Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh : Jan 10 : It is not often that Panchkula records one of its coldest days in Winter, and you get around 200 enthusiastic runners, some clad only in shorts and singlets, to run. That’s exactly what happened at the 1st Panchkula Running And Living Cross Country Half Marathon on Jan 9th. Starting at North Park Hotel at 9am the runners ran on a road which ended in a trail, between the hills and the Ghaggar river, as the fog descended and made the route look like it came out of a very romantic setting of a movie. It was an incredible sight to see them bring their cheer and energy to the event as they came from Faridkot, Bhatinda, Delhi, Gurgaon, NOIDA, Jammu and of course, around the Tri City. Though the Tri-city is rendering under the coldest times ever in the history, where mercury at day has dipped to Max. of 7.4 deg & Min of 2 deg, did not decline the moral of the enthusiasts who ran in the half marathon.
Alchemist Hospital was on hand at three locations and with an ambulance to ensure that anyone needing assistance, got it immediately, while Elemention Gym trainers led the much needed warm up routine and the rest of their team provided water and sports drinks along the way. The route was scenic and tough as the trail became stony in parts and runners had to drop their pace as they focused on the trail below and ahead of them. Crossing a dry stream bed was very different and scenic, said Ankush Mendiratta, a leading HR practitioner at a telecoms company in Gurgaon. ” Cross country running is so energizing different from city running” added Navjot Brar, a gynecologist from Faridkot who ended up coming 1st in the women’s category.
“We want people from all over to come and experience what nature has to offer, and also experience cold and harsh conditions at this time and humid or warmer conditions at others, because this is what makes a long distance runner a more tolerant and adjusting person” said Rahul Verghese, the founder of the company that organised the run – Running And Living Infotainment – from Gurgaon.
“This was a world class event” said Naveen Kundu – the MD of a travel company from Delhi
Percy Fernandez came 1st in the veterans category (40+) in the half marathon with a tie of 1 hr 50 mins. Yudhvir and Mahinder Kumar came 2nd and 3rd (Yudhvir is 63 years old)
In the open Category- Rajesh Kumar in 1 hr 20 mins, Balwant Singh 1 hr 21 mins and Anil Kumar in 1:22 came 1st, 2nd and 3rd.