Saturday, June 20, 2009

Team Asha 8k Run, 2009 - Train, Run and Educate

One Team, One Dream

(Just at the start of the run)

All the runners came under one umbrella, Team Asha, for one dream, "Bringing Hope Through Education". A sea of runners vroomed passed the trails across Valley School campus as they gave those calm resting legs a rhythm.

We had kids from Valley school, Ananya, Thulir and Parikriya apart from the regular runners who took part with immense zeal and ardour.

Why Run with us ?

(Come, run with us)

If you are not running with us, you are missing something. No, we are not going to sound cliched but you should run with us as a Team or individual to know what it is to be like Team Asha.

Team Asha has grown in number and participation in the last couple of years in Bangalore and we have been thriving our best to support projects at Asha to the best of our abilities, both by running and through volunteering. You must attend our info sessions to know more about our training program and Asha's intiatives here in Bangalore and around.

The Trail

(Asha Running couple on their way)

The trail was a mixture of pebble strewn tar road and muddy trail.

Valley school is located at a very scenic location just 20 odd KMs from Bangalore and spread across a sprawling serene campus. What makes this trail tough and terrific is its hilly nature. There were enough uphills and downhills to keep all the runners busy panting and relaxing at the same time. We call it Pleasured Pain !

The entire distance was 8K split into two loops of 4K each. We marked all the trails by early in the morning with interesting comments and color codes. Most part of the trail was well shaded.

The Run

(Sea of runners above)

After trying to squeeze in every runner we began the run at quarter past nine (9:15AM) and the kids took the center stage and were all set.

The Race ?

(Enjoying the Run)

Though the whole idea behind the run was an implicit race. But as we pondered upon it we realized that it is the team spirit that needs to be promoted and race was just another dimension to it.

The whole idea of running together as a relay is to get your running partner feel good and the idea here was not your speed but the camaraderie you show to your running mate thereby completing the distance. Completion being the key, constrained with your limitations and that extra push you get from your partner and other running folks promoting a mutual goodwill among the runners.

During the Run

(Scenic trail and a wonderful couple)

We had many non-runners, who graduated today as runners. We don't distinguish much between a runner or a jogger or a walker. Simply put, you are a runner !

The best part is that almost everyone enjoyed being a part of this whole festival, a running festival working towards a common goal for Asha.

(The Father and daughter running pair)

We had people from the very the young to the old, the birders, the barefoot runners, the jolly-jolly runners and many more.

(Hip Hip Hooray ! Go runner Keep going !)

We also had great cheering support, thanks to the Valley school and its Fraternity. Some Team Asha veterans mingled in the group cheering and encouraging runners.

Eco Effect
We had steel tumblers in the water stops with bananas and glucose biscuits. We wanted to create as little impact to the environment and I guess we did that successfully.

Keeping in view of the surroundings and step towards environmental friendly runs. One of the Team Asha member's verbatim:

The water stalls were really refreshing to see. In any other event there would be so much wastage but here with the tin cups there was none. A model for other races to follow

Post Run

(The Registration and Goodie desk)

As the runners finished their respective distances they moved towards the Registration desk to collect their Tees. All the runners who participated got a Tee shirt and Tsunamikas as goodies.

That was their certificate ! You all deserved it.

We had herbal tea, black and and normal Tea also arranged for all of us and it was very refreshing.

Vote of Thanks

Thanks to Valley School for encouraging and letting us use their wonderful serene campus for all of us to be part of.

Thanks to Rajashekar group of hospitals for their medical help and ambulance facility with their doctors and paramedics.

Thanks to Sathya Dyeing for the Tee shirts from Thirpur (Tamil Nadu).

Thanks to Printo for the Tee shirt and bib number printing.

Thanks to Runner's High for their logistics and coordination for this event.

Last but not the least, to all the runners who took part with all enthusiasm and gusto.

(Team Asha folks during the run !)

Also, thanks to all the volunteers from Valley school and Asha:

Running with Team Asha is contagious, you catch a running flu

So if you want to train, run and educate, then come join us. Just drop us a comment here or mail us anytime, we will make sure you catch the Running Flu !

More about Asha Training Marathon program here:

Contact Team Asha for training, mentors or webmaster:
anita [DOT] komanduri [AT] gmail [DOT] com

('End' refers to 'End of Illiteracy')

Go Team Asha, Go !

More pics in here:

Media Bytes:

Citizen Matters, from Manjula Sridhar.

Train, Run and Educate !

Friday, June 12, 2009

Joy of Success at Ananya

Back to business as Team Asha resumed its post Sunfeast runs and Karate at Ananya. We will invariably be present on all Saturdays (of course Tuesdays) at Ananya. But the cynosure of all our eyes were our beloved kids at Ananya who cleared their Xth exams. All of them cleared it.

As Team Asha, we haven't really contributed as much as other volunteers, teachers and support staff who have been with Ananya all this while and before. But thanks to Vinodh who headed the Team Asha volunteers in teaching kids Word Processing and I'm sure we would contribute more in the coming weeks. Running and Karate has been our mainstay activities at Ananya and it will mature into lifestyle activity for most of the kids.

