Running is a natural activity. The simplicity of the action appeals to people with otherwise cluttered lives and this has led to the second running boom with thousands of ordinary people taking to the sport. While the first running boom was inspired by the achievements of athletes and focused on performance, the more recent running boom is larger and more diffused in its focus. People of all ages, both gender and with varying reasons ranging from weight loss, to reclaiming their fitness, to raising money for charity, to beating stress and so forth have taken to running.
It is impossible to give accurate figures for the number of runners in India because the sheer simplicity of running draws people who may not even consider themselves as runners, and definitely don't figure in any database.
Ironically the new found interest in running has made running more complicated as entire industries have sprung up around the sport – sports shoes, apparel, accessories, nutrition and what not. And as runners get addicted to the runners high, the natural instinct to improve their timings kicks in and therein the need for structured training, nutrition, rest & recovery and mental training.
Distance Running is a challenging task, and a worthy goal. Excellence is about stepping outside our comfort zone, training with a spirit of endeavor and accepting the inevitability of trials and tribulations. Indeed, progress is built upon the foundation of necessary failure. But runners enjoy a healthier lifestyle, witness wonderful scenery and places and meet fascinating individuals in their running lives. And in the overall process emerge a better human being as they learn some deeper facts about themselves.
While we have several players in our space – event organizers, coaches, gyms, sports brands, etc – most are operating independently and doing their best within their specific area. What is missing is someone to fill in the blanks and complete the picture.
India Amateur Runners Trust seeks to venture this path.