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    Erick Haskell, MD Adidas Group India, picks his  top marathons the world over as the country gets running

    Overseeing operations for both Adidas and Reebok, Erick Haskell wears his fitness—literally. Dressed in snazzy Adidas gear from top to toe,  his mission is to turn people sporty—be it friendly football, street cricket or marathons. His  recent six-year stint in China saw a mega fitness boom and he feels a sense of deja vu in India as well. “There is a wave of people opening themselves up to workouts at the park, a gym, on cycling tracks or community runs,” he says, referring to the rising popularity of half-marathons. “When we did a 10 km run a few weeks ago in Bangalore, we had 1,200 people show up,” he beams. A keen runner himself, he shares his favourite marathons in India and abroad to inspire you. So slip on those running shoes, and plan to hit these tracks across the country.

    Bengaluru Marathon: Leading the brigade in India with the largest runners community, Haskell says it is always a pleasure to be part of the marathon in Bengaluru as the organisers are runners themselves. “When you know what it’s like to be a runner, you automatically think from that perspective when you organise it,” he says. The ‘world-class full and half marathon’ on October 19 was popular, as it took runners through important landmarks in the city.
    Details: bengalurumarathon.in
    Delhi Half Marathon: Both an elite and mass runners event, the 21.097 km race on November 23 will be ideal to start you off. Largely across flat surfaces, it is expected to have  fitness fanatic and actor, Bipasha Basu, lead the women who have registered for it. Plus, the great weather during the cool days is a highlight according to Haskell.
    Details: adhm.procamrunning.in

    Chennai Marathon: “It circuits the coastline and weaves through old and modern Chennai, so this run is a great option. Especially since the weather will be mild at the time and humidity lower than usual,” he shares, adding that the flat route is great for speed, too. The Wipro Chennai Marathon 2014 hosts three race categories— full marathon, half-marathon and the popular 10 km race. Scheduled for December 7.
    Details: thewiprochennaimarathon.com

    Mumbai Marathon: Kicking off the 2015 running season, Mumbai’s popular race is scheduled for January 18. With over seven categories to choose from, including the marathon, relays and ones for kids and senior citizens, this race is an iconic one, says Haskell. John Abraham, the event ambassador, leads the parade which is known to bring out the who’s who of India’s Tinsel Town.Details: scmm.procamrunning.in

    Training tips

    “The best advice I have is to just start running. Once you get going, you’ll start to appreciate the sport  and then  pick up the techniques on the way,” shares Haskell. But he suggests you do the following, too.

    Vary your distances each week
    Increase efforts to build to at least three to five runs a week
    Allow enough rest and recovery time
    Warm up before a run
    Eat sensibly and don’t run on a completely empty stomach
    Push out all negative associations about exercise
    Pick out the correct shoes, socks and clothing (cotton is not always best;
    opt for sweat absorbing merchandise, he tells us)

    —Aakanksha Devi


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