As part of the ongoing Shatabdi (Centenary) of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, Shree Swaminarayan Temple London has formed a partnership with the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity. Through a host of joint activities, the Temple aims to raise in excess of 50,000 Pounds in funds.
In the first of a series of these events, over 50 members of the Temple congregation took part in the British 10k Run in London. Through sponsorship, the runners raised over 5000 Pounds in funds.
Through the inspiration of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree, the participants, most of whom had never trained before, embarked on a tough regime to prepare for the race. This event was the climax of three months of intensive training – ensuring each of the runners from the Temple was able to complete the race still running, despite temperatures along the route in excess of 30ºC
The race started on Piccadilly, where Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band launched the entire event. Over 20,000 race participants looked on as the Band saluted the honoured guests and dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Catherine Longworth. The Band then played their repertoire up and down Piccadilly to formally start the race – before changing into their running gear to take part in the race itself.
“The anticipation and excitement was seen on everyone's face as the race was about to begin. It seemed like eternity before the huge crowd of tens of thousands of people made some forward movement and the race began.”
The race route took the runners down Piccadilly and then past St James’s Palace before turning left along Pall Mall. The runners then carried on past Trafalgar Square, along Embankment and under and back around Hungerford Bridge. The race then continued back down Embankment, u-turned over Westminster Bridge towards Parliament Square. The runners finally arrived along Whitehall, finishing heading North towards Trafalgar Square.
The race route was lined with supporters, many from the Temple itself, who cheered on all the runners and provided great motivation in the otherwise stifling heat.
“There was a special atmosphere in the air, one that cannot be replicated on the training field, one that was only experienced by those who participated on the day, one that kept all the runners going for all ten kilometres. The scorching heat did not make for easy running and all the runners had to have great motivation and dedication to run at all let alone cover all ten kilometres but the support was invaluable in making the distance possible”
Every runner from the Temple finished the race running within 70 minutes – a remarkable achievement for many of them.
“The feeling that I had when finishing the run was unexplainable and I am sure that all the runners would agree that the day was very enjoyable, not to mention the large sums of money raised by the runners for charity. The British 10K London Run 2006 was a definite success.”
Motivated by the huge success of the Temple’s participation in the British 10k Race – including the pre-run training programme, the runners are now looking forward to the next event in association with MCCC. No doubt that having heard about the success of this event, many more Temple members will be enthused to partake in future events.
"Completing the run was no easy task, especially given the hot weather, but it felt great to eventually cross over that finish line. Over the last few months, I have really enjoyed training as part of a team and finally accomplishing the task as a team. It also goes to show that if i can do it, anyone can - regardless of age! I'm already looking forward to the next event and hope more members of all ages join in to raise money for such a worthy cause".