In October 2023, my life took an unexpected turn when I laced up my running shoes and embarked on a journey of endurance, self-discovery, and resilience. Over the course of a month, I embraced the challenge of participating in five different running events, including three consecutive half marathons, a 10K recovery run, and a 10 km race.
It all started with a spontaneous decision to join a colleague for a 7.5 km run, just three days before the event. Unable to officially register, I ran alongside my colleague on race day, a novice without racing experience or knowledge of the rules. Surprisingly, I completed the 7.5 km option with a mix of running and walking, sparking a newfound passion.
This experience motivated me to set a lofty goal: completing a half marathon. Over two months, I meticulously built my running stamina, complemented by swimming and strength training. I also participated in a 10 km race, mastering a run-walk strategy to cover the distance.
In a daring move, just a week before the half marathon, I attempted a challenging 10 km run that left my leg muscles sore. Despite the doubts and challenges, I forged ahead. On race day, despite pain and challenging weather, I completed the half marathon in 2 hours and 38 minutes, adhering to my planned timing and even running alongside a group aiming for a 2-hour and 35-minute finish time.
This experience was truly amazing, and it left me hungry for more, with two more consecutive half marathons on the horizon and a dream of tackling full marathons in the coming year.
October 2023 was a month dedicated to weekend running, and a significant highlight was the Raipura Half Marathon. It marked my first out-of-Dhaka running event and included an exciting night of camping thanks to the organizers.
I arrived at the event venue the evening before, indulging in delicious home-cooked meals and swapping stories with fellow runners. After a restful night’s sleep, I geared up for the race.
During this adventure, I had the pleasure of reuniting with friends and colleagues who had embarked on an overnight journey in a reserved microbus. The race kicked off at 5:30 AM, and I quickly joined the “Saidpur Runners,” maintaining their rhythm for a significant portion of the race. Despite the rising sun and heat, I stuck to my plan and completed the 21 km race in 2 hours and 40 minutes (unofficial timing).
Post-race, I explored the charming town of Raipura, appreciating the warm hospitality of the local residents and the exceptional assistance from the event’s volunteers. The experience was unforgettable, and I eagerly looked forward to the next half marathon on the horizon.
Participating in three consecutive half marathons, my journey led me to the picturesque Kaptai Half Marathon in Rangamati, Bangladesh. Nestled in the scenic hill area of Kaptai, the event promised a breathtaking backdrop.
The day before the marathon, we explored the area, enjoyed local delicacies, and visited the ‘Lakeshore Eco Park.’ The race day began with a slight delay, but the hilly terrain added a unique challenge. I decided to switch to walking after the first 10 kilometers, covering the rest of the distance on foot. My primary goal was to cross the finish line without injuries, and I achieved that in approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Although medals were not available, the organizers provided wristbands as proof of completion.
The Kaptai Half Marathon was an adventure filled with personal challenges that put my endurance to the test. Despite the unfamiliar track and a slower pace, I emerged with a profound sense of accomplishment as the day concluded with a return to Dhaka, cherishing the memories of this remarkable running experience.
Following three back-to-back half marathons, I decided to embark on a 10K “recovery run.” The “Run Bangla” event, boasting 1300 participants, offered camaraderie and complimentary snacks before the race. I challenged myself by running continuously for 6 kilometers and then adopting a strategy of alternating between running and walking. A minor misjudgment of the remaining distance did not deter me, and I completed the 10K in 1 hour and 7 minutes, significantly improving my time. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of precision in running, leaving me excited for more running adventures in the future.
My journey through these running events, from a spontaneous 7.5 km run to consecutive half marathons and a recovery of 10 km, has been nothing short of transformative. It has filled my life with unforgettable experiences, taught me valuable lessons about determination and resilience, and ignited a growing passion for running.