It’s been a long, long day – at the time of writing I’ve been in transit for 28 hours, awake for most of them. I still can’t sleep, and even though I’ve already written something today, I have nothing better to do. I looked in my pockets for any blank paper to write on, and God help me I’m writing this on those sickness bags they shove in the airline seat pockets. Even the best of us squirm when we see a fellow passenger reach for the barf bag, and I’m sure I gave the folks next to me quite a fright when I reached for mine.

Anyway, I was flipping through a copy of Runner’s World, and came across this photo of two runners on a dirt trail, faces as happy as they come – they looked like models. Photoshop, I hear you cry. Sure, sure, you may photoshop away the sweat and the dirt, but you can’t photoshop in the way their heels land right below their knees, and you certainly can’t photoshop in those smiles. It got me thinking about my happiest run, back in New York this past summer.

My routine was to go for a run after finishing my day at Google, and have dinner after. Summers in NY can reach the low to mid 30s (Celsius), which is fine if you’re walking but too warm if you’re running. I got into the habit of checking the weather reports to see if I should wait for sunset for it to cool down outside. That day, the forecast was for clouds all afternoon and a wind blowing from the north towards the evening. Perfect. Cloudy afternoon meant the sun wouldn’t bake the road all day, and the way my running route was laid out, the wind would be helping me towards the end of my run – which is always welcome. I laced up and head out, and the first mile was just as expected. Then it started to rain. And boy, did it rain. Within minutes everyone had taken shelter under the nearby bridge, and the only ones still running were the crazy ones – besides me, of course.

Now, it is my general policy to smile and nod at another runner if we make eye contact. Usually, nothing happens. This is understandable – imagine a sweaty grimy guy, breathing somewhat like a pregnant walrus, and  you wouldn’t smile either. Either the rain changes this, or it’s just the crazy ones, but that day, every single person smiled. I saw an old Latino lady with a fairly useless umbrella, walking in that torrent as if she’d planned it all, sporting a beatific smile throughout. Some middle aged runner saw me and yelled “Yeah!”, at which I felt compelled to reply with a “Whoo!”. I never say “Whoo!”. I didn’t know it then, but that was the fastest 7 miles I’ve ever run, each mile faster than the last. I haven’t gone that fast since, even when I consciously tried. I’m always on the lookout for rainy runs since that day.

I finished my run and got back to the Google office for a hot shower, tracking mud all over their (previously) fine carpets. They’ve probably seen stranger things than a dripping, shivering intern abusing their shower facilities.

Anyway, my point is this – if you had happened to take a photo of me in that run, I’d look just as happy as those models.

And you wouldn’t even need Photoshop.

PS: The lady next to me also wants to write something, it seems, and she’s just pulled out a nice leather-bound diary to do so.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I am completed 10 k run only 42 min

  2. October 23, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Hi sir I am interested in running please inform me when event is going on please please thank you so much
    From balanager

  3. Prateek Kumar Beriwal
    July 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    i am runing 4.35km in 26min from 1yr and i have lose 30kg…

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