bangalore ultra 2014

Blog of Perfomax Bangalore ultra 2014 by shailesh harani

Not in exact chronology but more like independent chapters

 

Dedication : Those who are not aware my  Bangalore ultra  is already dedicated to Punit. ( I did it much before the race , leaving not much scope for me to  avoid the run ). He is the person who pushed me ( without any pressure ) and believed that in spite of my constant traveling and irregular preparation schedule , I must do because it is worth doing.

And why  only Bangalore ultra : to take the liberty of George  mallory’s famous quote when asked “ why you want to climb mount Everest ?  the answer : because it is there ! “

Why Bangalore ultra ?? because it is there ….it is there  in the eastern plains /jungles of Karnataka ….beautiful trail run !!

The Bangalore Ultra : It is one of the best managed race. Since it is organized by runners and equally dedicated people, I believe it keeps improving. I wish them all the best and hope with times complacency does not creep in .  It is must for the friends who love to travel together/stay together /eat together and finally run together  .

 

8th November, 2014 Saturday

Early morning till 18 km plus

I am up by 3:45 am . Exam day has come  and exam time is approaching. Since last evening  I have eaten less and I do not want an upset tummy in the morning as well throughout the race. I  even wish to do away with   typical burps which one gets  while running if  morning food is not comfortable to your running body. With all these  in mind I have half kiwi ( other half is shared with Unmesh ) half small banana and half chikoo.

750 ml enerzal it to be consumed before the race .

We are ready and down by 4.55 am . Since both the cars have to go together  we all wait  till Punit comes down . In the meantime Sonal suggests and  we all start the stretching exercises. We have many of our pre run exercises there only. Lovely Singh ( Maheshbhai after a long gap gets a new name . He is now no more “ Narsubhai “  ) is driving  Yogendra Sainiji’s Wagon R.  Punit has organized one verna with  the driver: Mr Manjunath who is ever helpful. Small interaction with Manju  explains me the origin of  the Hyundai Verna and soon I also come to know Nileshbhai’s connection to One more Chandiwala who is based in Bangalore.

Lovely Singh is able to take us to the event easily as he has done the route recce .

The road to venue is full of speed breakers .

By the time we reach , I have my “soo-soo” break and  by the time I reach the start point the race is already started.

I am running with Punit, Nileshbhai, Sonal , Arjun , Shashiji.

While running over open patch of asphalt with clear visibility of Moon , we all joke about Sun which will soon rule the sky.

Khushi is the German Shepherd dog who is running along with us . Oh is she for the laggards like me or some one who wants to quit in between is the self joke !.

The group has first  walk break at the interval  12 minutes and soon I allow them to run ahead , run faster . I re-adjust my walk break for every 2 km and fortunately it matches to the positioning of water stations (  at times with little extra running )

We are running in the eastern plains of Karnataka and when I read some boards it says Japan section . The forestation or afforestation or  reforestation ( any of these ) drive is of 1998-1999. A lot of thin Bamboo trees give a distinct look to this initial part of jungle.

At many places there is still water logging on the main trail . There are detours arranged through side bushes. One has to be careful in these detours as at some places there are thorns or sharp branches. At every major junction/ turning the organizers have used white rangoli type of powder to

  1. Make two way arrow mark
  2. 2 or more than 2 cross marks so that runners should not take the wrong route .

( but when one is running he or she is pre occupied with many things . from our group Arjun , Unmesh , Ankur and may be many of the runners do loose their trail and loose crucial minutes of their run )

Soon I find self running along with Kushi who keeps coming back as if telling me “ oh man why so slow ?? “

She is running along with her master Dr Abhinandan . We have brief talk while running . His uncle ( who is very much part of RFL ) is running the ultra and he has come there for help and motivating the runners. He is preparing for his PG course.

 

At 2 km I meet one of the runner who wants to go back or wants some walking partner . Either his old injury has let him down or some new injury has stopped him .I request him to continue walking and plead  him not to give up , Race has just started.

