19th January 2015
SCMM – Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon
ADHM- Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Yep. This is akin to a Mumbai Vs Delhi post and you already know which side I am on but read it anyway. I promise to be sarcastic funny because that’s the only kind of funny I can be.
– SCMM : Full and Half Marathon. ADHM- Only half marathon
SCMM- 1, ADHM – 0
– The Outstation Expo:
There are 2 expos- one for residents of the city which happens 2 weeks prior where you pick up your bib and brands like Nike/Asics/Reebok/Puma/Adidas/fitness watches etc have their stalls and the other is the outstation expo which happens 1 day prior for those travelling to the city for the marathon.
I have attended the former in ADHM and the latter at SCMM.
SCMM- Expo was at Phoenix Market City, Kurla. I love that mall. The location is so bad that nobody ever visits and you can shop brands like Zara/Promod/MAC etc at peace. But, Kurla is a shitty area, the mall is far from the station, the station is so much crap, there is traffic throughout the day and night outside this mall and is this what you want outstation people to see? Kurla? Really? You want people’s first impression about Mumbai to be KURLA? The mall is a premium one with posh brands. BUT the expo was held in a non AC outdoor section with ineffective fans. I had to wait in a queue for 30 mins, squashed between a tall guy who kept hitting me with his bag and another guy who was standing too close for comfort, to pick up the bib. On inquiring why there is no AC I was told the earlier venue (for residents) at BKC had AC. But then this is Mumbai where outsiders are not welcome. While Mumbaikers drive out Biharis and UPites, Delhi invites them with open arms to rape the women. Now, THAT’s hospitality.
*Rant about tall people. Do you ever feel ignored by this group because you are short? Like they walk without noticing you because you are not eye level to them? I find tall people extremely insensitive and annoying.*
ADHM – Sure, I have only attended the residents expo and not the outstation one BUT it was at JLN stadium which is in close proximity to South and Central Delhi- the only parts of Delhi which matter; the metro station is right outside and there was no waiting in long queues. Everything was quick and efficient.
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
– Goodie bag
This is the 2nd most exciting thing about participating in a run, 1st being the medal. Of course, there is the run too somewhere down the list. Kidding.
SCMM- Crap filled bag. Sachets of Fructis shampoo which I promptly handed over to MIL, Everyuth shit- Not letting this brand touch my skin, Lotus sunscreen- because I don’t have enough of it already, Minute Maid, Volini – I have 3 bottles of this stuff already. I hate getting this crap… I have thrown away so much of it earlier- packs of Glucon D because I ain’t a kid anymore, Fructis sachets year after year after year (my ex-colleague told me it’s a curse which can only be broken once I use it atleast once) etc etc. At Pinkathon we were given Nestle milk packs which is useful but I was carrying 2 packs of milk to the multiplex. Ridiculous. The thing is all this stuff is free of cost to the organizer so they are more than happy to give it. Well, we are not happy about getting them.
SCMM is the first running event where I did not get a tee shirt. Even run organized by even NGOs give a tee shirt.
ADHM- A brilliant, well fitting running tee shirt from Reebok. I love that tee. It would have cost me atleast 2-3k in the store. It’s that good. I heaved a sigh of relief when I only got the tee and nothing crappy as goodie bag.
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
– Holding area
I never thought this could be a point but when SCMM messed it so bad I realized how important it is.
SCMM- I arrived at 5 am and waited to say ‘Hi’ to an acquaintance. I was disappointed to note that you have to move to your line up section immediately. Everyone is allotted a section basis on running times/whether they are elite or amateurs/first come first serve etc and starting times for each section are few minutes apart so there is space for everyone to run. My section was E and since I arrived early I started warming up but then the section got packed and there was no space for warm ups. Which is so bad because you want to be warm before you start the run.
ADHM- This is how it’s done. Everyone enters JLN stadium and moves to the line up area closer to the running time… maybe 15 mins before. It’s a huge space where you can catch up with friends, click pics, warm up and just chill. So much better.
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
SCMM- 1 loo for women. Only 1. I guess women in Mumbai don’t pee much
ADHM- 15-20 loos only for women
– Warm up
SCMM – I have always missed warm ups at every run and decided to reach early enough for it at SCMM. Guess what, they had not arranged for any warm up. I was shocked. How can that be?
ADHM- Reebok Running Squad has warm up which includes zumba. Sure, I missed it at ADHM but the one at Pinkathon was fun. Even Pinkathon which was not a very well managed event had warm up.
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
SCMM – Starts at Bandra fire engine, after 2 km there is sea link, at 4 km you reach Worli sea face, then some residential area, Haji Ali, Peddar road, Marine Drive, CST, CST station.
It was dark when we ran on the sea link so there was no view to enjoy. I didn’t click pics because I didn’t want to stop after only 2 km. The route crosses residential areas which is WTF. South Mumbai premium residential area = Delhi’s shitty area. Seriously. While walking down those roads you will not believe that people pay such high rents/rates for such shitty areas. Each building is ugly, old, dilapidated and definitely not worth even 1/4th the price. There is nothing historic about the route. It’s just South Mumbai like that’s supposed to something iconic. The only iconic part is reaching VT where the run ends.
ADHM- Initially I wondered how Delhi would ever compete with Mumbai sea. Quite damn well, actually. The route does not cross residential areas… atleast not of normal, regular people. The route starts at JLN stadium, crosses India Habitat Centre, Lodhi gardens, golf club, India gate, Rajpath, Jantar mantar and back. It’s a historic route… with so many great views. Much, much better than SCMM.
I mean, who would want to run on the route they drive to work on?
