A MARATHON LIKE NONE OTHER
Colours of Glory Victory Day Marathon 2018
The early hours, even before dawn and sunrise , of Sunday, 16 December 2018 saw the picturesque stretch of road from Elliot’s Beach to Leela Palace Hotel at Adyar Sea Face in Chennai, teeming with the hue of marigold, as enthusiastic participants of all ages, men, women and children, clad in T-Shirts of that colour – that represents valour and sacrifice – took to the road for a ‘mini marathon’.
The run, preceded by a rocking Zumba session of warming up, covered a distance of roughly 13 kilometres (to and fro). Unique in its conception it commemorated the historic victory of Indian Armed Forces in the War of 1971; here the distance of 13 kilometres symbolized the 13 days that the war had lasted; the date of the event fell on the Anniversary of the mass surrender of Pakistani troops to Indian troops at Dacca, at the end of the war viz. 16 DEC 1971!
As an unusual and innovative manner of remembering our heroes of 1971, the event was indeed a spectacular success. What was intriguing was the number of civilians who had joined up for it.
The Victory Day Marathon happens to be a singular landmark among the series of such events conceived and organized by Colours of Glory Foundation during the last two years, in its quest to promote awareness of India’s proud Military Heritage.
Additional scaled-down categories, that gave people the option to choose distances that suited their fitness levels, saw a spirited mix of participants from 8-year olds to octogenarians running merrily.
A massive dose of sprightly youth comprising school-and-college students and corporate employees added extra vigour to the turnout. Of course armed forces veterans played their part as well, as most of them in their fifties and sixties had proudly joined the race too! A number of former senior ‘brass’ ran shoulder to shoulder with the youngsters with age-defying energy!
After the run there was time to bond and share which was very evident from the bonhomie that made the venue (Olcott Memorial School) a Carnival of sorts! Breakfast made a welcome time to relax, so thoughtfully arranged as part of the proceedings; as is wont in all ‘Services Events’ everything went bang on time.
At the end of the show the winners were felicitated by a retired Admiral, an ageing hero of the 1971 War, who briefly reminisced of it and endeared the audience with snippets of the famous war and victory.
The ‘Civvie’ street in particular was mesmerized and many vowed to be part of such events in the future ; they were happy to have a glimpse into the Services way of doing things and glad that their wards were able to participate.
It was indeed an occasion to remember; one that evoked immense pride in everyone present; recalling the magnificent achievement of our Armed forces nearly half a century ago, with a measure great appreciation.
Kudos to the organizers for this lively event, paying an eloquent tribute to our Armed forces.