 

Soon we are now in area where trees are bit higher than bamboo ones. Pleasant smell of eucalyptus makes me very happy. This patch is quite shaded. At 3 km I start feeling the pain . The sweet  reminder by my injury is very clear :  “ tu jahan jahan chalega( daudega ) mera saya ( dark shadows !! ) sath hoga. I have been having the adductors muscles strain ( inner thigh and groin muscles ) since last four  weeks.

Beyond 5 km I can see early morning sun playing hide and seek behind trees .

 

The trail run is quite interesting and at times challenging.

It has  all kind of soil . Some times you see fine sand, hard surface, damp surface , big stone type gravels , small gravels , very uneven surface and at few places very uneven erosion of soil with deep cuts  with rain water ( few days before it had rained in Bangalore ). As a runner one has to be very careful . Also the soil has different hues of light brown to dark brown to different shades of black. The fallen leaves also add their own colours.

Surprisingly I do not see any  birds (  except few bird chirping in early morning and couple of birds in the sky ) or any stray animals throughout the run  . Even dogs, cats, squirrels are not visible .I miss the monkeys the most as we all are used to run in BNP.

8.5 km onwards I see a lot of 50 km coming back . 75 km and 100 km have already started crossing. Every one is fresh and charged up .

The breeze is only at one place , on return from 12.5 km mark when one approaches the open patch a lot of breeze rejuvenates you .

The water stations have combination of sandwiches( jam/peanut butter )-salted ground nuts-wafers/chips-oranges-bananas small and big-enerzal-water-loose salt-loose sugar but there are no chocolates of any kind nor there is any stock of  chikki-laddu kind of sweets. Only on  the 2nd  loop onwards at the entry of the jungle trail one group, promoting Vegan way is giving home made (?! ) type of energy balls – specially made ladoos.

 

Only loo break which I take throughout my 50 km  is at 12.5 km, otherwise whatever water I keep drinking gets evaporated in the hot sun blessed climate.

 

 

 8th November , Saturday 2014 Post run

till ghost stories session: 11 pm

All my friends ( 50 km walas ) have no other option , but clap for me as I am the last one to finish 50 km run . I have just entered the food/lunch area. Early ones have completed their lunch . I use the ghisapita dialogue “ last ane ka yehee fayada hai , you get maximum claps “ I am not able to read anyone’s mind , but I am sure few of them might have given best of the comments !!

I excuse myself and head to the medical help tent. I have done my post run walking and needs ice for my tight muscles which  are ready to go into some kind of locked position . I take some time to remove my shoes do some oohs and aahs before I lie down . The sisters help me with ice packs and I try to cool my leg and back muscles. I also use ice cubes .

Suddenly some one comes and informs the doctor on duty “ some one has puked at the end of his run , can some one come . “ Doctor advices to bring the runner in the tent. We see a smiling Pradeep walking in . By no means any one can say that this guy has suffered. He has really puked , but he says in very casual way :” it is all the enerzal which must have come out.” Even though he is ok with what has happened ,Doctor decides to give him medicine and requests him to lie down . He has just completed his 75 km  and he is the first runner up.

Post lunch we all are in two cars . Verna is overloaded where people have to squeeze in and sit on each other’s lap. Lovely Singh races with verna on  the return road full of speed breaker  . At one place he even forgets the way .

Post bath we are planning to have couple of hours sleep. Lovely singh has already ordered pints of beer. Soon what we think little tonic for better sleep gets extended in repeat beers and before we all realize the real party starts. Few of us volunteer to get the starters and more tonics. I go with shreyas and we find one of the best stocked

place named “ spirit palace “

Soon we have nice gathering Lovely singh ,Anant sir , Shashiji,Supriya,Punit, Nileshbhai,Shreys, Vinod,Arjun. Sonal leaves early as she had acidity problem even during the run and is recovering.

The mehfil shifts to Shero – shayari and interesting incidents from life.

