30 th November , Sunday 2014 . BKC run
The Blog of BKC run :
The dream sequence :
I am running at my comfortable space. I have crossed the glass buildings of of Banks which are lined up on both sides of the wide street . There is an open museum on the subject of money and we run through the same.
We are now on main road .On either side of road there are clear cycle lanes and at some places even jogging lanes. I do a complete diagonal running from the centre of road to the jogging lane just to feel the dedicated synthetic trek.
Soon we all runners enter at “ the centre of BKC “
The famous big green zone at the centre of BKC .
It is much bigger than shivaji park and it is some what inspired by ( but on much smaller scale) central park ( New York ) or Hyde park ( London ) . This looks more like huge Aditi garden concept ( but with a lot of variations ) of magarpata city – pune.
In all the periphery ( through the trees ) I am able to see few of the huge glass buildings along with many changed over buildings which can be termed as nature loving buildings .Basically now they allow sun and air to come inside.
The garden and green zone adds different dimensions to this marathon. The run is almost equally divided between run on trail inside the central garden-green zone and run on the BKC roads.
The green zones have different water bodies and I can see ducks and turtles. The migrating birds are also seen at distance where mangroves- mithi –sea back waters all merge giving an impression of infinity kind of swimming pool.
As I take the sharp turn the sun comes straight in line and I have the reflex action of closing the eyes……….
…………………………………………..the dream sequence breaks…….
Opening of the eyes…..
The sun has multiplying effects as all the buildings at BKC are only glass buildings.
They have same DNA. Huge amount of glass with steel .
The grey-silver-green kind of similar colour pattern.
Most of the buildings also look similar . Few have experimented with shape but the body remains the same.
If this is not enough we have to cover most of this buildings four times as there are two loops.( talk about people who have to spend most part of their life here )
This is in complete contrast to my last major run at Bangalore ultra. I am basically an urban man , but there is something in this glass-steel bodies and asphalt-concrete-pavement blocks running trek which makes me more nostalgic about Bangalore loops.
The start :
I am in PP’s car along with punit, sree and nitin.
Last night we had a mini marathon whatsapp discussions on carpool and who will be picked up by whom. Finally all 10 BNP group members use two cars : sanjyabhai’s and PP’s.
Rupal in larger interests of suburbwalas ( which are staying more near to Ahmadabad than south Bombay ) decides to manage her own transportation.
We reach in time and soon we are part of small gathering ( this is my first marathon wherein no of participants are really few :164 as per the results) which is a welcome change. The arrangements at sofitel hotel at BKC are quite good with proper washrooms.
We have our quota of pre running exercises.
Tea is being served at one counter and at water station organizers have arranged water along with ready enerzal in 20 lit water dispenser. I refill my bottle.
Once we are through with our exercises , the trainer from sofitel gym comes and invites every one to join him in the group exercises. He has a cordless hand held mike . He adds different colour to instructions as he has to manage cordless mike (which is periodically kept down) during his own exercises. soon he realizes his jugglery act and decides to wind up fast.
We are beyond the start time and there is further delay .
Finally we are told that the delay is due to volunteers taking various positions and placement of water stations.
21km participants are finally called to the start point .
The drone-helicopter camera team just arrives and there is dilemma of delaying the start by few more minutes.
The race starts and we are on the roads.
It is a loop run and we are supposed to cover two loops of 10.5+ km.
On the main road when I see punit, maheshbhai and shanky coming from behind and overtaking me. I realize my fast pace and decide to slow down and let every known face to go ahead. I have decided to do first loop aarmse and then take the call on pace. Also since I am running in BKC for the first time I want to observe things which in 2nd loop may not offer much appeal.
Nitin, Aadesh, Pandeyji and sanjaybhai are running strong from start.
PP and rupal remain within 500 m of either side from first 10 k.
The BKC roads still carry a lot of dust and even small gravel type of sand due to ongoing constructions and movement of trucks .
At couple of roads,the trucks and cement ready mix vehicles have first right to move.
