{C} is for Captivating Jungle Run #AtoZChallenge

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C is for Captivating Jungle Run

Easter Weekend 2014, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, India

Running is not what comes to me naturally. I run because, I think it’s a pretty good fitness option. It helps knock off those extra kilos and the intensive cardio tones you up. It works as a more viable option than yoga, or cycling as you burn a lot more calories. When prefer running or cycling, in the open air, away from the stuffy confines of a gym.
In 2014 I decided to run 10k at the annual Corbett marathon. The Corbett trail is a captivating one, shrouded by dense and mysterious forests. I had already attempted two 5 km runs at the same venue two preceding years in a row, accompanying the DH, a sincere and avid runner who mostly runs half and full marathons. I hadn’t trained for the run at all and was out of touch. So I had my apprehensions, but coaxed by my running buddies, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. My running buddies from Runbugs, the motley crew I used to run with, and I undertook an 8 hour bumpy ride from Gurgaon,(Near New Delhi) peppered with oodles of laughter, madness and gluttony, to arrive at our destination.

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The run was scheduled for early morning, the next day. Maple Resorts, where we were putting up , was surrounded by a wide cover of forests. Tiger sightings in the vicinity were not uncommon.
I woke up early, and showered; my regular ritual before a run. Showering before a run charges and energises me and hurls me headlong into the challenge. I had a nagging knee pain from a previous running injury so I was not sure if I would be able to run the entire 10k. But I put aside all those debilitating thoughts and told myself to focus on enjoying what lay in wait. All the runners trooped together on the dusty track and as the gunshot heralded the start of the run some ran, some sprinted, some just plugged into their ear phones and charged ahead rejoicing in the experience.

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Run Natz Run

I joined them by initiating the Nike app on my phone, strapped on my armband. No music for me I had decided. Who needs music when you are right in the midst of the sounds of nature. I happily pounded the tar road that was flanked by the bewitching jungle on both sides, inhaling the crisp, fragrant forest air. The lush green forest and the nip in the air made for an awe-inspiring environment. The runners ran with focus and commitment towards their target distances, cheering all the runners who crossed their way. The team spirit was as palpable as the beauty of the forests that seemed to scoop the running track in a big warm hug. The huge trees towered upon us, and the chirping birds were singing a “buck-up” song. Some runners spotted a herd of wild elephants at a distance, I found out later. Some were unnerved, some too thrilled, and some I guess intimidated by the sight of these pachyderms whom I missed by a whisker. But I was lucky to enjoy the journey of my run that lasted precisely an hour and thirty-six minutes. What surprised me is that not once did I stop to walk, despite the niggling knee pain. After all I was captivated by the beauty around me.

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Oh dear, did you spot the deer, yet?

While I was running through these bewitching forests, I realised it’s not the destination that matters, but it’s the journey that counts. We can choose to make that journey worthwhile by not worrying about what the destination or the future has in store. Instead we can opt to listen to the present and relish it while travelling through this odyssey of life.

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My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.

Comments

  1. BellyBytes

    I love the way you link up the letter to the story rather than wracking your head for a place that begins with that letter…. And you are brave to run in a forest.

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  2. Geraint Isitt

    I’ve run two marathons – one in wine and fruit growing region which was really pretty – and one in Dubai which was less so. The hardest step is the first one, so congrats to you for doing it. On a side note, I had a friend go to Corbett earlier this year and he saw a tiger every day over 5 days!! Lucky or what?

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      Natasha

      Christ! You serious ? Every day!!! Holy molly. You’ll be surprised if I tell you that I grew up near Corbett, and have been visiting the place since I was a kid, but never ever seen one.

      I’ll tell you a secret, these rangers discriminate foreigners over locals. That’s what I’ve heard. Now ain’t that awful!!

      I want to do one half marathon. Maybe. But the fact that I don’t enjoy running too much has been an impediment. And I have been on an injury spree the last few years. Registered ur not able to.

      Where was this marathon- the wine and fruit growing region one? Sounds divine!

      1. Geraint Isitt

        My friend is an Indian, although from Kerala. I know foreigners pay a lot more in the parks than locals do.
        Running sucks, it really does. And it’s bad for your joints as well. But if DH keeps motivating you, that is good.

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          Natasha

          Now that’s interesting. I stopped going to Corbett because of that one reason. Maybe should reconsider.

          Oh the DH doesn’t. He believes I shouldn’t. His thing is do what you enjoy doing. But the only good thing about running is the intensive cardio and the calorie burn.

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  3. Tina Basu

    Imagine running in the jungle and get chased by some wild boars! When we went to Corbet we had eventful meeting with a Mr. Tiger on the roads outside the park on our way back to Nainital. Within the park it was boring sightings of deers and wild boars and peacocks

  4. Mithila Menezes

    I haven’t participated in marathons and races (unless you count that one time when I ran 100 m at the school sports day :P)

    But I do make it a point to cheer marathoners at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. It’s so amazing to see people race past you, all engrossed in the singular task of running. I always feel so inspired watching the athletes run, and then end up sitting on the couch eating chips the very next day 😀

  5. Parul Thakur

    If you ran 1 hour 30 mins without stopping, you are a rockstar. I amtrying to run these days and all I could do today was 10 mins – 1.15km 🙁
    that view would have been awesome! 🙂

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  6. Nilanjana Bose

    Not a runner but a couch potato here. But even if I did run, I’d never be able to in those surroundings – stop too often or amble off the track – get distracted by the gorgeousness of it all.

    You have my admiration.

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

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      Natasha

      Gracias Gracias Nilanjana . I believe anyone can run. I for one was never a runner, would start panting in 1 minute, so you can do it it if you would like to and our your mind to it

  7. Marquessa

    I’m not a runner but I admire those that do. Just thinking about 10k makes me tired. I love the photos you included in this post. However, just a note on the word visualize. I use the same theme as you (great minds think alike!) and I humbly offer the suggestion to use more spacing between section to place more focus on your photos. Cheers!

    Marquessa @simplymarquessa from
    Simply Marquessa

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      1. Marquessa

        Um, I don’t think so. It looks the same? It was just a suggestion – maybe trying highlighting all of the written content and centering it to the left instead of the middle…and keep the photos centered for more white space. It could be easier for the visual.

  8. Kim Richardson

    I’m not a runner either, Natasha but well done for getting out there and doing it. You are so right though, it’s the journey that counts … Be present in the moment and take it all in because a moment is truly fleeting. Great post, really enjoyed it! And Corbett is definitely on my bucket list.

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          Natasha

          Yeah, but be warned a bit. Tiger sightings these days are pretty rare. Though I know some people who have gotten really lucky. I believe Ranthambor is the place to go for ample tiger sightings in India.

          1. Kim Richardson

            That’s definitely something I want to see … A tiger in the wild. Such a shame they are getting harder to find. Thank you for the tip, it’s much appreciated!

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Thank you for stopping by. Do leave your imprints as well. :-))