This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My first Half Marathon Experience - Thane Varsha

The marathon is considered to be a very 'tough', distance and that too only in the last 6miles of the 26.2 miles, when all the body's stored fat reserves get depleted and the body looks up at you and asks, "Are you insane, why do you subject me to such intense suffering?".

But for me, the half marathon was equivalent to running a marathon as shall be described below........

I was staying at Mumbai with my mom during the summer 'o3 and I heard 11 days before the actual date(14th July) that there would be a marathon in Mumbai.
I quickly found the registration procedures, which involved getting a medical certificate and proof of age (the half was only for men below age of 21 and ofcourse for women). I went to the registration site, Maharana prathap Chowk, two days before the half marathon and got myself registered.

On the same evening I went along with a few others for a tour of the route in a bus provided by the race organisers. I even mapped the route in my book, but when I think back, it didn't matter as the route was well marked and there was a negligible possibility of getting of course.
Now, my training for the half mary wasn't much as I had just 11 days of notice. So, I decided to run regularly for 11 days in IIT powai, where I was staying. I ran 5kms daily the first week and the next week I did one 12km, which was very tough since that was the maximum I had ever run at a stretch. I felt really dehydrated after the run, but I also felt a sense of achievement and the confidence that I could atleast do half the race distance.
I took a day's break and was ready the next day for the race. I had my lunch at around 10 am and went to Teen hath naka,Mahranaprathap chowk, the start of the event, near Thane. The race was at 1pm, but it didn't start till 3:30 pm. We were made to sit below a flyover there till the race started. But it was great fun,
as I made new friends and we were all hollering around and the atmosphere around had a festive look.

The race began, and it started raining. But I thought what the heck,it would be fun. Many of the runners started sprinting from the start line. I was really cautious to run slow and steady, lest I give up later. A few other races like boys 5k and 10k were also being parallelly held.
I took water at the water-stops meant for the 5k runners.....At around this time I caught up with one of the friends I had made..I asked him to run steadily with he looked tired. We must have run like this for around 5 km when he suggested that we stop as he was unable to breathe! I told him not to give up, and I was feeling allright, what the heck, we hadn't even covered 1/4th of the race...But he gave up and I was left to run on my own....The initial 10 kms is a loop which brings you back to the starting point and then takes a long route to finish.
It took me around 1 hr to cover the first 10kms (behind schedule) and I was feeling really tired just when the sun had started to show up from under the cloud cover..

People were egging me on as I passed through the slums and rural pockets..Some were outright rude to throw water on me and make comments like sathraa ho bathraa (my chest no. was 17) while others were lifted my spirits as I ran past them. The problem I faced at the 11km mark was that, there were some steep climbs and my legs were hurting so real bad that I had to slow down my pace to a walk and finally I stopped as I could proceed no more, despite wet sponges for the head and glasses of water. From here on it was a struggle unto finish. I walked/jogged and did the same over and over main aim was to finish the race no matter how long it took.
The funny thing was that I was struck up with a set of runners who were struggling like I was...I would keep looking back and front to see if the gap had narrowed down or widened...A couple of runners really annoyed me...Just as I passed them, trying my best to keep jogging, they would start spriniting all of a sudden and gain a good distance on me. I would again pass them and they would do the same thing again.I also adopted a few strategies like:
Walking a few steps and then running half that no. of steps, etc...
An auto guy, seeing my condition offered me a lift...I asked him to get lost, I knew that I had only 5 more kms to go....The last 1 km, I sprinted along to finish.

We were supposed to get some refreshments at the finish, but since it was already 2.5 hrs since the start, the organisers had long since packed and left, there were also no buses to take us back to the start. There were around 5 runners sitting on the floor when I finished and we all requested the security guy there to help us out. He lead us to a company canteen nearby and we were served some refreshments there.
We then reached the starting point, thanks to a traffic police guy who was kind enough to hire us an auto and pay for it .
I got my finisher's certificate which was ridiculously unfilled and having cursed the organisers, I left for my home.


The Thinking Runner said...

Sounds like a nightmare. Though I think the newer events like the Mumbai half and marathon are reasonably well organized. At least, better than the one you describe.

arbit said...

Maybe the Mumbai marathon, being an international one and having many celebrities, would have necessiatd better organisation. Even the chennai marathon, run for a cause, organised by the rotary club, wasn't organised well in the sense that the runners who were a little slow, were asked to stop the race, as the water stops were removed and the organisers had packed and left...Pathetic.

Organisers of marathons abroad atleast wait until 5 hrs before .
packing up.

I guess it will take a while, before our guys learn it right.

Muthukumar Puranam said...

Excellent karthik, really I got inspired to read this. Kudos to you!

mike61 said...

Sorry for the long delay in writing this, but iam sure you will get it>>>

firstly ) let me b frank > it looks like you are no runner at all>> sorry for rude comment

Secondly ) casual runners like me do LOVE water & the monsoon is the best time to train

3) i would love people trow water on me when iam running

4) i train on the thane: talaopali early at 5 am 3 times a week, by 6 IAm done
5) it would be fun if you joined me cause i train alone just one more committed runner MATHEW runs like hell, its pritty BORING to run alone, i star at 5 so that i can sleep for an hour after that, its very tireing to keet awake after a run of 5 kms.

hope you reply

My email is :

HAPPY running


Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'