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Pick up a cause, add a coloured ribbon, throw in few celebrities and you’ve got a ‘run for a cause’ weekend event.

 

When was the last time you woke up at the crack of the dawn to walk for the city? Or run? Or cycle? Actually last week. The week before. Two weeks ago… The city is walking, running, cycling every Sunday without fail. The media is also going all out to give the news of runs in the city. Till a few years ago the word run was in the news around cricket or when the cops chased burglars. Now we are talking about a different one – run for a cause.
Last week I was invited to an event, the last thing on my mind was to endure an impromptu ‘run’ at the event. My sneakers are not usually in my car. I love running, that is, when I try avoiding problems at an accelerated rate. Running for a cause is the in thing and has attained the weekly event status in Hyderabad. Causes range from raising awareness and funds to support disease research, to domestic abuse awareness and everything in between.
The format is simple – Pick up a cause, add a coloured ribbon, throw in few celebrities, call the product head (read sponsor) for a speech, ensure that it is a Sunday morning and voila! You have arrived at a reason to run. Of course, it is also impressive to see enthusiastic citizens actually participating in these.
Purists may argue that I’m missing the big picture, or that I am ignoring the heart-healthy-city aspect. I would want to ask, when did a plain story become a perpetual narrative? Talking of health, why do we need to run in extra large sized groups?
Earlier, when there was an issue, concerned people or authorities would simply debate over and find solutions.The government would start an awareness campaign. The print, the TV would cover it and we could go on with our lives. Nobody ran to get attention. Now that is real involvement!
I remember the first real run I witnessed years ago. It was the Hyderabad 10k in the early 2000. Highly spirited who’s who of the city got together and the event started getting bigger response year after year. I was inspired back then when the health streak was catching on in Hyderabad. But I must confess I motivated others from the dais but never ever ran. Now I am fatigued even looking at people running!!
The fog is gone. The sun is back. I have a sinking feeling that this weekend I’ll get an invitation. To run for the flood victims of Chennai. Run City, run!
(The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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