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
– Road quality
SCMM – OMG!!! I want to cry for poor Mumbaikers. Even iconic Marine Drive with shitty property rates does not have a proper road. And people, if you think those are roads… please come to Faridabad toll road. Yes, FARIDABAD. FARIDABAD has a better road than Marine Drive. Yes, sea link is great. But 2 km of sea link quality road = Entire Delhi (even poorer parts like West, East and North)/Gurgaon/Noida/Greater Noida/Faridabad toll road. Mumbai, you should hang your head in shame when Faridabad has something good and you don’t.
And Peddar road is a bunch of small and big potholes glued together. That is NOT a road. Is this the best Mumbai has? Disappointing.
There were some areas where the roads would suddenly become narrow and runners would push and shove to move ahead. Just like Mumbai traffic. A 3 lane road would suddenly be split into half. Or cops would drive the car from the opposite side.
I was at Palm beach road last night and wondered why SCMM cannot be held there. Navi Mumbai is soooo much better than Mumbai. Sure, it’s getting crowded, polluted, dirty just like Mumbai specially Vashi and Koparkhairane but there is still some hope for Navi Mumbai.
ADHM – I didn’t realize having good roads is a luxury. I have participated in 2 half marathons and 3 10k runs apart from all the training runs and not once have I complained about road quality. Whether it is within Gurgaon or between Delhi and Gurgaon, running is so comfortable. No wonder ADHM has record timing. It’s impossible to beat ADHM time. The course is flat and smooth.
Even in Gurgaon where flyovers/metros/road layouts are forever getting contructed, atleast things are changing… for the better. Unlike Mumbai which is stagnant… rotting in it’s own filth… year after year after year.
SCMM- 0, ADHM- 1
– Cheer leaders
SCMM – There were many people on the roads who had come out to cheer for the runners. I loved the enthusiasm of the people. Of course, irrespective of the rents people pay in South Mumbai their mentality is still middle class.
What I did not like were the few cheering stations organized by Pro cam. I barely saw 2-3. And Radio Mirchi had some guys beating the drum randomly. There was no rhythm or rhyme… just 2-3 guys beating drums. Yuck.
ADHM- When you run in Central Delhi the residents there are doing runners a favour by walking out and cheering. You see, these people bump up the country in wealth indices of the world and expect the rest of us to be forever grateful they exist.
Sure, there were regular people who came to cheer for their friends and family but not in the numbers as Mumbai.
What I liked were the cheering stations. I think ADHM had around 8 cheering stations which is so great.
SCMM – 1, ADHM- 0
SCMM – We started the run and I heard cheers of ‘Ganpati Bapa Moriya’ which is so ridiculous. And then it happened again- 4-5 times. How insecure are Marathi manoos that they need to push their agenda while running too. It’s ingrained in them… we are Ganpati bhakts… we have to let everyone know every single time… and never let people forget. Every single waking minute of their life is about fighting for Maharashtra domination by Marathis.
ADHM- Punjus know they are the best. They have nothing to prove to the world. They are too secure in this knowledge to give a fuck. So, no chants. Never. That’s too LS (Low society) for Delhi crowd. They would rather let their velour track suits from Juicy Couture do the chanting.
SCMM – 0. ADHM – 1
– Women wearing lipstick
SCMM – Yes
ADHM – Yes
SCMM – 0, ADHM- 0
– Hydration points
SCMM – No hydration inside the holding area. 1st hydration point at 3 km which is too far.
The weirdest part was so many random people were standing on the streets offering runners food from their homes. YES…. they brought leftovers to feed ‘poor’ runners. I saw Parle G biscuits, candies, fried stuff. YES… SOME DUMB GUY WAS OFFERING RUNNERS FRIED STUFF FROM HIS HOUSE. Who eats fried stuff while running? Who eats fried stuff even otherwise? If you have extra food, please feed the poor. We paid 1500 bucks to run. We are definitely not poor.
ADHM – Enough hydration points. And no, random people were not offering runners crap to eat.
SCMM – 0, ADHM- 1
– The End
SCMM – While running a half/full marathon you should not stop as soon as you reach the finish line. You should keep jogging/walking for a few mins. At SCMM, there were small barricades after the finish line and we had to stop. It was excruciating. The fiasco started after that. There was a separate section for stretching for women inside a dingy room with pink ribbons. Because pink = women. We had to wait in a long queue for our medals… yes, instead of stretching we had to stand in more queues. And I don’t know why women thought sitting on the floor = stretching. They had the audacity to call it a women’s ‘lounge’. It was more like a rat hole than lounge. For the men it was worse, there were not enough people to distribute the refreshments or medals and the entire road got blocked. The guys were just sitting on the roads and stretching. Last I heard, SCMM ran out of medals. How poor do you have to be at Math to not have enough medals? I mean… you sent the confirmations… you don’t know how many medals are needed?
And how do you exit? Nobody knew. We ducked under the torn part of a cloth barricade and headed to VT to take the train because no cabs at VT. As always.
ADHM – Ends at JLN stadium. You need to walk a few meters to reach the refreshment counter where the queue is minimal. The holding area is large. The traffic is diverted but there are enough routes for the car to come pick you up. Or take the metro right outside. And you will find autos on the main road. No hassles, at all.
SCMM – 0, ADHM – 1
SCMM – No network after the run making contact with anyone impossible
ADHM – No network after the run making contact with anyone impossible
SCMM – 0, ADHM – 0
The final tally
So, no. I don’t think am going back to Mumbai for a run. In fact, I don’t think I need to run anywhere apart from Delhi NCR.