Two years back during those early morning (3:45 am types) marathon practices that I used to go for, I was always holding on to my life. Though Chennai lacks a night life, the stray dogs here don’t. Given to me, I think they only have night life. A very scary one. I could never imagine running inside the city without stray dogs chasing me. Every time I spotted a pack of dogs in a street, I would take a break, a new route and curse under my lips.
The other option was to run on a national highway, which thankfully wasn’t haunted by stray dogs, like the ECR. But then again, the lorry drivers and bus drivers wouldn’t stop to take a second look at your dead body after they have run over you. Times were certainly difficult for us, marathoners, then.
But things have certainly changed a lot. I kick-started my Ultra Marathon B’lore, practice a few days back and I have noticed positive changes. Firstly, there are fewer dogs. Way fewer than what used to be back then. Credits go to the municipality corporation. Secondly, the drivers are more friendly. The bus drivers are no longer rash in the wee hours of morning. A couple of them honked gently and overtook me properly, instead of choosing the more time efficient path, running over me. A few car drivers even stopped at crossings to let me pass.
It is a bliss to run in such conditions. All one can hope is that the organizers behind Chennai Marathon 2007, don’t fumble it up again and conduct the marathon before this year ends.