Punit talks about his wooing days .Nileshbhai  is in shayarana mood. Shashiji reaffirms “ who is the real  boss “and advices every one that home minister is always supreme.

We all discuss the management of any big running event . Shashiji sounds endurathon (25.0 km) 2015 ready .

Anant sir wants to leave post party , but our charm and circumstances lead him to stay with us overnight.

Soon the elites of the day move in . Deepa walks in with her price trophy along with Pradeep . She has come first . One more  BNP couple to rule the day.

Ankur and Bhupendra are in  full mood. Soon every one joins this masti party. The special person of the day is Yogendraji Saini. He is weekend runner cum Bombaywala.

At any given time he has multiple tickets with all kind of combination for Bangalore-mumbai-bangalore travel. He is the real star of the day. He has given his car since yesterday and today he was there at the race venue throughout the day. There is something in BNP group culture that we have this kind of dedicated friends. He has waited till the last 100 km finishes the race and brings them to the  hotel. For him “aaj ka din running doston pe kurban”.

The party shifts to the session of “ ghost stories “ . Maheshbhai, Arjun , punit  and myself: we try to scare the group members with a Casper kind of ghost (toy  with changing lights ) in the totally dark room( lights switched off ) . It is a different matter that by this time ( beyond 10 pm ) half of our team members are tired and  even dozing off.

Post ghost story session we head for simple food of daal – chawal followed by dry fruit milkshake with ice cream indulgence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangalore Ultra 9 th Nov 2014 : Bangalore Airport

 

It is  the feel good moment. Hands of Sunilji and Sangeetaji have fondly caressed my hair as I bend down in traditional Indian way and take their blessings . We are at Bangalore airport on 9 th Nov 2014 afternoon. Sunilji has completed 138 km in 24 hours and he has come first  and Sangeetaji has completed 122 km and she has come 2nd. Between them they have run for 260 km in 24 hours!! The whole group is there and I am in the company of super achievers and now  known celebrities. The luminaries of our group have done 24 hours run , 100 km run , 75 km run . In the great company and constant motivation, I have also completed 50 km , but my  ultra has not much to do with  pace or quicker completion  rather it is more to do with   staying on the feet for almost 8 hours including running in peak heat hours( with adductors muscle stain )

During photo sessions with the super achievers the passersby also   become eager to find who are these celebrities, but in the country which is obsessed by film celebrities and cricket starts the eager eyes are not able to see and recognize the  ultra achievers. It will be expecting too much from general crowd. One lone dad with baby in arms  in the kangaroo baby carrier comes to us and congratulates the elites. He even clicks the photos. Does selfie with the group. He has just started running and max run he has done is of 10 km only . May his kind of tribes increase !!

 

7 th November 10, 2014  :42 kilometers and beyond :

I have crossed my highest threshold . Officially I have never run beyond 21 Km , which I have done enough. All my various  runs of 32 km to 41 km and little beyond are only because of the friends and more in relax conditions. My traveling schedule does not leave much space for runs during the week and since last 10 Sundays I have become Sunday long distance runner only. Two   times endurathon  (unique  25.0 km with two hills thrown “in” )distances, couple of times 35 km and  distances , twice  40 plus is the only preparation I have done apart from 20 km plus kind of running. The week days are hectic and even have regular travel schedules.

Till now music has been motivating factor or at times it has helped  me to divert the mind which wants me to constantly bother about my injury.I have adductors muscles strain. Why I am still bothered about the injury at 42 + km.??

Soon mind game penetrates my defense mechanism of music. For the first time I realize how many parts of my lower body can talk to me with strong voices. Knees , thighs , calves , bums have formed the protesting group with the message of “ run/race roko andolan “

One more realization is about body parts becoming kind of brittle. Little uncomfortable step/steps give rise to pain which scares me with a threat of “oh one more injury “. Around 43 km my left foot falls clumsily and middle left finger gets twisted and I have a little scream within me which is much louder than full blast music. Now for almost 2 km I am thinking , talking and become obsessed with “ now what ??” the pain remains constant surpassing my original injury of inner thigh and groin muscles.

