Standing on the start line, we are all cowards. – Alberto Salazar, 3 times NYC Marathon winner
The Mumbai Half Marathon, is sponsored by IDBI Federal Life Insurance, and is almost always referred to as the ‘IDBI Half Marathon’ in the Mumbai running circles.
Very high humidity, but superb arrangements by organizers, and the spirit of Mumbai, were the highlights of the event!
The holding area of Jio Gardens was quite spacious, well-maintained, paved with turf and there was Zumba warmup going on when I reached there, after parking my car in the Jio parking (which the organizers had managed to make ‘free’ for the participants of the event. Quite a nice gesture I would say.). The holding area has well-maintained washrooms too, and that’s another boon for the anxiety-ridden marathoners gathering up in the holding area.
The race started bang on time, and there was a bit of chaos on the left side of the road right after the start line for fans to shake hands and take selfies with Sachin Tendulkar!
The run itself was quite nice…though it’s not always fun doing two loops of the same course. Especially if you have done it several times in the past years already. The first few support stations did not keep water bottles but had non-disposable glasses instead to drink water from, probably to reduce the plastic load of the event, and this was a letdown since most runners prefer running with a bottle or two in their hands, just in case. However, as it turned out, the later support stations did have water bottles that the runners could pick and carry for their runs. The aid stations were well stocked otherwise too, with salt and oranges available at most stations. Thought, considering the humidity, having ice packs at more stations would have been nicer 🙂
The music at the start and finish line, which is also the mid-point of the run – the drum rolls could be heard about a km before the finish line – was fun! This time the organizers, who pioneered the trend of serving elaborate hot breakfast for the runners (even in their promo runs!), had post-run refreshments (including a banana chocolate smoothie) and some fruits at the finish line, followed by more elaborate hot breakfast in the Jio Gardens holding area.
The last 3 years that I have run this event, the t-shirt quality remains consistently excellent, and throughout the year, you will find many runners around Mumbai running in IDBI marathon t-shirts. And for the early bird registrants like me, we end up getting another personalized t-shirt too. Not bad, huh! As one of my facebook friends commented, technically, you get paidto run this event with all the free t-shirts and good breakfast!
Overall a great event to run, though the timing and weather is not conducive for a PR for most people.