Monday, February 16, 2009

Team Asha rocks Auroville!!

Here is the email summarizing the efforts put in by the team at Auroville! Photos will follow soon!


Hi Folks,

Hope everyone has recovered from the run this weekend :) It was an amazing weekend and a fitting gala finale of Team Asha's training programs for 2008-09!!

I. Congrats Runners
II. Thanks to Auroville race organizers, New creation School
III. Thanks to RFL, B2F, Chennai Runners
IV. Thanks to Volunteers, Runners and Everyone else
V. Race reports
VI. What Next ?
VII. What Matters ?

I. Congrats Runners

Firstly, Congratulations to all runners for embarking on this wonderful journey and thanks for making the rest of us a part of it!

The marathon program has been Asha Bangalore's major fundraiser and has been instrumental in helping the chapter reach out to more grassroots efforts in India. The runners' efforts and contribution to fund raising really has shaped Asha Bangalore's ability to fund projects.

Here is the list of runners who were at Auroville and a very brief info on each of their efforts. You can read more about them on their runner pages (of course, if they don't have one, they will be setting it up soon :) ) -

Ananya team - Uddhav and the nine kids (Aruna, Basavaraju, Dinesh, Jayanth, Pramila, Priya, Selvi, Shashikala and Sowmya) had a great run! The kids made the entire trip lively and unforgettable for us. It is also inspiring to see the children train over many weeks for a 10K run and finish it strongly. We learnt a lot from the committed effort put by the Ananya team.
More about Ananya here -

Thulir team - Senthil did an amazing time of 4:10 for the marathon, shaving of more than 1 hour from his previous time at Kaveri. This in just a period of 3-4 months!! Rajammal, Devaki, Govindamma, Perumal, Vinoo and Ezhumalai performed very well and had a lot of fun too! A special thanks to the thulir team for the nice bamboo key chains they made for each one of us as souvenirs for the race.
More about Thulir here -
Anita Komanduri - She had a good run, though she missed a good part of the training. She helped our team a lot with the logistics!

Balasubramanian - Ever ready to help out in any demanding situation, Balu was at his awesome best again :) - He finished his 1/2 strongly and was around to help us all out.

I2 runners - Ravishankar Balasubramanya, Deepak Sanghi, Alok Ashtikar, Heera Ganjikota and Nitin Gupta have trained hard to run the Auroville marathon. They have already done great with the fundraisin and we are really hoping that they will hit their target soon! Alok had a tough race, but we are sure he will bounce back soon! Deepak did his best in a marathon!

Kanishka - Kanishka put in a consistent and committed effort through the training! He had a strong run and the 2nd loop like for everyone else was a tough one, that he strived through like always. It was an inspiring effort! BTW, he has gone way past his fundraising target already!!

Malini - Malini is a friend of my mom and a teacher herself. She came to know about Asha's efforts recently and just wanted to join the team immediately! She did a great 5K and would be helping us out as well. Malini's son Vikram was there cheering us as well and is inspired to help us out in different ways now!

Maneesha - Maneesha balanced work, family and running deftly to complete her training and the Auroville run strongly! It was really nice to have her as part of the team!

Manjula - With all the travelling on the job and a hectic work schedule, she still came out to run with us all and made the trip an enjoyable expreience! It was always fun with her around!

Melvin - Melvin did a good marathon on Sunday and though not based in Bangalore, has been training on his own to contribute to the team!

Nagendra - Nagendra did his first 10K run on Sunday and we are sure there is a lot in store from him! The kids and the team enjoyed his company at the games and anthakshari sessions :)

Narmada - With an ankle injury and a lot of missed workouts, Narmada was not sure about the start line. But, she took on the 10K bravely and finished strongly! It was an inspiring effort!

Noel and Reva - Noel and Reva are one of the best dad-daughter running teams we have seen :) Reva helped out at the race and also ran her 5K! Noel fought through all the injuries for a nice finish at the half marathon distance.

Prabhu - Prabhu also did his first 10K on Sunday. His work demanded that he leave for Pondichery on Saturday night. So, he turned up by a bus at 4 AM on Sunday at Auroville - amazing commitement!

Pramod - Though pramod was there through the entire training season, unfortunately work demanded that he miss the Aurioville marathon for the trip to US. But, we are sure he will do great in the 1/2 marathon he plans to do next.

Pratibha - Not sure whats happening to her! She is getting better and faster, even with an injury. Look out for Pratibha in the amateur running circles of India!! She has become a lot more stronger with her running now and has helped the team's cause by fundraising a lot!

Priya, Shanavas, Ishaan and Sahana - Priya did her first 1/2 marathon at Auroville. I ran for a brief stretch with her and she really got me going when I was down in energy at that point! She did amazing well and its an awesome debut effort! Shanavas was plagued by injuries this time around. But, he was full of spirit for the team! The kids Ishaan and Sahana are adorable and did an amazing 5K themselves! It was quite a family outing!

Salil - Not a lot of us have met Salil. He is the silent crusader who has been running and fundraising strongly! We are sure he had a wonderful run!

Sanjeev - Sanjeev has improved a lot with his running! He has been biking 10-12kms every day to and back from work. All the effort showed on the run on Sunday! We are sure he will only get better!

Santosh - Besides having a really cool name :) - Santosh did really great at the half marathon. This was his first and he looked like a veteran runner doing it!

SarojaNTeam - My Mom, Dad and Bro were there again! Except for a late start they did great at the runs! They were very helpful and it was a lot of fun having them around! Personally, their support, interest and participation inspires me to keep going!

Satnam singh - One more of the silent crusaders, Satnam did great at his half marathon and has already fundraised quite a bit for the team!

