Monthly Archives: June 2011

Awareness, the key to safe urban road running. Also, should you carry a weapon while running?

I have read all sorts of testosterone loaded comments about runners carrying guns and mace; and of shooting and threatening people by runners on various forums. If you fear animal attacks then by all means get something to defend yourself. I have personally run with a thin flexible stick to defend against dogs (a good idea is an extensible baton). However if you run the same route frequently and are going to be aggressive or get into a fight with someone then you carry the extreme risk of that someone waiting for you the next day with buddies or some sort of weapon to get even !!

A policeman (who is also a runner) was advocating on a popular forum that one should run with a gun (as he personally does). When he gets into a “situation” he shows his gun to warn potential aggressors off. Personally I think this is not only dangerous but outright stupid!! This might work for a trained cop (with a “cop” support system) but not for a regular person. If you do carry a weapon and pull it out when there is no other resort, then “USE IT”!! Also make sure that once used you call in your local law enforcement to take care of the perpetrator. You don’t want an injured, pissed and dangerous person to be waiting for you (this time concealed and with heavier armor) in the future.

Why not just change your route and look for a safer place to run? Keep an eye out for drunks and other “criminal” types. Awareness is the key to urban road running. Here is an incident I once had about 2 years back which sounds funny now but was pretty scary then!

I was running an 18km route and had just crossed the 11km mark near Indraprastha Metro Station on the Ring Road, when a drunk (and probably homeless guy) tried to aggressively accost me (I am not even sure if he was attacking me or just being overly friendly!!). I was running on the sidewalk and he was coming towards me. I was in speed and I reactively just moved my right shoulder ahead, and down (and finally up at impact) – hitting him with considerable momentum around his sternum. He literally flew several feet in the air and landed off the sidewalk on his backside, ran like hell after that (could hear his shouting & abuses for quite some time) and didn’t stop for a several kms till I was absolutely sure he wasn’t following me (then I stopped and actually laughed like crazy!!). Avoided that route for several months thereafter.

Good story now to tell over a beer, but was pretty scary when it happened. Consider myself lucky to have actually caught him off-guard.

Run safe.


SurveyMonkey link for “Campaign to Change the Route of Mumbai Marathon

There was a great suggestion from a reader that we should do a short survey to get feedback on this issue. I have created a survey with just two questions on Would really appreciate about ONE minute of your time to take this survey. The survey link is –

The background is in the previous blog post.

If any of you are on other running mail groups around the country please do forward this to them as well so that we have good feedback from all over.

Campaign to tweak the Mumbai Marathon 2012 route

Everyone who has run the Mumbai Marathon will understand what happens near the 25-30km mark – The SEA-LINK BRIDGE is what happens !!

This is a real killer since you have a stretch of about 6kms to cover where there is absolutely no shade and also for most runners they are hitting the “Marathon Wall” distance, that dreaded distance at which the body wants to give up whatever the pace. Also for most moderate and slow runners (4 to 6hrs) this is the time when the heat is really strong adding to the misery.

I want to somehow convey to the organizers for Mumbai Marathon 2012 – Please, let us cross the bridge first and then come back via Bandra. So essentially the route would be Worli Dairy – INS Trata Circle – Sea Link – Mahim – Hinduja – INS Trata…. instead of Worli Dairy – INS Trata Circle – Hinduja – Mahim – Sea Link – INS Trata….

This would mean the following –

  1. You’re hitting the bridge much earlier in the run when the legs are still fresh.
  2. Your heat exposure is to a 8am or so Sun instead of a 10am Sun.
  3. And all the above doesn’t happen around the 25-30km “wall” mark but much earlier.

All those in favour please vote/comment and also let’s figure out a way to petition the organizers. Maybe we start posting to or writing to A modified version of the above could be sent to the organizers by all who agree to this route change.

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