The relief to this pain comes from totally unexpected area . Around 46 km I miss judge the uneven ground and almost get tripped ( which almost wants me to  kiss the ground ). This heroic action pulls my right thigh’s Quads muscles…which gets locked ! Mind is too afraid to give best of the gaalis. I reduce my pace and start praying for one more body  part to  get injured/stretched/squeezed and  protest and ironically I may get relieved from the present  problem . Luck is good and soon I have nagging pain from back muscles. To my surprise I find myself smiling ! Oh this is becoming like a musical chair . “Pain here …shifted  there.” This reminds me of rotating / revolving pain of  Adhisthan pose during Vipasana meditation. During Adhisthan one is supposed to get frozen in one particular posture. You are not supposed to move, change hands or legs position. You  become more aware of yourself and start feeling pains rising and falling at different parts of your body. Soon I accept all the pain and keep moving.

From 42 onwards my targets are small. Let me do 2km now so that I can have my walk break of 1 to 1 and half minute. So 42 becomes 44 and once it crosses 46 there is little happiness  of relief. Beyond 48 Km , as if on cue, the song “ Vithal ! Vithal ! from Marathi film “lai bharee” gets played ( song by Ajay –Atul )The lines

“tuze naam othi, tuze roop dhani , Jivala tuzi aas ka lagli “

……………. Being heard are tailor made for the situation.

I am now out in open . Heat is very strong . The asphalt patch becomes radiating zone. The wiring and light arrangements for 24 hours late evening and night run is going on . The diesel generator is positioned for the same. The pace remains same …slow and steady and I complete the run !

 

3 rd November 2014

I am doing little dance action on the couch whenever Dr Mustafa Rangwala utilizes  special hand skills . I am in midst of  deep tissue massage . Within my group the advice has been quite contrasting. Maheshbhai and Arjun have advised me not to go for the same as time period is very less . Sonal , Punit and Ankur have asked me to explore this option .  I have a genuine injury case. On 12 th October during Pune half marathon I have realized the gravity of the injury . It is ironical that in pune I have done my PB with the pain .Post Pune I have done two long runs of 41 km and 35 km on two consecutive Sundays .

Now this  hero hiralal wants to do 50 km at Bangalore . I have always used one of the favorite expression of my friend ……”Udte teer lene ki aadat” . Why do I take tasks and assignments which ideally and easily could have been avoided.  Jitu  of pune running has clear philosophy “ Not to run with injury  . In his words “ Live another day so you can run more “ why take risk and aggravate ?? Sunilji always says “running is just one of the activities we do . Why torture? Many of the runners do not know when to stop or when to take the required break ! “

Fortunately Dr Mustafa is easy to talk to ! So we discuss a lot of topics . In his sweet Bhori( Bohri ) gujarati ( I always love to talk in Gujarati with Bohris and Parsis as they have a very sweet gujarati style ) and of course in  English.  He gives me valuable gyan . The gyan is also in easy language . It can be termed as half accounts and half engineers’ type of lingo ….couple of his gems .” whenever you are running , basically you are spending ! “ “ you do not run to be fit ….but you run because you are fit !” “ running is like using your car , but when you do gymming, regular stretching you are working on each and every part .Have maintenance schedule like an automobile and work on individual parts/muscles ! “

I realize that I am going to the Ultra exam with incomplete and insufficient preparation . There is no gymming or regular strength training regime . Swimming and cycling is also given less or rather negative marks. I promise him that I will try to do course correction post Ultra exams. He smiles as in past he has seen ziddis( stubborn)  and may be some stupid novices  and decides to give me Deep tissue massage and I have my moments of oohs and aaahs .( luckily I have been on medical tourism in kerela where in for ten days I have been subjected to morning and evening various ayurveda and marma massages )

I am happy as I  have done my crash course ( if one terms a session of DTM as a crash course ) just 4 days before the Ultra exams.

