Fitness for a cause

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Indian Australians raise funds for charity at the City-Bay Fun Run

The City-Bay Fun Run in Adelaide has been running for 43 years now and attracts over 30,000 participants.

It is a 12km route but people can join in at the 6km mark or for the last 3kms too. And those not so fit to run, can walk as well.

City-Bay Fun Run.Indian Link

Many of the runners choose a charity to raise funds for and the highest funds raised this year by one group was over $11,000 for Breast Cancer Network.

The event was held on Sunday 20 September and drew a large number of participants and spectators as well as those there for the fun of it!

There were Smurfs and Starwars Storm Troopers, Bart Simpson and Superman, Superwoman, Supergirl, the Grinch and monkeys, gorillas and many other costumed people.

Most of them completed the run/walk too! Just being part of the whole thing, even as a spectator, was great fun!

Every year there is an increasing number of Indian participants and some did raise money for various charities.

Others went just for the fun of it or to achieve a fitness goal.

Sunaina Sharma walked to support Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

City-Bay Fun Run.Indian Link
Sunaina Sharma

“The moment I think of ‘City to Bay’ it brings energy and freshness on my face,” says Sharma.

“It was such a wonderful experience. The environment was electrifying. It motivated me to keep going towards the finish line. It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without the smiling faces around me. I was elated to see people from all walks of life and age group congregating together to contribute to the noble cause. The environment was buzzing with excitement.”

She was part of the Westpac Team, where she works.

The whole idea of completing the City to Bay started by her walking during her lunch break. Instead of checking Facebook or WhatsApp, she decided to spend the 30 minutes of her lunch break walking in the park to get fresh air.

Friends at work joined her and they started to get into the spirit more enthusiastically.

They motivated each other and began noting down kilometres and pace on a daily basis and tried to make better timings each day.

And then they decided to go in for City to Bay, it would be a real accomplishment to walk 12 kilometres!

“We also generated a substantial sum for the cause and personally it was extremely satisfying to be able to participate and contribute in my own way.”

City-Bay Fun Run.Indian Link
Sunaina with team

Though he planned to, Narayana Rai could not find the time to undertake training sessions.

So completing his walk/jog in 101 mins was doubly satisfying. He decided to enter as a walker just for the fun of it, to see if he was fit enough to go the distance, and then was so enthused by the crowd that he completed the distance easily half jogging and half walking.

He felt he could have kept going, such was the enthusiasm!

City-Bay Fun Run.Indian Link
Narayana Rai

“It was a wonderful feeling”, he says, “to be part of this mammoth group of thousands of walkers. And everyone so cheerful and full of zest.”

Of course there were those who were serious runners and wanted to better their times but for the most part it was a community event.

“And at the end it was even better. For participants had a gala community event waiting for them at the Bay with free food, drinks, massages, etc! It was worth the morning spent walking!”

On the way there were cheerleaders, musicians, plenty of water being handed out and even a mist bath to keep them going.

Saloni, another first time participant also found it  fascinating to see so many volunteers, event staff, cheer leaders, cops, and every one enroute motivating people to keep going and congratulating them every step of the way through.

“The beginning was daunting because we did not know what to expect,” she says.

“The journey itself was hard, but required no external motivation to keep going- it just seemed right. Crossing the finish line at the end felt like the most fulfilling achievement at the time. The atmosphere at the bay definitely helped as it was buzzing and cheerful.”

She says she did try to get herself to the gym a few times before the event, but could not train as regularly as she wanted to or should have.

Nevertheless, on the day, the atmosphere kept her going and she finished the 12km in 94 minutes.

“Overall, it was a fantastic experience,” she says. “I hope to do it next year again and collect funds for a charity too.”

So for all of us who stood on the sidelines or at the finish line or watched the Run on TV, there is hope!

Not a lot of training required but a real goal to get those trainers on and our fitness up. And have fun on the day too!