Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We got published!
After a hot and difficult run that Dave and I went on, I wrote and submitted the article above to the region's premier running magazine, Asia Runner and it appears in the magazine's current issue! Sorry, you cannot read the article above, but the full text of the article is pasted below. Asia Runner is this region's version of Runner's World. It is a new magazine, but you wouldn't be able to tell as the quality is superb and the content is right on! It was started by a runner/multi-sport athlete living in Laos with magazine subscribers growing daily! Asia Runner was a media sponsor at the Phuket International marathon where Dave and I were just this past week-end. Don't worry, we only ran the HALF marathon...remember, Im 28 weeks pregnant! :)
Google Asia Runner or check out their website at:
Here's the full article:
RUNNING IN DHAKA...AN URBAN CHALLENGE
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and its capital, Dhaka, with a population in excess of 15 million people, is considered one of the fastest growing mega-cities, or a city with more than 10 million people, in the world. Since arriving in Dhaka only 8 short months ago, I have gone on weekday runs, weekend runs, holiday runs, pre-dawn runs, noon day runs and evening runs and they all pose various challenges. It is difficult to escape the heat and humidity anytime of the day, except for the pleasant cold season months of December, January and February. The traffic congestion at noon and in the early evening can only be described as “gridlock” and while most people would think this would be a great time to be on foot, I have been literally ‘stuck’ in the traffic - so much so that I cannot even scoot by the cars because the motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians and rickshaws block my way.
To bring running in Dhaka more to life, here is an excerpt from a run I went on just this morning…
The Saturday Long Run, or SLR, as the local runners refer to it is hosted by the Dhaka Triathlon Club. This morning the SLR was a 10-mile run (not pictured here) which started off, as usual, in the early morning hours. The weather, even at that hour, already felt hot and sticky. Traffic was light on the local neighborhood roads in Gulshan, a popular neighborhood in the diplomatic zone in the northern part of Dhaka. The trees on either side of the street provided decent shade, even though everyone was sweating the minute we took that first step. We ran right past the British and Canadian High Commissions and the American Embassy in our attempts to get ‘out of town’. Turning onto the ‘Airport Road’, even at this early hour, forces the runners to pull on their black masks which filter out black smoke and other irritants - the same masks
that you see professional dirt bike racers wear.
No headphones for this crew, not if they want to hear the huge rumbling buses that come so close you can feel the rush of air sweep over your arms and back. No, there is nothing to drown
out the cacophony of sounds from the constant honking of horns from buses, large trucks, CNGs (motorized tuk-tuks), cars and rickshaws. Luckily we find a parallel access road that runs along
the 4 lane divided highway but have to leave this much less congested path when we come upon a large truck overflowing with rotting trash. We jump over the open sewer to run in the bustling
street. Thankfully, less than a mile later, we turn off this busy road and onto a dirt road loaded with traffic and pedestrians that will take us ‘out of town’. After another mile dodging traffic and
snarling dogs, the road finally opens up. We have been running almost 5km when we see rice paddies on either side of the two lane paved road. Traffic lessens and it gets quieter. We hear a cow mooing near the side of the road and a horn far in the distance. We continue to run but unfortunately due to the heat and humidity and the fact we have already run 5 miles out, we realise that if we are to have enough energy to make the return trip back to town,
we must leave this quiet, country road and turn around into the chaos once again.
The last couple of miles we slog along not able to pick up the pace as the sun rises even further in the sky. We walk the last half mile home (after clocking exactly 10 miles on the GPS) which
helps sore muscles. For some reason running in this heat tends to take a greater toll on your body. We know that besides being soaking wet, we must rehydrate and so we all drink Gatorade
and sometimes even eat a few potato chips post-run. Later in the day, at one of the many expat clubs in town, you can spot the runners...they are the ones shaking salt into their freshly squeezed lemonade!
Robin Martz is one of the founders of the
Dhaka Triathlon Club