Monday, March 2, 2020

Tata Ultra 35 Km Run- 23rd-Feb-2020

Event name: TATA Ultra Marathon 2020
Event date: 23rd-Feb-2020
Event venue: Lonavala, Maharashtra
Run distance: 35 KM
Bib #: 35410
Overall time taken: 4:54:16
Time of run: The run started at 4:30 AM

Timing Certificate: (Attached also)

My run experience:
(to be worded)
I had a dilemma going into this run i.e whether to run 35 km or 50 km ? Going by the way i approached my prior runs, I always defaulted in favor of longer distances. But somehow, this time, given my preparation and the track that was virtually unknown to me, I decided to for 35 km. And given the challenges faced in this run, it turned out to be a wise choice.

Me and Renjith reached the venue a day earlier. There are two routes to reach Lonavala- one via Mumbai and other via Pune. In our itinerary planning, we somehow chose arrival via Mumbai and departure via Pune. It was interesting to learn that Lonavala has't yet allowed Ola/Uber services, which meant that post run we had to figure out and book our own means of transportation to catch the flight from Pune. We left that decision as is and decided to focus on the the unknown first- the run, the route and the answer to this question- "how do we reach the finish line ?"

We reached Lonavala from Mumbai and checked-in to our modest hotel. When traveling for runs, we normally choose the places that are stayable, not too far from the start-line, not expensive and tend to get separate rooms as most runs start very early in the morning, which means that you need independent bathrooms quite early to get ready. bad experience in first mumbai marathon- Navy

Sweeper bus

Dry fruits, rich fruits at the start

Organizers giving headlights

Chikki shop everywhere in Lonavala but aid stations

Journey back from top, finish line...2 hours within the city

Running first time with cut off

Lack of preparation

Helping a stranger. Gave brufin to cramping lady asking crocin to everyone

Elevation- geared vehicles struggling to climb mountains at 1st gear while we were running

One either made it to the top of mountain or failed. Life is rarely so neatly defined. Goals are often ambiguous and elusive. Seldom do people know exactly what is required of them to succeed.

You will cross that finish line as a different person. You will be forever changed by the experience. You will learn more about yourself in the next day than you have previously known in an entire lifetime.

What counts in the battle is what you do when the pain sets in. - John Short

Pain is the body's way of getting rid of the weakness.

Adventure happens the moment you step out your front door. Get outside and get going.

Brought new glasses at INR 120 as I forgot mine at home.

Friendly committed staff at the aid station

Few people coming early and cheering

Almost cried at finish line...that feeling of giving it all....doesn't happen often with me

Stomach upset a weekend before

Could not sleep well on the race eve after knowing that there is a cutoff time at 25 km 3 hours 20 min

Wax museum

Elite runner in bus- Obstacle course run

Beautiful sunrise

Act of kindness: brufin to the fellow runner

Completion Certificate

Bib and medal

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ajmera Thump 10K run- June-2014

Event name: Ajmera Thump 10K run
Event date: June-2014
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 103*
Overall time taken: 62 minutes (exact time to be shared by the organizers)
Overall run Speed: ~9.5 KM per minutes
Time of run: The run started at 6:30 AM

Finally restarting my recording of running experiences after a while and just starting from I we left. The next run after the TCS 10K in 2014 that i ran was Ajmera Thump run in June 2014. I remember when i participated in this event, i had already started preparing for my first full marathon and this run was a part of one of the "early in the schedule" long runs. This run coincided with the Week-3 or 4 of the training plan.Overall, i had good memories from this run. This run happened majorly on the Electronic City flyover in Bangalore. In a sense, it was one of my first experiences running majorly on the flyover. When you drive on that flyover, it appears like one straight road without any slopes but upon running i got realized of many up and down elevations this road has. Slightly above the ground, it made for a good sight around the Bangalore. Though timing was never my goal, i think i completed the run in a decent timings.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tata Consultancy Services World 10K run- 18th-May-2014

