The road is the new gym!
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The road is the new gym!

Fitness or fad, marathon is the buzzword on NCR streets. You can walk, cycle or run, but you can't escape its draw. Here is a list of the best runs in town.

The road is the new gym!

All races are not meant to be won, some are just meant to be run. Places such as Noida, Dwarka, Gurgaon and Faridabad are waking up to the fact that marathons can be anybody’s sport.

So, on any given weekend, don’t be surprised if you see scores of people up before sunrise and ready to go the distance, literally. Most come back with souvenirs such as tees, medals and race bibs. In the words of a marathoner, "It’s an individual Mount Everest." And so it is.

Just last Sunday, NCR women joined their Delhi counterparts at the Pinkathon Delhi, 2016, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to raise awareness about breast cancer. Whatever be the cause, the NCR is slowly but surely warming up to the thrill of mass runs.

Interestingly, there has been a change in lifestyle too. Young couples don’t want to stick to the time-honoured routines of brisk walks, yoga or even zumba. They are willing to break the rut and go for something more invigorating. Wanting to stay fit seems to be one of the key drivers. Everyone — schoolchildren, graduates, doctors, lawyers, retired professionals and businessmen — are more than eager to take on a weekend run challenge.

Rajeev Dubey, a resident of Noida who's a regular at marathons, says, “My journey with marathons began three years back. I am a cycling buff and it pushed me to run as well. In fact, running is an easily approachable sport or a fitness activity. All you need is a pair of good shoes and the will to run. I have been participating in marathons almost every weekend, and it gives me a great sense of achievement. It’s kind of a high for me.”

And slowly these runs become an addition, explains Deepak Mehra, a marathoner from Indirapuram. He recounts, “I became fitness-conscious two years ago, owing to health complications. Initially, I started to cycle, and once I built up my stamina, I took to running. It gave me a high like no other. In these two years, I have participated in three full marathons and several half and beginners’ marathons. I have gotten so addicted to running that lately I have been organising a few marathons for kids in Delhi. In August, I organised a first-of-its-kind marathon in Indirapuram — and guess what, 700 people chose to run with me.”

City Spidey brings you up to speed on all the places you can be if you are planning to run:

Noida Megathon

Location: Noida Stadium

Date: September 11, 2016

Categories: Duathlon Masters (Run 10 km + Ride 42 km + Run 10 km); Duathlon Beginners (Run 10 km + Ride 42 km); 21 km Half Marathon (15 years and above); 42 km Cycling Race; 10 km Race (15 years and above); and 1.5 km Kids’ Race (upto 15 years)

Zindagi Ka Safar Foundation Half Marathon 2016

Location: Faridabad Sports Complex

Date: September 18, 2016

Categories: Half Marathon - 21 km, 10 km, 5 km

Dwarka Half Marathon & Charity Run 2016

Location: Sector 11, Dwarka

Date: September 11, 2016

Categories: Half Marathon - 21.1 km, 15 km, 10 km, 5 km

2nd Dwarka Smart City Run - Half Marathon

Location: Dwarka

Date: September 25, 2016

Categories: 3 km, 5 km, 10.55 km and 21.1 km

Desi Warrior Battlefield Gurgaon

Location: Gurgaon

Date: October 16, 2016

Categories: 5 km with obstacles

Millennium City Marathon

Location: Gurgaon

Date: October 23, 2016

Categories: Full Marathon 42.2 km; Half Marathon 21.1 km; Joy of Running 6 km