2016 Planning

Some Runs/Race I would like to do in 2016.
  • 14-Feb-2016 Auroville Marathon
  • 06-Mar-2016 IDBI Kolkata Marathon ( can not go but listing )
  • 19-Mar-2016 Nirbhaya Midnight Marathon (Bangalore)
  • 12-Jun-2016 Run Your First Half or Full Marathon (Jaynagar Jaguar date not confirmed)
  • 17-Jul-2016 The Cherrapunjee Marathon
  • 28-Aug-2016 Airtel Hyderabad Marathon
  • 11-Sep-2016 Chennai Trail Marathon
  • 16-Oct-2016 Bengaluru Marathon

Cochin Full Marathon 2015

Pre-Race Day

The day started early, we get out Cochin Club today and part our our ways for some time. While Pamela & Aarush goes back to Bangalore on Saturday itself I stay back for the big run on Sunday.

They had a train to catch around 9 from ERS. There was not a single auto around so had to walk and get one from Ferry station and as usual the price asked and agreed is way more than normal,

My running friends already reached from Bangalore while some checked in to Hotel other went ahead to Alleppey to check run route for December MTR run. There was many small plans and phone calls in the morning about how we meet up and spend our day, At the end I came to the hotel in Wellington Island around 10. After 11 we start from hotel for BIB collection which is another end of 

Ernakulam. The bus ride was very long and memorable one not a kind that you suggest. We were swinging …. the drives is rash and the roads are narrow and there is Metro construction going on forever.

The BIB collection was happening inside a newly opened mall. And we came to know there are not going to many runners around 200 registered for FM and another 800 for HM, After usual chit-chat with fellow runners and pictures we headed for food. We were told and warned about the bad road conditions due to rain and that might impact bare-foot runners most. Organizers were also offering early start at 3AM. But the regular start of 4 AM itself was too early for my standard.

While walking to the mall from bus stop spotted the restaurant ‘Dhe Puttu’ a place Pamela wanted to go but we did not. While entering the place we liked it but it usual a clean nice restaurant. But when they served the ‘Sulaimani Tea’ things changed drastically for good. We all must had 7/8 cups of tea and some may be more. It seems this restaurant belongs to one of Malaalam actor Dileep. We all loved the food. And the best part we were full. The puttu is very filling and restaurant guys service was excellent. Post lunch we again walked to bus stop and got a bus to our hotel. 

Pamela and Aarush Bangalore reached Bangalore safely in the evening. They mentioned about the rain and cold weather over there. Personally had a shower and nap in the afternoon. But that killed by sleep in the night as I could barely sleep. 

Race Day

Woke up at 3:15 or so and left hotel at 3:30 in Bus (thanks to soles of Cochin) for the venue. From our group few were doing FM and most were doing HM. In hotel met Balaji, one runners from Chennai who is of my kind of running speed. But he has ran many FM including last month Bangalore on in 4 hours where I took 14 more minutes. It was 3 in the beginning but soon around 6 KM mark I think we lost Patrick and me and Balali continued together. We were running side by side but once the road narrowed we started to follow each other. We completed the half way mark before 2 hours and headed back and crossed 30K around 2 hr 45 minutes or so. But once we were back to the Wellington Island we met up with the many slow HM and Family fun (5K) runners. While they had a turn to complete their race we had to continue on an isolated roads between shipyards and godowns. It was the last KMs that was very dull and boring. And now the gap between me and Balaji increased as I really lost the enthusiasm . Thankfully one Hyderabad runner came to rescue around last 500m to give company. And the race got over in 4 hours 7 minutes. The best part not much walking and stopping in the last 5 KMs but there is way to improve. May be I shouldI think I have 50KM Ultra to run while running those 5KM. 

Post-race as usual Bangalore runner specially Pacemakers were on the podium. And very thankful to two gentlemen who are working in Dubai but avid runners gave us lift to Hotel. We checkout and headed towards MG road and ended up going to Grand Hotel for lunch. This is the same place where we as a family met our Cochin host Gulshan and his family on Tuesday for dinner.