Event name: Tata Consultancy Services World 10K run
Event date: 18th-May-2014
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 29589
Overall time taken: 72 minutes (exact time to be shared by the organizers)
Overall run Speed: 8.96 KM per minutes
Time of run: The run started at 6:20 AM

This run was a bit emotional experience for me for various reasons. First and foremost was that this was my first run after my mother lost the battle with cancer in November last year. Somehow in the last six months i found myself staying away from running. It took a while to regroup myself bit-by-bit every day. But somehow i found a way to train a bit and get ready for the event. One of the motivations for me was to collect the blessings for the cancer patients.
Another reason why this event was an emotional experience for me was that the run day happened to be my son's 4th birthday. Given that it was a Sunday and the run this time was starting quite early, i just let him sleep at home but did resolve to finish it well for him.
Yet another reason why this event happened to be an emotional one for me was the pride associated with running my 7th consecutive TCS 10K run in last 7 years (since 2008). Earlier events were sponsored by Sunfeast. Though the sponsors changed the energy and vibrancy of this event remains unparalleled.

The days leading to run day were exciting with a few of the colleagues running their first 10K run. Running was a subject of discussion during breaks with topics ranging from whether to have time goals or not to how to manage injuries sparked-up the tea-time conversations. The build-up to run day was fantastic with heavy rains that happened the night before. More than anything, it cooled-off the morning for the runners.
The weather was perfect at the start and the atmosphere became electrifying with the presence of Olympics legend Carl Lewis who was the brand ambassador for the event. At the inauguration he offered a sane advice to all the runners to pace themselves well and not worry about going slow or fast.
The overall run experience was good given than i was feeling good at the beginning with some practice to back-up. I felt some pain below the shin at the start which caused me to slow down a bit but soon i found my rhythm and ran to my satisfaction. The best part about the TCS 10k run has always been the crowd surrounding the tracks and selflessly cheering each and every participant. The weather became a bit hot during the run but it was satisfying for me to hear some runners cheering me for the cause i was running.

Overall, a satisfying experience and apart from loads of memory that i picked-up, i did pick-up some quotes during the run that i liked-
"Pain is temporary. Pride is forever"
"Races end. Running is forever"

Results link:

IIMB Community 10Km Run- TvaRun- 2nd-Oct-2013

Event name: IIMB Community Run- TvaRun
Event date: 2nd-Oct-2013
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 113
Overall time taken: 68 minutes
Time of run: The run started at 7:00 URL:

IIMB runs are always special for me so is this one. Though i am blogging about this run a bit late but i do remember changing the stance in this run, dropped my speed and ran for completing the run. I was happy i did manage to do that as usual.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tata Consultancy Services World 10K run- 19th-May-2013

Event name: Tata Consultancy Services World 10K run
Event date: 19th-May-2013
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 15220
Overall time taken: 66 minutes 59 seconds
Overall run Speed: 8.96 KM per minutes
Time of run: The run started at 7:22 AM

This was my 6th TCS (formerly Sunfeast) 10K run in 6 successive years. I dont know whether the event people keep any records but i did feel very proud to have competed in all the editions so far. I consider this as one of my achievements and see it as my commitment to consistency.
I probably wasn't best prepared for the run but had the quiet confidence that i will be able to finish the run. The basic principles that i followed included-
  • Listening to the body at every step.
  • Be flexible to change the running strategy based on how the body is responding.
  • Maintain some pace but dont over-pressurize self with time goals. (i never have any time goals).
  • Increase pace when there is a downward slope.
  • Maintain pace (not reduce) when there is a upward slope.

With these in mind, i set out for my 6th run. All the past runs that i did, i was mostly alone but this time i was accompanied by few friends who ran. As expected there were literally 1000s of people in the run. Finding the way out of the stadium is especially tough when you have to walk through the narrow lanes, so the start of the run went in finding feet on the group with so many enthusiastic runners around. The best part about the TCS run is the festivities around. There is loud music, spectators encouraging you all through the course. I was steady throughout the run with the lap between 7th and 8th Km taking more than 7 minutes and rest other laps took less than 7 minutes. Some practice before the run always helps to maintain consistent speed.

