Exclusive: From fun zones to zumba, the first edition of The Warrior Run had a bit of everything
The first edition of The Warrior Run, Kolkata’s first-ever professionally-timed marathon for children, was a stellar success. The Warrior Run, supported by Indulge, The New Indian Express, was held on an early Sunday morning at the Calcutta Police Athletic Club; the run was organised by Fun Pickle and The Nile Mile, as a way of gearing the kids towards a more active lifestyle and to steer them away from excessive screen time, which often results in obesity and other ailments.
The marathon was also a platform for children from different walks of life to come together and showcase their athletic prowess, especially as members from the West Bengal Athletics Association were present at the marathon to scout for talent. The run had been conveniently sectioned into three categories, two kilometres, three kilometres and five kilometres and anyone between the age of three to 21 was eligible to sign up. In fact, many toddlers ran with their parents as a fun bonding exercise. Interestingly, the training period for the marathon is essentially what benefited the children’s well being as it made them take exercising seriously.
“Kids are always indoors nowadays with i-Pads and phones and the concept of going out and playing is just not there anymore. The run is a great way to lead the kids to fitness as they will also need to train for the run and it engages them in some physical activity,” we are told by Richa Daga, the founder of Fun Pickle. Besides a really enthusiastic moderator, the marathon also had a fun zone so kids could warm up a little before the run, and also have some fun with their friends. There was also a zumba session which saw the children and their parents excitedly groove with the performers on stage.
All the distance categories had the Dhukiram Majumdar Football Club as their starting point and there were hydration points and first aid units at regular intervals. We saw a sea of children of all ages, in yellow jerseys, revved up for a fun morning run with their folks. The chief guest for the event was IPS officer Raveendran Sankaran, who took some time to deliver an inspiring message.
“Whatever you want to become, be it Sachin Tendulkar or Saina Nehwal, or even the PM of the country, there’s only one mantra which I’ve already followed: arise, awake and stop not till the goal is achieved. Secondly, today you are running for unity. The name of this marathon is the Warrior Run, you are the warriors who will perform duties for our country, and you are the warriors who will protect our country and our culture,” he remarked.