Any post DTM ( deep tissue massage ) problems and  related soreness does not get required attention by my mind  as I have 2 days continuous industrial travel schedule and a day before the bangalore journey is devoted to my “ in-laws”   seva as they return from UK to escape Scottish winters .

 

7 th November 2014

Varun is at borivli station in BNPGR T shirt. He travels with us till airport and sees that every one of us actually boards the plane .His good intention of ensuring  “NO last minute back outs “ is really “Kaabile Taarif “ .

On the other hand ( and jokes apart ) and on  a very personal level I find his magnanimous gesture not in tune with Mumbai’s  lifestyle and urban expectations .Banda kuchh alag hai ! All I can do with this kind of mind blowing initiative is give the chap couple of Jaadu ki zaapi !

 

Inside the  airport few of our BNPGR  friends oblige Hollywood stars like Abhishek Bachan and Sharman Joshi to get photographed in their selfies .( how can I comment on my dear friends as “ being glamour struck or star struck ! “ )

Nancy’s Daal khichadi and Sheila’s wheat cake : some where we as a group have left some lasting and hopefully positive impressions in the minds of Mrs Nancy Nagwekar and Mrs Sheila Harani. Thanks to their concern  we have our carbo-loading in the plane by having a) home cooked daal khichadi with sabzi , pickle b) home made wheat cake .Vinod feels bit sad about Indigo’s in-flight cash loss on food bill and decides to buy one juice  (which is shared by few of us )  . His gesture definitely adds to the bottom-line of Indigo’s balance sheet.

 

Hotel Nandhna palace (  a chain of hotels @ Koramangala /Indiranagar/Kammanhalli/Marathalli )   is in banaswadi : St Thomas Town on main kammanahalli main road. It is in a market place where everything is accessible . Rooms are spacious but hotel  does not have dedicated restaurant of their own.

Maheshbhai who has been avoiding to sit next to me in the aircraft or even avoiding  running on the same route  (on 2nd November) where I was on my shikaar for  ready  audience who can zelofy  my shayaris, ends up being my room partner. Staying with different personalities enhances your understanding about that person . In past during the run together-travel together-eat together-stay together trips  I have been fortunate to stay with different runner friends . In  past I have  stayed with Mr Unni  ,  Suvendu , Kiran , Samjiskar sir , Shetty ,Anand .

One of the beautiful problem faced by most of us is of snoring by your partner  when staying in shared room . Snoring in nights by your fellow room mate can have different ramifications. In some of the cases people have reported mid night singing by fellow room mates.

I avoid eating anything heavy but do have dry fruit milkshake ( good one at empire hotel ) followed by mix fruits.

I decide to sleep by 8 :30 pm . Even though I spend a good number of hours on bed in sleeping position , the sleep is not very sound .

 

9 th November 2014 , Sunday

 

We are at Bangalore airport for our return journey to Mumbai  . In the taxi I am surprised to find Shreyas becoming a chatter box.  His transformation from a mitbhashi –taciturn to one talkative person is quite striking . He frankly says “ I speak very less and at home and within greater family members there is a general complain that I do not strike or sustain conversations .”

 

What a bad influence I have started having on my friends !!

During the return taxi journey and at the airport I also get to know more of Arjun the fighter : the prince of BNP. He in nutshell briefs me about his career graph.

He tells me “ after every race when I go back my son ( 8 years ?!! ) asks me , Dad give me your gold medal and I give the finisher’s medal to him and he is in cloud nine!!! Proud of his father !”

Yes we all know that for every child in that age group the father is super hero . My younger daughter Tvisha still at times  wears my finisher’s medals ( which are now more regular and slowly loosing the charm ) and proudly moves and shows to her friends.” My dad got the first price or medal “

Arjun tells me this without any built up story . He has not completed his 50 km because of the injury . He had to stop at 25 km and now he is going home .All these days of hard work , early morning work outs, almost 3 days of Bangalore travel and irony of life. This time there is no medal to show to his son ! I again try to look into the eyes of Arjun but avoid his questioning and meditating eyes .He is the fighter :” Arjun “ “ the prince of BNP “

 

8 th Sunday 2014 , Bangalore Ultra : 18 km till 40 km plus…..