The service was not so great as we were a Bhukkad Gang. Rest of the journey back to Bangalore was fun filled with lots of chitchat which can be shared here ;) 

Driving October 2015

Satara HM 2015

Satara is located in Maharashtra  not very far from Pune, Mahabaleshwar located in western ghat. PaceMakers decided to run this HM instead of Hyderabad beginning of the year and booked a complete hotel in February itself. That caused a uproar in Indian armature running community. The registration for Satara HM for out station also got closed as there is a limited hotel accommodation in this town.  Personally I was not very keen to run to it given the remote location and no direct train and flight. So registered for Hyderabad HM which was only a week before.  Then one day there was a twist :) Satara HM opened additional 300 slots for outstation runners and I applied. The organizers came out with noble and unique idea to accommodate runners via home-stay(B&B).

Initially was supposed to travel in a XUV 500 which got cancelled at the last minute but being part of a bigger group was able to find a free slot in the Bus and traveled with the team. The journey was long and was tired and slept most of the Saturday afternoon as soon reached hotel. The team went to explore the famous Khas that i missed completely.

The race started at 6, the starting point was 800M from the hotel. The route profile is very simple UP to the half way half mark and down :). Between 4-7KM is the steep part. I was very unsure how the race will turn up after running AHM a week before. I started my own thinking not to collapse or doing something stupid during the race and also giving my best. Like last week had a GU Gel as pre-race and one around 9KM mark.

I am very happy and pleasantly surprised to see my result. I was on the top 10 of my age category. There were 3 from PaceMakers ahead of me :). As usual our group collected many silverware.

Some pictures from the trip

Hill Section Going Up

At the Start Line

Reaching Finish line 200M more
PaceMakers BIB collection
PaceMakers @ Start
PaceMakers leaving  hotel
Hill Section .. moving legs :)
Waiting for food
My Chicken Thali with Bajra Roti

43 seconds and counting

Third year in a row ran Airtel Hyderabad half marathon yesterday. There was many things which were different from 2013. Looking back 2013 was my second outstation race with PaceMakers. We traveled in train and return journey was not a great one as we had to travel in sleeper class. The fun was most of us did not had bed linen as we forgot how it was to travel in sleeper class. So Last year though I went with group in train booked my flight ticket for returning and that way I was back home on Sunday itself.

Coming to 2015 booked air tickets for going as well. Left Bangalore in the Saturday evening as reached Hyderabad in time for an early dinner and heading to bed. My roommate was running full 42.2KM in the toughest city marathon of India. Did not had a good night sleep not from pre-race anxiety but due to poor room quality of WoodBridge Grand. This hotel is getting dropped from our Hyderabad running hotels.

In the morning all the autos were asking exorbitant price in the early to morning to take me to starting point which was only 2 KM away. SoI kept walking and good Samaritan offered a ride in his car to Necklace Road railway station.

Was delighted and surprised to meet up with Prithvi Reddy. It is great that he is running and this was his second year doing Half Marathon.

Did proper warm-up with few PaceMakers and was confident for a good enjoyable run. But my Garmin went off before even the race could start :) Not sure what went wrong as I recollect had charged it before leaving Bangalore. Had one large Banana at hotel around 4:45AM & Clif-Gel around 5:45. The digital clock went down before the race director could flag off the race so it was not just me having trouble with watch in the early morning.

Knew  I was running strong as was able to see Brojen in front of me even though the gap between us was widening. Till the first flyover I could see him but  after 5KM mark he really took off.  I had a glass of energy drink around 7/8KM mark and another gel around 11KM with water. I love my coffee. I tried my best to cover up on the downhill parts knowing the course my heart now. Naidu (another PaceMakers) caught up with me around 15KM mark. Asked him what speed he was running and he mentioned something around 5, did not bother with that data as I had only one thing in my mind the last 3 KMs with Gachibowli flyover. Last two years this is where had my trouble and had to walk for few steps. Surprisingly this year there were families with nice Bollywood numbers to cheer runners and I crossed it without much trouble.

But the at the end there was no mark of how much is left and once again there was surprise. As this year also the entry to the stadium was changed and I was not sure how much is left. Only once I saw the stadium entry I started sprinting to the finish line. The clock at the finish line was clicking 1:43:XX and my heart had no joy as at last I felt I cracked the 1:45 mark. I was not super confident with the clock as did not have my own watch to double confirm the same.

So with lots of selfies and groupies and chit chat with known runners we headed back for hotel. But getting taxi was not easy but at the end we managed one with bribe ;). The driver switched off his GPS phone with Uber. The uber guys caked him few times and he ensured to maintain a silence.
The lunch was HUGE at DineHill but these year we were very few runners there. But the whole celebration of 1:45 got busted as soon we reached hotel with SMS from TimingIndia. It said my provisional timing is 1:45:43.