Since many people from my current organization participated in the run, i wrote an article in the company newsletter. Listed below-

Oprah Winfrey once said, "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it knowingly or unknowingly what you put into it." These are the words that describe values that we at Citrix have imbibed over the last few years. Running was almost like a sport of an elite few years ago at Citrix, but it has grown big with each year. TCS 10K (formerly Sun Feast) run has almost become a platform that has launched many runners. This year was no different with several Citrix employees taking to the road with their running shoes and steely determination early in the morning on Sunday, May 19th . As a part of this year’s run, Citrix supported Association for the Mentally Challenged (AMC) by contributing an amount of INR 150,000. About 20 employees signed up for this event as a part of their Global Day of Impact initiative.
Of all the runs that happen in Bangalore, the atmosphere and buzz around TCS 10K run is the most electrifying. With literally thousands of people on the road, and music and other festivities going, it is like a carnival. While being part of such a mega event and completing 10K run was grand in itself, the icing on the cake for all of us at Citrix was Rakesh Singh, GM, winning the CEO dash (400 m run), beating about a dozen CXOs running for the coveted top of the podium finish. It was really a proud moment for all of us at Citrix. Congratulations Rakesh!

Timing data:

Results link:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Contour's Women's day run- 3rd-Mar-2013

Event name: Contour's Women's day run
Event date: 3rd-Mar-2013
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 3060
Overall time taken: 64 minutes
Overall run Speed: 6.31 minutes per KM
Time of run: The run started at 6:30 AM

This run was my third Contours Women's day run out of the 4 scheduled so far in last four years. It is always a pleasure to be able to come back and run the same event. The three that i had run were in different venues so that was something good about this run. New terrains do bring in unique challenges. But the terrain this time was not that new to me as i have run in/around Cubbon Park in Bangalore quite often in the various events. The best part about this run now and in the past have been the Start timings, which starts at 6:30 AM for 10Km runs. The weather and sun still not ripe at this time favors the runners to have less outside interferences. I enjoy the earlier start anytime. 
Due to some uncertainties around Parking, i reached at the venue before 5:30 AM only to find out that my fears about not getting parking if i dont reach early were not that real. I was comfortably the second car in the parking lot and was glad to know that there is someone else who thought like me. I spent sometime in the car reading (i do carry books for such occasion so that i could do whatever little justice i can to my other passion of reading) and also found time to doze off for 15 min before heading out to the venue. The Venue was full of energy and there were some good aerobics type warm up planned. I enjoyed soaking in the high energy environment.
For almost every run that i have participated in so far, i was rather unintentionally quite far from the start line. I never thought myself to be closer to the flag and speed off. This was partly because i never ran with the Speed goals in mind and was content standing wherever i got the space to stand. This time was different as i stood close to the flag and could see it go off and with it i too ran with so many other folks around me. The run was overall good considering i was coming off not much practice and i could finish the run in around 64 minutes, which was decent by my standards. Somethings about this run stood out, which i wanted to share-
- During the run, i saw the person pulling a wheelchair with an underprivileged , specially-abled kid. Everytime he passed him i was amazed on what we was doing and even though he was pulling the Wheel chair bound person, he was quite faster than me. I only had good things to say to him everytime he crossed me. Though i felt somewhere in my heart that the person sitting on the Wheelchair too was finding this all good, which i hope he was. But this was one sight i had seen in my runs for the first time.
- Cheering squad as usual was superb. They were doing all that the were supposed to do cheering loudly, making noise and keeping the environment charged up with Positive energy.
- Third thing that i wanted to share was more of a realization about how to improve one's timings in these runs. Though thats never been my prime focus area ever but somehow i felt that since last year due to practice my timings have been improving. Here i learnt that if you want to beat the guy in front, you cannot do that by focusing on the people chasing you. You got to be looking ahead. Thats what positive thinking is all about.

