me, and I am sure there would be many more like me who hesitate to accept or do not find public platform to share: AHM is a Spiritual Retreat of 6 Hrs. 1.5 Hrs each before and after the run and 3 Hrs during run - that's the time I have been taking from last 4 years to discover thousands and thousands of smiles that I mentioned earlier. It is difficult otherwise and elsewhere, and it comes easily while running: I am treated like real life Hero during my entire run and by everyone. They do not gauge me with me speed, my attire, my age, my gender, my religion!! Can there be any better environment that we ever wish for ourselves? I get great feeling of Oneness in AHM every single time I come to run here.
It is difficult to find so many people coming together overcoming their ill living habits, personal and professional commitments, health issues, physical disabilities and participating in an event. The Synergy of the entire environment is non-replicable and unimaginable. And we all witnessed the same with wonderful climate on the run day and a day after.
Every year I promise myself that next year I will come with full practice else I will not enroll. I keep reminding myself the benefits of running and how can it help me in being an elder yet younger to many of people with lesser age than me. I am regular in cycling and have done a lot of long distance rides. However, Cycling Events are very different from AHM - it is difficult to find people cheering you up, not much support and mostly the energy level is not as high as here. I have now admitted and reconciled to the fact that my Physical Fitness will come from Cycling, but for my Spiritual Health and Internal Happiness I will still run AHM 2018 irrespective of my practice level next year.