Oh! Now you tell me the value of 43 seconds and the difficulties I had to explain the same to my non running friends.  It was great  to run at an average 5 KM pace for the whole distance. The weather helped big time but somehow feeling down. In three years my ranking and running had improved (2013 - 2:01, 2014 1:50) but I am no longer super excited.

At last and not the list, thanks a ton to Hyderabad Runners for their execution in a flawless running event. There were volunteers who were excited and enthusiastic not just holding glass of water. The post run arrangement was also great with zero waste. Even though there is nothing new after this 3rd edition for me might comeback one day to complete the ‘toughest city marathon’ one day. Till then À bientôt.

Gujarat 2011 - Map

Need to write the 4 years old road trip before my memory fades away. The pictures are there to help but need lots of coffee to complete the writing.

Our itinerary to khushbu Gujarat ki

  • Day -1 By flight Bangalore- Bombay. We took a morning flight for Mumbai and reached around afternoon. Same day boarded train to Baroda from Mumbai Central. Reached Baroda by night around 9. It was a chair car train. 
  • Day-2: Went to see Champaner, Evening met with old friends of Pamela from school 
  • Day-3: Drive from Baroda to Ahmadabad, Went to Adalaj Stepwell, Sabarmati Ashram, 
  • Day-4: Early exit form Ahmadabad to avoid traffic to Modhera, Afternoon stop at Patan & Lothal on the way to  Palitana 
  • Day-5: Visit to Palitana hills and left for Diu
  • Day 6: Wanted to explore Gir (Asiatic Lion) but it was still closed and we wen to Junagadh via Somnath.
  • Day 7: Junagadh ; climbed Girinar hills. 
  • Day 8: Left Junagadh very early one to  Porbander (being 2nd Oct  could not do much) went to Dwarka and Bet – Dwarka and left for Bhuj. A long long day on road.
  • Day 9: Great Rann of kutch
  • Day 10: explore Bhuj and left for  little Rann of Kutch
  • Day 11: via Ahmadabad back to Mumbai by bus.

Half early update

It is June. And honesty this year looks like going on faster speed then the previous ones. January was fun when we celebrated Aarush birthday with Misra Families. It was really great but that ended too soon. February and March was superfast with schools, exams and work. April We traveled to Durg, Pamela and Aarush sent 4 weeks there and here we are in end of May.

So just before school reopens we had out of Bangalore for 2 nights. We opted for something closer to home Coorg but on the southern side. We opted for this side as we been to more popular side near Madikeri in 2008 when Aarush was around 9 month old. Time do really fly.

We started at 8:30 from home, very late compared to our slandered but that day had Bangalore TCS 10K. We stopped for a break around 10:30 near Madur. We bypassed Mysore via Brindhavan Garden road and continued till Hunsur. Google Map was helpful and we took a bypass before Hunsur town and soon reached the gate of Nagarhole National Park. We need to make an entry in the logbook and were reminded no food, no music, no stopping and speed up to 30KMPH while crossing the park. We saw lots of spotted deer and few monkeys. But soon it started to rain heavily. The rain continued till our destination Kutta a small town. We stopped for a late lunch a placed called ‘Café Robusta’. Other than the name nothing was fancy and would suggest you might want to miss it but there are not many choices over there.

We easily found our homestay asking person on the road and following the sign to Irpu falls. After settled in in we went out for a stroll to nearby temple. The owner of the home stay has an excellent taste in maintaining her garden. Just to mention there were hundreds of flower pots of different times.

Next day we went to Irpu falls, only Aarush had a great time showering over there. After that we tried to stroll little mode but the weather was too hot. So we headed back to guest house and after shower had a big lunch and too a long nap. Evening we went out in search of ATM to nearby T.Shettigeri.

Next day after breakfast we headed out for Bangalore via Shrimangala & Gonikoppal . The road condition was great. We stopped at Mysore palace as Aarush said he wanted to see it. It was very crowded, And we did not enjoyed it so much. After lunch at Mysore we started back from there and experienced heavy storm and rain as we were about to reach home. Thankfully that rain just started and we were not stuck for long anywhere else it would been a different story at the end.

Now with school being open not sure when we will go out anywhere soon.