Siva Athreya - We probably have to compensate this Professor of Statistics and mathematics, who is just free entertainment and fun - 24x7! Siva while keeping us all in high spirits, also does some back breaking work with treasury and accouts. The one thing he needs to figure out is - spoken kannada :)

Sridhar Srinivasan - Sridhar did great with his half marathon and has been involved with Asha projects (the government schools near banshankari) through his company's community affairs. Its really inspiring to see his efforts! Thanks for the late night car ride to Mithra!

Sriram - Sriram and Arthi are die hard asha volunteers and runners. Unfortunately, they couldn't make it to this trip. But, We are sure they will be back again soon!

Thushar - Thushar is only getting stronger with his running! He did a wonderful half and also helped the team with all the logistics and coordination!

Vibha - Vibha has been the most consistent runner in the training season for Auroville! We don't remember her missing even a single workout! The consistency and dedication showed in her strong showing at the half marathon on Sunday! Inspiring effort!

Vinodh - Talented in many aspects, Vinodh really showed his singing skills at the anthakshari rounds in the bus :) He is becoming a really good runner and brings a lot of energy to the team! We are fortunate to have him as part of the team!

II. Thanks to Auroville race organizers, New creation School

Thanks to the Auroville race organizers (Chandresh, Balaji, Sourya, et. all) for their really heart warming support and organization. You folks are unlike any race organizers we have seen in India! Thanks for accommodating all our requests patiently and for going out of the way many times. We understand that its a thankless job and takes quite a lot to organize an event of this big a magnitude. Kudos to you all for doing this with the runners in mind and doing it at such a low cost! We could go on and on about the sensitivity to the environment, runners, families etc. etc. But, it would be preaching to the choir - you folks meant a lot for us at the races!

Thanks to Shankar and the staff of New creation community and school. It was really very nice of them to host us and provide us food on Saturday and Sunday. We can't imagine how bad it would have been with logistics without their help! We are fortunate to have made some wondeful friends :)

III. Thanks to RFL(Arvind Bharathi), B2F, Chennai Runners

Thanks to Arvind Bharathi for providing us space in the RFL community and giving us the online registration support.

Thanks to B2F and Dr. Rajat for everything - providing our runners with training tips, gait analysis, treating and fixing their injuries, providing massages at the end of the runs, working with kids from Ananya on a long term ..and a lot more!

Thanks to Chennai runners(Karthik, Balaji, Ram et. all) for all the encouragement, medals and the wonderful networking! We have a lot that we can do together. Looking forward for more runs together!

III. Thanks to Volunteers, Runners and Everyone else

It really was humbling to see so many people put in so much of their time expecting nothing in return for themselves. None of the efforts would have borne fruits if not for the countless hours so many people put in behind the scenes.

I can go on and on..but, being the lazy person I am, I will state it as bullet points (In no intended priorities)

* Sanjeev's mom volunteering at the races and cheering for the team
* Ranjitha and Kanishka's mom cheering us and helping the team!
* Vandana's cheering support, professional photography and nice songs at the anthakshari rounds!
* Pratibha's husband's timely car rides for us
* Anu and Krishna's support for coordinating the running efforts for thulir
* Shashi, Uddhav and Ananya's support for coordinating the running efforts of Ananya
* Sujatha's photography and cheering support for the team.
* Sudarshan and Meghana's cheering support for the team.
* Guruprasad's volunteering, running and cheering support for the entire team!
* Asha SV runner Venkat's support and running for the team!
* Abhishek, Rahul, KP, Sachin and Mohan Babu for putting up with such a noisy bunch in the bus and for the support towards the team's efforts
* Asha Austin volunteers/runners for the T-shirts, resources and support for the team
* Asha Bangalore volunteers for spreading the word, logistics, treasury and all the 'behind-the-scenes' work!
* Families and friends of Asha volunteers and runners who contributed their time

Everyone's efforts formed the impeccable support structure for the entire team. Thanks!!

IV. Race reports


Before you start thinking that this was not a big deal, please do type up your race report! It was a big deal for the rest of us!

A race report could just be a simple account of events during your race or a complete video coverage! Do what you feel like , but think of it as your 'thank you' to all the support you got! So, please do thank all those who supported you ;) - you could email your race report to me or the group. We would compile all reports and send it out to the team and post it in the blog.

V. What Next ?

1. Team Asha runs - lets try and keep the team runs going. Until the next season starts, we will meet informally for an easy run in the weekend. The plan is to tie it up with volunteering/visiting some asha supported efforts in and around Bangalore as well.

2. Dr. Rajat, B2F and Santhosh are starting a new initiative. This is not yet associated with Team Asha. You can know more about it here -
We will be starting a training program for the Sunfeast 10K (May, 2009, Bangalore).

VI. What Matters ?

Does the PR on Sunday matter ? Does the drop out of the race on Sunday matter ? Does just the race on Sunday matter ? Some of us were there physically and some were not. Some of us ran the race and some didn't.

But, what matters is we did it as a team all the way through. What matters is that none of us will quit running whatever the result. Ironically, what matters most is not "us" - Its not about you, Its not about me - We all signed up to be a part of this team. We all fundraised for the same cause we believed in. Crossing the finish line on Sunday wouldn't mean a lot if we don't cross the fundraising targets.

(For Team Asha)

P.S: Please forward the mail to anyone I might have missed out. If I missed out on anyone, it really isn't intentional and definitely not to belittle the efforts - just an oversight on my part!

1 comment:

Savitha Sridharan said...

Impressive Team Effort!! Go Team Asha!!