serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Mumbai Marathon’s Dream Run

posted by Chris Barber

You may call it Mumbai or maybe you’re old school like I and still call it Bombay.  Anyway you want what you call it, one fact remains the same, Mumbai is the largest city and the most densely populated in the world.  To put this in perspective, while Mumbai ranks number one in most populated cities in the world, New York City is ranks number 13.  But perhaps the most astonishing fact is that Mumbai boasts a population density of more than 22,000 people per square km compared to New York City’s 10,000 people per square mile.  That makes Mumbai more than double as crowded as New York City.  I have never attended the Mumbai Marathon but one can imagine a race at least twice as large as the New York Marathon!

Due to the large size this event it was more like a walk-a-thon than a running race because most participants preferred to walk.  Even if they did want to run, there were too many people walking to fight through the crowd.  One participant was even seen on his cell phone during the entire race.  Kids and families walked and roller skated this event while listening to bands playing both English and Hindu music.  So why did all of these non runners participate in this event?  To help the cause.

So what was the cause you may ask?  It’s anything you want.  In the largest, most densely populated city in the world, in this extremely large event, there are no people pushing others out of the way to finish the race.   Participants aren’t becoming frustrated with the amount of other people in their race, everyone is there for the same cause, to help.  Below is Mumbai Marathon’s description of this desire and reason to help from their website at

“World over marathons are revered for the emotional connect that they establish in the hearts and minds of the citizens. A marathon provides the city with a platform to come together in a celebration that cuts across social and economic barriers. It brings together the common man, the corporate czar, the politician, the socialite and the physically challenged onto one platform. It is an event that stirs the conscience of every citizen, encouraging them to reach out in aid of a cause or charity.

Why run for a cause & raise pledges?

Because it is a great way to show that you care;
Because running for a cause and raising pledges can be great fun, and can be much easier than you think – ask any of the people who did so last year;
Because you choose the cause or charity you would like to run for, a charity that you trust to use the pledges you raise in a transparent, accountable and effective way to make a difference to the lives of the underprivileged.”

So next time you are in your car, cursing the traffic, start to think about your next run and contemplate one thing:  What are you running for?