 

I have decided that first loop must be without any music or Osho.

I will run first 25 km just to see , observe , understand , appreciate the green zone of eastern  plains  of Karnataka ( as per the signage ).

My resolve of completing 25 km first becomes weak as my pain related injury is constantly talking to me. I decide to take Osho’s support.

Osho is a great story teller and I have lined up  “Tao Upanishad “ for the day. First I will listen Osho, than  switch to compilation of music.

Lao tzu and his sutras are now giving me company.

I am still trying to drink water and or enerzal at every water station but do not stop. Most of the time my 2 km water breaks schedule matches to the position of water station . At times I delay my walk breaks so as to coincide with arrival at water station.  Salted  ground nuts is a hit item. May be it is convenient to carry some and keep running or it is one of the food items which “ chhodne ko man naheen karta “

I also at times take oranges. Banana usually give me  burps so today I am avoiding them . Throughout the run I have two small bananas.

Sandwiches look and may be taste good only in the morning hours. I doubt after 11 am heat few of the runners must have touched them . The items which get over are rarely refilled ( except water and enerzal ) . I have my concern for 100 km and runners who will be running beyond lunch hours.

On the way I keep meeting all types of runners . Consciously I start observing their running style and attitude. This also keeps my attention from pain and even Osho ( at times I press the pause button )  Sunilji is almost  talking to  every one. He even advises me  during the run “ keep the steady pace “. Sangeetaji , Deepa look running effortless. Deepa keeps  greeting me at every crossing  with “ Lovely Shaileshbhai “. Of course beyond  my 42 km she does not say the same as my tired and down  expressions ( kharaab haalat ) might have discouraged her to say the same “ lovely “ or may be she must have realized by this time that Lovely singh for the day is Mr Mahesh guruji !!

Most interesting expressions are by the runners who are ahead of you and are returning back and decide to greet you  . This is common for all the loop runs. It is very natural for any individual to feel immensely happy to know that he or she is far ahead than this incoming poor slow runner . It gives the feeling of king or queen vis a vis a commoner . ( raja aur praja waali baat ) . Here every becomes very benevolent and very supportive “ common buddy ! “ “ Great going “ “ keep it up “ are the smiling expressions !!!

 

I see all kind of runners . Some are running alone . some with his  coloured hair gear, some are running in pair , some are talking and running , some are running in a group ,some acknowledge the fellow runners , some are grinding their teeth as if on some do or die mission , some are in meditative mode , some actually carrying their “ ego “ while running, some running with just shoes and shorts ( bare chest – no cap –no eyewear ) some with a lot of paraphernalia , some with heavy hand movements, some just sliding on the floor, some worried , some concerned and best ones are “ the expression less ones !! “

 

Osho is speaking one of his often narrated theme of “ change is the only constant “ “You cannot  step twice in the same river. when you put your leg in a flowing river ,every moment things are changing . it is not the same you or the same  river when your  leg is approaching the waters , when the water touches the leg , when leg gets submerged in the water . The whole life is changing . you are not the same . Buddha when met  someone    often said while departing… please be careful You are not the same person who had just come in .”

I am thinking about my pain . Is it the same pain which was at the beginning? What I felt at 3 km, at 15 km  and now at 20 km plus : is it same ? if constant is the only change than why am I stuck up at the same thoughts and same pain???

Soon  Osho’s topic changes to : how smart is your mind ? how our thoughts keep fooling us .unless we reach to the state of thoughtlessness the ultimate may not happen !

Now my mind asks me the final bouncer “ has ever in history of mankind any person  ever reached to “the state of the ultimate” during running or pursuing any sports???” it is often said that running is like meditating .

Music and dance may have taken many individuals  to their  journey of being with god/ the universal omnipresent energy  , but running ??? sports ???

