Champions Run, New Delhi, India - Sept 18th, 2016
10km (actually 10.75 by my Garmin)
Finishing time: 49:03
Finishing place: 17th (ish) / 400 (More on the "ish" below)
Race temp: 34 degrees, 89% humidity at race start, 06:30
Race AQI: 154 (AQI = Air Quality Index. Higher = bad. For comparison, AQI in Ottawa on Sunday was 22)
Though I registered in advance, there was only a veneer of organization at the race, and it was hilariously chaotic when I showed up. Gun time was 06:30 (owing to the heat), and though I was there at 05:45, when I hadn't been able to get a bib (at that point I was willing to take any bib) by 06:25, I told them I could just run with my Garmin. As a result, I'm not entirely sure of my finishing place. They haven't posted a final results list (and likely won't), but through doing a manual search of bibs, I was able to narrow down my place based on the times.
The race started outside a stadium in New Delhi, with runners doing a tour on a service road around the outside of the building before moving off onto the streets in the surrounding area. As India is a land of contrasts, so too was the course: the stadium is quite new, built for the 2010 Commonwealth games, and the grounds are still in very good shape. Once we got out onto some of the side roads, however, the poverty, pollution and garbage that challenge so much of urban India were quite evident.
There were a ton of volunteers out, many riding on motorcycles beside us, which was actually quite helpful. At a few points in the race stray dogs took interest/offence to us running by, so having the volunteers close by to yell and scare them away from chasing us was appreciated. There were 2 water stations, with small (sealed) bottles of mineral water.
Even starting so early, it was hot. Air quality in India is noticeably different than in Canada. Though I wasn't overly impacted by the pollution for such a short race, it was definitely something that I could feel while running.
Everyone around was super excited, friendly, and happy to be out and running. It was a small race, and was populated nearly entirely by locals from Delhi. After the race, I was something of a celebrity (no doubt because I stood out in my K2J shirt), and I was asked to pose in at least 25 pictures with other participants and their families. I was also interviewed by the state news agency, and by the media arm of one of the sponsoring businesses. (Though the business said they'd send me the video, I haven't received it yet. I gave a shout-out to K2J while discussing my running back in Canada!)
Prior to the awards ceremony while waiting for the timing chip company to compile results, the organizers blasted Bollywood style music and there was an impromptu dance party. (Amazing!)