Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For Kathryn!

Today's run was for Kathryn! Thanks for donating, your gift is going to help lucky kids go to camp in the name of an amazing man, Ty Taylor. I know he'd appreciate your generosity as much as I do. Other readers can donate here to get a dedicated run like Kathryn.

The name of the run is the Back Door 5 Miler. It's inspired by the sneaky entrances to some areas where it would seem that I shouldn't be running, but nobody has stopped me yet. The name is inspired by a crocheted sign on a high school friend's back porch that said, "Back door friends are best!"  You know, like "You're the kind of friend that doesn't have to come through the formal front door. You're family." You know, like that.  Right?

I was happy to be joined by Keir and Ted on today's run. It means a lot when my friends support me. Some support with donations and some support by joining me on runs. As crazy as it sounds, my morning runs are some of the best times that I get to spend with people. It's uninterrupted time. Time to chat, time to laugh and time to do and see new things.

The first "back door" was the back entrance to the Safdarjung Railroad Station. I found this backdoor the day before my birthday. That day represented a small turning point in my mentality for runs. That day I decided to explore a bit instead of being tied to my routes. It's been fun since then, taking a left when I normally take a right, turning around to take another look at a hornbill or a peacock with gloriously long tail feathers or scrambling to the top of a boulder to survey the tops of the jungle trees of Sanjay Van (wish I could link to a description of that run-last Saturday's 17.5 miler, my longest ever. Maybe I'll write it up even though there was no sponsor).

Like last time, there was no guard to protest our entrance to the backside of the train station. There was however, a gate that was slightly ajar with a chain and padlock six inches off the ground. Good thing I noticed it before it sent me careening to the ground! Once in the rail yard, we were doing a set of stairs to cross the tracks. Beneath us was the Maharajas' Express Train, the $7000-$23,000 per 7 nights luxury train (Does it say something that the train always seems to be in the station?). After crossing the bridge, the next right turn was out through the in door, combined with the quickest security check ever via the metal detector.

The next "back door" comes at the end of the road that the station is on. Before the Leela Hotel was built, it was possible to run to the end of this road, run through a scrubby field and head toward Sarojini. Once the hotel came, so did the walls. The property was surrounded by walls blocking the path out. In fact, two years ago, I almost got stranded on a railroad bridge (think Stand by Me) as I was trying to work my way around. Nowadays it's an always (knock wood) open gate that allows passage through a yard? mosque? something? Anyway, one can get through.

Moving on to the next "back door." This one is a back entrance into a government housing development. If you're from the US, this might sound like a place where you DON'T want to live. Here though, it's the set up. If you get a government job, you often get perks like free housing, cars, bags full of money, etc. New Moti Bagh is a recently constructed area with Weeds intro-style tiny boxes, high-rise apartments, a park, an amphitheater, underground parking and a distinct US suburb vibe. It's actually a great place to run! It's quiet, clean and very different from the neighborhoods on the outside of its walls. Again, the security guards at the swing-arm gate didn't seem to mind as we entered, so in we went.

In my efforts to combine all of the secret passages and backdoors of my recent runs, we headed to the final "back door." This is the one from Rachel's run on March 27. It's the door in the fence that opens to the private walkway between the Railroad Officer's Bungalows and the golf course. It ends at a private bridge over the tracks to another housing development for railroad employees.

Finally, the run passes a large slum colony and spits out between two embassies. Then it's a short distance to school and the run is done.

I was happy that all of the doors were open today. The Back Door 5 Miler is a great run to have in the cadre of training runs and a great one for visitors! Why not come visit in Delhi and let me show you something?

This run belongs to Kathryn! Your generosity is truly humbling. Thank you so much.

I'm dedicating runs to raise money for a campship in memory of our friend Ty Taylor at YMCA Camp Miller. Click here or here to donate. Please make sure you choose the Ty Taylor Campship option. And please let me know if you've made a donation so I can thank you!

Distance - 4.92 miles
Time - 38:23
Soundtrack - Nirvana, Incesticide and Jane's Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual (90s Alt!)

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