 

Soon all these becomes too heavy for my mind and body and I decide to switch to music . I have a good mix : Lyricists like gulzar and Dr irshad kamil are today there to boost my running .Rafi sahib to  Arijit singh to Ankit tiwari will lift my mood. I also  have DJ suketu presents RD burman, Yo yo Honey singh  to gifted Ankit trivedi . I also have sandeep khare’s compositions

Few of the songs do get automatically get cued/played matching to the situation  and I have my smiling moments

At  37.5 km when I complete the 1 and half loop and it is obvious that now I will not come back to this point the rafi sahib is singing “ teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam aaj ke baad “.( music : usha khanna / Lyrics : saawan kumar )

When I hit the open areas  with lots of sun ….ankit tiwari sings “ teri galiyaan : yoon dube din mere , yaheen hote hai savere,yaheen marna  aur jeena   “

( music : ankit tiwari / lyrics : manoj muntashir )

When I am going through multiple shifting pain during 42km + run  again ankit tiwari sings on behalf of  all the pain points  “ apne karam kee kar  adayen …..sun raha hai na tu , ro raha hoon main “ ( music : ankit tiwari/lyrics: sandeep nath )

 

Yoonhi chala chal from swadesh ( music : rehman/lyrics :javedsahab ) is always a positive song. Two remix songs by DJ suketu presents RD burman make my run interesting as I sing along loudly ( not bothering about reactions of any ) , make my strides in the  rhythm , allow beats to uplift my mood . The songs are “pyar mein dil pe mar de goli : featuring sophie “ ( original music : one and only R.D.Burman /lyrics:Anjaan ) and  “mamaiya kero kero kero mama : featuring abbey” “ ( original music : one and only R.D.Burman /lyrics:Javedsahab )

 

At one point I even see jungle actually getting bisected by one big kuchha road . Bangalore municipal transport corporation bus happens to pass by . They have kept one medical station at this point.

 

At around 8 km I have seen a big thick and 6 inch in length centipede/millipedes kind of creature moving gracefully on the ground. The dark black and brown colour looks very contrasting to the light brown soil.

When I am crossing 23 km and coming to the open area I see more than half dozen dead centipedes/millipedes  as they have been crushed under the heavy shoes of we runners. How can they be so stupid? Can’t they move in the bushes? is the  typical question my  urbanized mind asks? Can urbanization keep our sensitivity and give us an idea of inclusivenss??

I  am approaching the last 400 m of 1st 25 km loop .

I meet Unmesh whom I always address as “ Big Boss “ during the runs. How can he be so fast? is my first reaction .here I am completing 1st loop and he is done ! Which flight back to mumbai ? is my stupid question. My questioning is more like a novice and a fan who always assume the elites and stars are immune to injury or setbacks. We always expect too much from them. He politely tells me there has been an injury and he has decided to complete the run walking and invites me to join him once I come back from timing mats. On my return I realize that even with his walking, he is much faster . I meet Arjun who is now completing his first loop  and I am surprised as he was much ahead of me . He tells me that he got lost in between and moves on . Soon I cross Shashiji . He is enjoying  his run and has  expressions which gives me an impression  of some one doing  walk in the sea facing  garden near  breach candy or marine lines. “ “effortless “.

Best response  (while our fellow runners crossing each other)  is always by Bhupendra . He approaches you with a lot of enthusiasm. Every time you feel ye saala ruk ke tumhe jadu kee zappi dega. He does wonders with his running but till now has not allowed  “ running glories” to get into his head.

 

The sun is totally out . On my 2nd loop I realize that the shaded areas may not be more than 60 % . Sun hitting you hard makes the run interesting . I am careful enough to drink water at regular interval as I am not carrying any water bottle. This time Vinod, Maheshbhai , Anath sir , Supriya , Shreyas , Nileshbhai , Punit and Sonal cross me much ahead as compared to first loop . The net distance between me and them has substantially increased. I complete 37.5 km loop and soon enter into 40 km plus zone ……

 

 

 

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