Sunday, January 23, 2011

RFL Mumbai Runners party till midnight

2010 could be marked as a watershed year in the history of running in Mumbai – the coming of age of many runners – running groups abuzz with activity, people travelling together to other destinations to run, races & treks being organized within Mumbai and beyond. All these activities picked up stream throughout the year and culminated in a magnificent performances by all runners – smashing their personal bests or conquering the beast that is called “full marathon” either during the year or immediately thereafter in the standard chartered Mumbai marathon in jan 2011.

While this was going on, a need was felt for a post run runners party by some of the runners – a stray conversation developed into a full blown project. Whereas Milton Frank it was, who mooted the idea while an online conversation with Dan, Arvind Bharati and myself, the idea again picked up speed somewhere during the post Bandra-NCPA breakfast get-together. SCMM was identified as a marquee event, at least for the Mumbai runners and it was therefore decided to do something immediately after the Mumbai event which was scheduled for 16th January. The date of Saturday, 22nd January 2011 was selected as the probable date because of its proximity to the marquee event and also being a Saturday, people could wind down and relax with nothing to do on Sunday.

Arvind and his RFL team at Bangalore were euphoric that such an event was being thought about and gave us permission to use RFL name in the certificates, banners etc.

What is a party without there being some kind of awards in it. So, in order to encourage runners it was decided to do a Hall of Famer kind of list where the runners who have come in the top 5 positions in any event during the calendar year 2010 were to be given some kind of awards. We called it the Hall of Fame list to impart some element of uniqueness to it. But we still needed something – what was that? While thinking of some kind of zing to the awards thing, a thought struck – why not runners themselves choose who they considered were the best runners of the year 2010 through an online polling which was to be secret. Being a completely democratic concept this thought was floated around and found immediate acceptance from all the group leaders and therefore was put in place through a web based online polling form which asked runners to give three preferences to their choice of best male/ female runners of 2010. No specific criteria was pointed out, save that performances for 2010 was to be considered.

That done and completed – the actual nitty gritty of having the runners party doomed large on us – we
formed a core group of people like Giles, Milton & myself to bring this to fruition. While locating a party hall proved to be tough logistical nightmare, Bhasker Desai came up with the idea of hosting the party at the Juhu Vileparle Gymkhana Club of which he was the member. Location seen, liked, chosen, booked and paid – DONE

Certificates – Milton got the design done by his agency gratis, printing done by Mani also gratis – Merci both of you

Trophies – Milton & Giles scouted around for suitable trophies even while time was running out on us – Milton got the legend embedded on the trophies again through his agencies – Milton may your agencies double their turnover this year and you too.

 Music – Apurva Shah agreed to lend his PC and Ajit Singh agreed to act as the unofficial DJ (this is probably your true calling Ajit) and get the hardware and support for the same.

Program – Milton & Radhika got down to the brass tacks of preparing a program sheet for the evening with games, dances, performances et al.

The entire team of Milton, Giles, Radhika, Apurva shah, Ajit, Mani & Qureshi were meticulous to the last detail and terribly hardworking to ensure no hiccups whatsoever.

We had almost the entire running fraternity (belonging to RFL Mumbai groups) at the party yesterday at JVG Club – the party had everything – music, dances, performances, gallant speeches, trophies, drinks, food – it lasted till 11.30 p.m. the official closing time.

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