The Smart Run was held on Jan 7th, 2018 at 6.30 AM at Cubbon Park. This was yet another Run up event (literally), that was conducted in order to raise awareness about the upcoming Organics Millets International Trade Fair, Jan 19th-21st, 2018 (OMITF 2018) that will happen at the Palace Grounds, Main Gate at Vasanthnagar, Bangalore. This is conducted by the Govt of Karnataka, Dept of Agriculture.

The Smart Run was an exciting, exhilarating and entertaining event that was organised very efficiently and effectively (this is an example of All-E-teration 😀 )

Many ran, some stayed back and some pretended to run (ok that was only one person … but then I got you these pictures did I not ?).

Do read all about it here and see it through my CaMaRa !!!

The Free registration for the run was done at – Smart Run Registration with an enticing proposition that entitled the first 2000 registrants to a ‘Letsmillet/Go Organic’ T shirt and breakfast from the sponsors MTR Foods and Soulfull.

Bangalore’s boundless enthusiasm ensured a count of over 2000, despite there being 6 other runs happening at the same time in the city.

The Run –

The 5 K Run was neatly routed, the people were suitably ‘Booted’ and Cubbon park was a sea of fluorescent Green on the morning of Sunday, Jan 7th, 2018.

There were enthusiastic participants of all ages, right from children to adults, who had sportingly wriggled out of their warm beds before the crack of dawn and had made it punctually to the Band Stand, Cubbon park, the Flag off point. The crisp, cold January morning was no deterrent even to the youngest member, a 9 month old baby that I named Baby Millet … and who gave a whole new meaning to the term Little Millet 😀

He is seen here cosily ensconced in the pouch with mommy Shweta Sonali.

The weather relented soon enough though and just as the first rays peeked out from the dense cover of the trees, I found that I could actually discard my jacket and survive in my slip-on T shirt that exhorted me to ‘Letsmillet’.

Always being people who lead by example, our ever encouraging Minister of Agriculture for State, Shri Krishna Byre Gowda and his wife, along with the Commisioner of Agriculture, Mr Satish G and his daughter, were at the venue even before the sun was out and the street lights had been turned off, enthusing the runners with their presence and willingness to pose for pictures.

The Process –

SMS messages had been sent to the participants the day previous to the run, with essential details like pre allotted counter numbers, registration timings, location map and other logistical information, in order to have an organised process. Due to this, the formalities of registering and receiving T shirts was a smooth affair at the counters that had opened as early as 5.30 am.

A warm up Zumba had been arranged with Nikita Suresh, a Nutritionist and Zumba Fitness instructor and this was an entertaining 20 minute session that got everyone even more charged up and warmed up.

Speeches –

Just before the Flag off, we had a few celebrities and dignitaries on the stage, some of whom were Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Dr Manjunath – Director Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, T Suneel Kumar – Commissioner of Police, Sampath Raj – Mayor, R Hitendra – Additional Commissioner of Police Traffic, Satish G – Commissioner of Agriculture and Ms Roopa Mouli.

Roopa has a degree in agriculture and is the currect reigning Mrs India United Nations. She is the Pinkathon ambassador and is associated with undertaking several Social causes.

She was also involved in conceptualizing and executing this Smart Run event along with the Dept of Agriculture.

Short speeches were made by Dr Manjunath and Mr Sampath Raj and then the Minister gave a motivating speech that was received by the crowd with cheers … and then finally, the run was officially flagged off. Here is a video snippet of the speech.

The emcee Anand Maheswaran deftly handled the sequencing of the events on the stage and also added his own brand of humor to lighten the proceedings and thoroughly wake up those who were still groggy 😀

The run took place along the designated route along the periphery of Cubbon Park, past the grim statue of Queen Victoria (who continued to stoically look away 😀 ) and then past Vidhana Soudha and UB City and completed the circuit back to the Band Stand venue. Drinking water stations en route, kept our runners hydrated.

(I did not have to run to get all that information. I had my sources okay ? 😀 )

The run took less than 30 minutes for those who were fast and everyone else managed to get back well in time for the complimentary breakfast that was organised by the sponsors MTR with their instant Cups of Upma and Avalakki and Soulfull with their Millet mueslis and flakes, of which their Chatpata flakes seemed popular.

To preserve the memories of the run and to continue the awareness campaign for the OMITF2018, there were Selfie booths with placards bearing the theme messages like Letsmillet, Go Organic etc and we had our pictures clicked in both English and Kannada 😛

There was also a booth that produced instant prints that were then framed and given to the runners who waited in a Queue to have their shots taken.

The event ended with the minister obliging everyone who wanted to pose with him for pictures and as always in his impressive style, he was one of the last to leave the venue … leading by example being the key to his charisma !!!