The road to jetvan ( MMRD residence quarters ) is relatively calm as on one side there is joggers park/long stretch is in making and buildings are only one side. At one open plot mumbai’s religion is being practiced , “ the Sunday morning cricket match “
The route is quite confusing and there are three interesting points where runners have to take U turns . At one place there are mats and at two places there is one plastic chair representing the U turn mark and one or few volunteers. All the points look very abrupt. The first if some what ok as it is located at a T junction and other two are more like garmin driven U turns.
On the bridge at mithi river I see relaxed pandeyji and have a feeling that he is running slow.
Aadesh at different points give different impressions . at times he looks very relaxed and at times his face shows efforts. Most of my crossings with Nitin are without any exchange as he is looking down and has a cap .
For a second I am thinking “ who all in BNP group have this habit of more looking down while running ? “
Anant sir, paras ?? !!!
The water stations have only paper cups. There are no dustbins or garbage bags anywhere.
This reminds me of 12 th oct 14, Pune marathon where in organisers had strategically placed garbage bags in square and rectangle carrugated boxes at the water station and also at 200 m away from water stations so that runners can use the cups and throw in the collection bags..
At one U turn at red plastic chair, 500 ml water bottle is given and the one water station near sofitel hotel has enerzal tetra packs.
Otherwise throughout the run there are no eatables.
The major challenge of the run is the route and it’s handling. At every junction, crossing , U turn and at the start cum end point the run demands volunteers. This run can not happen without numerous attentive volunteers.
Volunteers have to manage the traffic, show directions, manage U turn points, attend water stations. The students of chetna management college carry out wonderful job . They may not have managed races before but their enthusiasm and every helpful nature compensates there inexperience. They are also helped by NCC cadets . At one point where in I need the water but do not stop , one of the volunteer runs behind me for 60 to 70 odd meters and offers me water.
After 1st loop I talk to my body . The body replies “ you may “ and slowly I start increasing my pace. I complete the run with increased pace aaramse and without any troubles.
At the end of the race the official results tell me that I have run in the range of 6.29 min/km to 7.04 min/km with completion time as 2:16 ( but for a shorter distance than 21.1km.) This is definitely an easy road without any inclines but the results are better than oct 14 pune marathon. Pune marathon was completed in 2:26 hrs and pace variation was from 6.50 to 7.5 . Hope all this technicalities will impress kaushikbhai ( he along with bharatbhai are the first motivators ) who genuinely wishes every one to improve .
Later I discuss this with nitin pandya at pune during my dad’s 75 th year party . I ask him “ I am not following any structured –scientifically drawn programme of any coach or guide ,also I run mainly on Sundays ; do little exercises and zero gymming … but it seems there is a definite improvement in my pace.” He says “it is all about comfort zone . till the time you were running 21.1 km races, your mind and body used to take that as ultimate challenge . Moment you started crossing 30 to 42 km repeatedly you were training your body to a new bandwidth of comfort zone . and once you completed Bangalore ultra with many hours on road, your mind and body have taken a note and started discounted running for less than 3 hours or less than 25 km as easy non challenging zone. And yes you will have to continue this with injury free way to see results on continues basis.”
Post run :
Sofitel has arranged hot food. There is rush as counters are having slow refills . after waiting we are able to have pohe, upma and cake along with fruits and juices.
The pohe and upma are quite different, but since we are hungry we eat the same with interest.
Many of the runners do not get all the items.
Punit asks about sree’s run and we realize she is yet to finish. Punit, sanjyabhai and myself go out and facilitate her completion in true BNPGR style.
Though there is a live DJ , our group does not take much interest in post run dancing. Trophies are given to winners and DJ is stopped as award function takes over.
PP drops us and during our return journey we do sing couple of songs in chorus ( along with car music system )
Within an hour I drive to pune for family havan/yagya and remain amused with my own body.
Just couple of years back 21km was a big issue to me and in turn for my family. Post 21 km , I used to collapse and refuse any work for the day and question of taking out family for an small outing was a clear “NO”.
Now I am driving all the way to pune and eventually remain involved with so many family members till 10 pm.
We and our mental blocks !!!!!