Monday, May 8, 2017

April 26, 2017 - For Melissa!

Today's run was sponsored by Melissa! Thanks so much for continuing to help fund the Ty Taylor Memorial Campship Endowment. We're getting so close to fully funding the endowment, I appreciate your help! Soon, YMCA Camp Miller will be able to send a deserving camper to camp for free every year in honor of an amazing man.

This write-up is so late in coming that I'll actually dedicate two runs to Melissa. Thanks for your generosity, I appreciate it

The first run was actually in March!

Melissa, the generous donor behind this post, was visiting Delhi. As our incoming Middle School Assistant Principal, she was in town getting to know the school as part of the transition visit. When I heard that she was a runner, I couldn't resist the offer to play tour guide, so I volunteered myself to guide a morning run. Probably not fully knowing my history, she agreed. Since she was staying at the Claridges Hotel, I decide to take a loop around Nehru Park, meet her at her hotel, hit the tourist hotspots near the hotel and finish with a half lap of Lodhi Garden.

The run was an immediate introduction to urban Delhi running. Monkeys and dogs were our companions as we headed toward the Gandhi Smriti. The Gandhi Smriti is the location of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. It's now a flashy "high-tech" interactive museum and a taciturn preservation of his few possessions, his simple living quarters and an immortalization of his final footsteps. Gandhi was assassinated in the garden of the Birla House by a Hindu nationalist that opposed his stance on Pakistan and his doctrine of non-violence.

The spot where Gandhi-ji was killed. Notice the footprint, the path traces his last steps.
Flashy Interactive Museum!
And, oh yeah. We had tea with his granddaughter. (far right)

Our run continued past another commemorative site, the site of the assassination of another famous Gandhi (no relation), Indira. Indira Gandhi was the third Prime Minister of India and was actually the daughter of Jawarharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister (who's death site is just down the road from hers!). She was assassinated famously by Sikh bodyguards who were retaliating for Gandhi's ordering of Operation Blue Star in 1984. The house is also now a museum. I still haven't visited it, but writing this post reminds me that I only have a little time. I think I will make this a mission.

We continued running, chatting the whole time, discussing the relative merits and dangers of running in a mega-city. It was as we were crossing the street near Safdarjung's tomb when it happened. I came pretty close to getting hit by a bus. Granted, it was starting from a dead stop at a red light, but it was close enough to encourage me to have a quick discussion with the driver and to (probably) scare Melissa off from running in Delhi entirely! Tranquility was restored when we arrived to Lodhi and took a leisurely half-loop in the city's idyllic heart.

Distance: 7.43 miles
Duration: 1:01:32

April 26, 2017

This was the run that Melissa actually sponsored, an early morning run after a night of wonderful rain! It managed to cool things off a little, but not much. I met Justin at the gate and we set off on an hour-long run where I thought I could show him some new spots and mix it up a little bit. The first hit on this route was the pedestrian over-bridge that crosses the train tracks near the Chanakyapuri Railway Station. To call this a station is a bit of an overstatement. It's really a platform. As you can see, the station itself looks like it hasn't been used in a while.

This run features a few up and overs. First the railroad tracks, then up and over the Ring Road. We continued on through what has been a rough patch in the past, but is now absolutely terrible. Tons of construction, ripped up roads, into bright headlights...and back to the Rao Tula Ram Marg and a dash across the Ring Road at ground level.

From there, I had the idea to try to "sneak in" the front gate of New Moti Bagh. I've never tried to go in the front gate, so I thought it would be worth a try. The guards greeted us with "Good mornings," as we passed through the gate and it was a success! We took a lap around this strange anomaly of a planned community with amphitheater, parking garages and private fruit and milk shops and headed out the back gate.

Then it was all business as we headed home. Running with Justin keeps me honest. He likes to run fast. I know I slow him down, but I like to think he likes the company.

Distance: 7.23 miles
Duration: 1:01:04

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