During the Karate session our Sensei made all the kids and Team Asha folks take an oath which emphasized that we would not misuse Karate for selfish and ignoble purposes. As the kids are turning in big numbers, it also gives as a great high and commitment to this program.

Our Sensei then surprised all the kids by ordering a cake so that we all could share the joy of the senior kids who cleared their Xth class. Only Banna and Kavya were present amongst us and it also happened to be Suresh's birthday. So we decided to get them all to cut the cake together and gathered all the kids after the breakfast. Sivamma's unflinching support to our idlies made the day again for all of us as we leisurely sat at the corner and discussed all possible topics that we could talk about.

After the cake cutting ritual we asked the senior kids to share their experiences, hard work and success with other kids for inspiration. It was nice to listen to their views and the maturity with which they spoke was a pleasure listening to. We wish them all a very good luck and success in their endeavors.

Finally before we wrapped up we had a small surprise for our beloved George, Suman, Sivamma and Agnus. Until then, Keep reading this Wall !

Go Team Asha and Ananya. Keep Running !

Train, Run and Educate !

Find More Pics in here:
(Some of the Pics in the Picasa, Courtesy: Rampee)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ananya, Thulir and Team Asha @ Sunfeast 10k 2009

The 12 week long journey

This year's Sunfeast 10k generated enough excitement and believe me it looked like the entire Bengalooru (aka Bangalore) was there to run. Team Asha Runner, Santosh, now involved with Runner's High chalked out training schedule for Ananya and Thulir kids. Some Asha Runners whom you must have been following up in this blog got involved with Ananya. We added variety by adding Karate, some Frisbee, some volley ball, some cycling and of course lots running and strides to make this entire exercise all the more enjoyable.

This small team from Team Asha has bonded so well with Ananya that Tuesdays and Saturdays we are invariably present at Ananya. The entire place has so much energy and we fell all the more part of Ananya.

Art Work in Progress

Our last Saturday run which also happened to be the last saturday as part of the training schedule ironically did not feature a run (as it was rest according to the training plan). So we all sat down to prepare some posters to cheer Ananya, Asha and Runner's high. Thanks to Narmada and Vinbot for all the charts and colors.

Thanks to Agnus, a volunteer at Ananya who spearheaded this session.

More pics in here (Pic Courtesy: Vinbot's mobile camera):

We were served Tea three times and it also included a special Tea from Assam which one of our volunteer brought it all the way from Assam during her backpacking trips. As usual we had Idlies first soaked in Sambar and accompanied by chutney. We set forth some logistics and transportation plans for the race day.

Thanks to Pramodh, another Team Asha runner for the conveyance to make sure the kids reached the venue in time. Pramodh also ran his longest at the Sunfeast 10K. I'm sure half marathon is just the next target for him this year.

The Race

We all met at the Cubbon gate and Mallaya road junction. Luckily we had a pre-paid parking at UB city. Kids from Ananya got this cool drum and we all had fun and frolic. I was on (runner's) high and was up to this famous Hyderabadi dance step "Teen Maar" (Three times) which turned out to be a total (dis)graceful dance steps from my side, but nevertheless I had fun !

All the kids were up for Majja run and the Thulir kids and Team Asha runners were up for the open 10K without chip category. All of us finished our runs to our utmost satisfaction and I'm sure we will improve as we progress. Met so many Asha runners and thousands running for their good cause. Good to see you all folks.

Post Run

Some Kids Cheering for us

Post run we all met again at the same spot. Our Sensei looked like had cracked this run and her cycling stint seemed to have worked wonders for her. She was also in trance and no stopping her now. We had more fun discussing about the event and stuff and the Thulir kids and some Team Asha runners headed back to Ananya to spend the night there (envy you guys). More report on that awaited(I understand they had a ball).

A Big Thank you

This could not have been possible but for your support folks !

Thanks to fellow Ananya-Asha runners who helped us in raising funds.

Thanks to Bata for giving us shoes and socks at very low discounted rates.
Thanks to Runner's High and Printo for Tee Shirts and other Ananya related paraphernalia.

Thanks to Sensei Manjula for giving Karate a humble beginning at Ananya and I'm sure things would get in proper fold when kids are back full strength.
Thanks to Shashi for persevering with us and making us feel very much part of Ananya.
Thanks to Sivamma's Kitchen (I mean Sivamma herself), George and his wife (We owe you three a surprise) and of course all the wonderful kids and voulnteers at Ananya with whom we had gala time through running.

Also, thanks to Thulir kids who prepared on their own accord (with inputs from Santhosh).

This is just the beginning of our interactions with Ananya and we will keep you posted through mail and blog about our activities. We personally thank all the Asha runners who have helped us in this sojourn at Ananya.

If I've missed anyone then it must be my unwitting brain that must have overlooked you :-(

Looking Ahead
We are going to continue this Asha-Ananya initiative and will get in full swing from this month onwards. We will be there from this Saturday onwards. Want to join us ?

Until then, Keep miling and Stay Fit !

Go Team Asha, Ananya and Thulir.

More Pics Awaited. Keep watching this wall for update ! Other Pics, Courtesy: Santhosh. All rights reserved !