As we draw the curtains on another trip round the sun, we can't help but look back with pride and a smile. 2023 turned out to be our biggest year ever, with more people joining us to get out on the trails, more participation from all our members, more club activities and initiatives, and of course, the introduction of self sufficient racing in the country.
Yet on the other hand, there were some misses and shortcomings on what we could have done or done better.
But at the end of it, we believe we've finally created the framework for what India's largest trail running community needs to be all about, and have learnings that we'll be carrying into 2024.
Here are all the hits and misses and a recap of 2023.
Most New Memberships (HIT)
We got 42 new members in 2023, which is the most we've ever had in a year. While many of them are experienced trail runners, a lot of them have taken their first trail steps with us - for which we're honoured and humbled.
Initiatives Left Midway (MISS)
At the end of the day, we became victims of life getting in the way of things that we are passionate about. Some of the activities that we had started and committed to our members, and the trail running community, had to be put on hold. Our commitments still stand and we'll be honouring our members' contributions to the growth of the club and trail running in the region.
Large Group Participation (HIT)
In 2023, our group run headcount averaged 22, with some of the monthly meetups crossing 30 on multiple occasions. In addition, we also started with our first collaboration run where we took 56 members of one of Delhi/NCR's largest running groups, Run With Reeti, on the trails and forests of Asola Bhatti. And to add to this, 2023 also saw more of our members coming forward and volunteering on various club activities.
Tracking Dirt (MISS)
This pretty much deserves its own 'miss' section despite fitting the previous one. We launched India's first trail running podcast in March, but again life got in the way and we couldn't continue. But the good news is that Tracking Dirt is making a comeback in 2024, maybe much sooner than one would expect!
CapitalTrails Race Series (HIT)
We inaugurated the CapitalTrails races with the Asola edition in September and thus, introduced the concept of self sufficient trail racing in India. While it was organised as a members-only event, a complete race series with 3 races (Asola, Panikot, Lal Kot) is already in the works which we'll be opening up to the larger Indian trail running community.
Still Very Few Women Members (MISS)
While we're doing better than the national average, we still don't have as many women in our community as we'd like. One of the tenets CapitalTrails was founded on was to enable and empower more women to take to the trails by giving them safe access. We're trying to do our part, but we need to work harder and work together, and the first step is to listen to and provide women a safe space.
First Woman FKT on Nilgai City Trail (HIT)
Probably our biggest win came late in November when 2 runners Vibhu and Kiudamliu, both of them non-members of the club, attempted and finished the Nilgai City Trail FKT route - and in the process, Kiudamliu became the first woman to get the FKT crown. We welcome them both to our family of trail runners.
Recap 2023 - Parting Thoughts
We are excited to welcome 2024 and make it even bigger. We're building a community of strong and resilient trail runners, and want to make our presence felt nationally - and who knows, maybe globally.
Here's to the days gone and the days to come. Happy 2024!