Monday, February 18, 2013

IIMB Community 10Km Run- TvaRun- 17th-Feb-2013

Event name: IIMB Community Run- TvaRun
Event date: 17h-Feb-2013
Event venue: Bangalore
Run distance: 10 KM
Bib #: 145
Overall time taken: 65 minutes (Exact to be shared by event organizers)
Overall run Speed: 6.31 minutes per KM
Time of run: The run started at 7:00 AM

Having participated in many running events throughout India in last 5-6 years, i can really say that one thing about the IIMB Community run that really stood out and that thing is the name of the event. It was called as "TvaRun" which in Hindi means "ACCELERATION". I found this a very beautiful word. The precision used to select the name of the event itself is an indicator of the care that was chosen to organize the entire event.
IIMB has a beautiful campus and i had recently enrolled for a Management program there, i hadnt so far gotten a chance to see the entire campus. Its lush green and inside of the campus looks quite unlike Bangalore of today (which is fast becoming a concrete city losing its greenery). With parking of vehicle being a challenge and me not showing due diligence to collect the Running bib the day earlier meant that i had to reach the venue early in the morning. With the run start time of 7:00 PM, i probably was the first one to reach there by around 5:30 AM. Being an early riser, i didnt complain reaching at the venue earlier but there was just one glitch that i was at a get together at the friends place till about 1:00 AM last night. I tried as much to escape the offer to Saturday night drinks but not all excuses work to escape drinks when you are with your close friends. So i had to hold the glass with Single Malt waiting and pretending to take a sip once in a while (i never drink on race eve). Though my attempt to pretend was caught couple of times but friends being friends understood my take (knowing that i am a serious runner for as long as they know).
I got the comfortable parking and then went around for the walk till the Bib collection and the other stalls were put up. Ii patiently observed things happening around me and finally got my Bib number. But run was still around an hour away so i just roamed around and soaked in the beauty of the incredible campus.
Eventually the much awaited starting announcement was made. I set my Endomondo running app, which is my constant companion for all the runs. The feature i like it is that it tells the Distance, pace after every Km so one can make changes to running and pace on the fly. The announcement could have been louder as folks close to start line could only comprehend what was being said but i knew it was usual route information. One of the things that i could hear and found strange at the first go was the action to collect Rubber bands at the end or every loop (there were 4 loops of 2.5 Km). While the purpose of collecting Rubber bands was understood (its a way to ensure that everyone went through all the loops) but given that audience was either IIM alumni or current students or faculty, i thought people could just be trusted to run fair. But i am sure organizers would have had a better perspective than i have to come up with this rule in first place. Thats what i thought and geared up for the start of the run.
Before this run, the last i ran was on 16th-Dec on Bengaluru Midnight marathon and that completed my own version of hat-trick of half marathons i.e. 3 half marathons in 3 straight months. After that i thought i deserved rest and did run actively for couple of months. So before the start of this run, the thoughts specific low on practice were running in my mind. I actually acknowledged this fact and committed to myself that i wont run for better timing but just for the love of running, which is what i have always done.
So at the swing of the flag, i along with other enthusiasts started off. The start was nice as the route had downward slope and it assisted in the pace and i completed first Km in around 5 min+. After that i continued to go steadily as my pace remained around 6 min 30 sec on an average. I didnt complain given the lack of practice. I was just happy running and with some great weather along. Towards the later half of the run, the sun did come out fully but with the brilliant shade of the trees surrounding the route, it could hardly have a greater impact on me. The aid stations were good and having very active volunteers who passed on water, other stuff quite proactively. Near to the main entrance part of the route were the cheering squad beating drums and cheering the runners. They worked tirelessly to encourage the runners. A big Thanks to them, probably they dont realize enough even a single act of cheer in long runs help recharge the runners and i felt great everytime i passed them. I tried to do my bit to Thank them verbally and clapping in coordination every time i passed them.
Towards the end of the run, especially the last 2 km, i put in more efforts to managed a decent time in the end. In the end, i sped past to the cheers of the people at the finish line. Very few things match the joy of crossing the finish line of a long distance run. I  have always run with 2 goals in my mind- i.e. to complete the run and secondly not being last in doing so :-) So i achieved both of them and completed the run in around 65 min.