Think of Chennai and things that come to mind are - the rich heritage that come along with 375 years of existence, strong aroma of early morning filter coffee with The Hindu newspaper, the Marina beach, classical arts, and of course hot & humid weather that’s only getting hotter by the year. And now, there’s another addition to the list – Chennai Runners...
Chennai and Runners? Yes! Chennai Runners is a community that’s growing at a rapid pace. Dawn or dusk, and sometimes at noon as well - you’re sure to see them glide through the roads giving the culture rich capital city a new contemporary face.
When did Chennai become known for running – a non-resident may wonder! When 3 people from different walks of life, chanced upon each other in Alwarpet in 2006 and decided to start running together for company, little did they realize how that moment would change the running scene in Chennai.
As they set precedence, the numbers grew steadily – more runners joined the journey. The need for a formal communication group arose, and a rudimentary mailing list was created to communicate the run schedules. They assembled regularly at Alwarpet for group runs, starting off with the first chapter of Chennai Runners.
Fast forward 9 years from then, and what do we have today?
- Multiple sub-chapters, sister clubs, out-station running clubs.
- An active and strong database of 2000+ runners, a FB page with 5000+ followers
- First organizer of a full marathon event in Chennai. Over 18000 runners have run 2 editions of ,The Wipro Chennai Marathon.
- All over Chennai - hundreds, if not thousands, of runners setting an example, ignoring the snooze button in their alarm clocks and hitting the roads every morning.
From a meager 3 to a thousand runners - how did this journey unfold? Just by doing more, and running more - besides having a strong sense of identity, being inclusive, being flexible without any rigid rules based approach, by working hard while having fun - and most importantly putting the sport on the spot light. Just like the Banyan tree, our growth philosophy has been on the basis of how dense the outgrowth is rather than how powerful the central trunk is.
Following a “freemium” model, anyone today can become a Chennai Runner. All that they need is to join a local chapter or a neighborhood club, and become a part of our digital assets that include mailing lists and social media properties.
If you think, this is our success story…Well! We’ve just begun!From the pen of Chennai Runner Vanitha Shankar and Ashwin Prabhu