60 registered runners!
The last date for registrations was 15 September, although registrations for Singapore had begun only around 11 Sept. so I had hardly any time to garner registrations. Besides, we needed approval from Singapore’s National Parks for a gathering of more than 30 people. We didn’t receive this approval until 15th Sept and with registrations poised to cross the 30-mark, the only option for us was to start the run from multiple locations in batches of 30. But I did not have enough volunteers to split into multiple locations! Hence had to cap the registrations. After few chaser emails and telephone calls to the National Parks authority, they responded, sending us a few forms to fill, along with strict instructions against damaging, defacing or abusing any public property. We submitted the forms duly, but again there was a long wait. I was worried sick, as the approval didn’t come until we were well into October. It came just a week before the actual event. This was a harrowing experience.
The Pinkathon Day Banner was a last-minute plan. Singapore is very expensive, and hence we had to look around quite a bit for an affordable banner, as funding was not possible. But we were determined to make this a memorable event. Hence, I prepared placards myself with inspirational Pinkathon messages. These gave us a lot of photo-ops — a must for a women’s event! Finally, like the other elements, I got the banner on the eve of the race… on Saturday night!
I am sure I have greyed quite a few of my hair in getting this event going.
It was challenging to juggle between planning this event and following my rather demanding training schedule of M2P, and also holding my Saturday training sessions. But as we say at Pinkathon, “Never give up!”
It turns out that my consistent running habit, along with the Pinkathon platform, got me many registrations, just by word of mouth.
This proved to me again that when you set out to do something with honest effort and no expectations, you are rewarded.
My core team also came good, spreading the Pinkathon message farther and wider than I could have imagined.
But the last and perhaps the most important reason behind the registrations was the name Milind Soman. This movement of his to empower women has taken his fan-following to another level. It tickles me to think that quite a few participants had expected to see/meet Milind at the Pinkathon Day!! (I hope you have Singapore on your calendar, Milind!).
Anyway, back to Pinkathon Day:
You know, I am not much of a public speaker but that morning, seeing the volunteers at the venue before the scheduled gathering of 5:15am, the participants assembling before time, the young boys and girls who had come to help out, the few husbands who had come along to video-shoot, take pictures and generally cheer us…. all this made me forget my stage fear and I just had a lovely chat with the ladies.
We got together for warm-up and flagged off in time!! We had pilot, pacers, km route markers & young volunteers throughout the route. We had basic first aid facility too.
The highlight of the event was to have Ms Shilpi Mehta, a cancer survivor and a runner to run with us. She symbolises the Pinkathon spirit that women ought to never give up, and that mental and physical well-being can go a long way in overcoming various challenges. I introduced Shilpi to the women in my opening speech, and her presence really raised everyone’s spirits. Post run we had a very informative talk by Dr Priya Kamat, a practicing homeopath and a campaigner for breast cancer and other women’s health issues, also touched upon various important issues.
After the run, many runners came up to me to say that this was indeed a well organised event. There were many first-time runners too and they assured me they would keep running.
The run went off well, almost to plan, and I was left with a deep satisfaction, some new friends and many congratulations.
There were many enquiries for registration from the women who couldn’t register this year. I’m sure Pinkathon Day Singapore 2019 is going to be a much bigger affair.
Friends and family helped me pull this off. This has taught me that if you start on a path selflessly, things start happening for you. Really.
THANK YOU PINKATHON for this experience. The Saturday sessions and this Pinkathon Day has enriched my life in so many ways. Made me expand my boundaries.
Just looking back at what I have achieved, the friends I have made… the Experience! Oh, let me not spoil it by trying to write it out.
It just fills up my heart so much happiness, contentment. Sigh!
Anyway, enough talk, for now because the road is calling me… bye!