7 th September , Sunday bhopdev ghat Sunday run
Pre run : Friday to Sunday afternoon is pune programme .
Friday and Saturday is given to work and Saturday night to Sunday morning is for two joint greater family pujas including satynarayan puja.
Since childhood we have the tradition of 10 days ganesh.
Except me and my core family every one is in pune and so the main house for annual visit of vighnaharata is now younger brothers magarpata home.
While travelling to MIDC baramati I have spoken to Niten Pandya , my school friend to let me join his Sunday group run.
As his pune running group ( NIBM-kondhwa chapter ) is having pre satara run he invites me to join them at bhopdev ghat run on Sunday morning at 5:30 am.
Saturday end with a drain out feeling. Post Saturday evening puja we siblings have a long session which extends till 2:00 midnight with liberal intake of food and coffees.
By the time we sleep it 2:30 midnight and every one in family says “ ab ho gaya tumhara Sunday running “
The run :
I am up at 4:30 am on Sunday morning and by the time I reach at beginning of the bopdev ghat at hotel garva , on pune saswad road via kondhwa the group has already started their pre run exercises.
There are few of the exercises which are different from our regular ones. It is dark. The group has strength of around 15 to 16 members.
The route is explained to me . it is 3 km continuous climb on the ghat and at almost on top we have to return from the temple. We have to do 2 loops , so 3 km upward climb two times making it 6 km of upward gradient and similarly 6 km of downward run . Total 12 km .
The catch is no walk breaks . the group does not take any walk breaks.
Niten introduces me to fellow runners. Few of them are part of natak mandli….jokes, mimicry is part of their running.
There is good breeze. I am told that this ghat is becoming popular for hill running as it gives maximum gradient in minimum km.
Niten is a fast runner , but has decided to give me company as old friends have to catch on many things.
A lot of runners call him sir , which leads to explanation . niten and his friend …… are passionate about running community and they are always trying to train more runners and push the old one to achieve more.
NIBM- kondhwa pune runners have their own charter. Every new comer is given individual attention. The new runners has to keep improving his or her running form. Two golden rules ….till you do 5 km in half an hour and 10 km within 1 hour you are not encouraged to go beyond.
Both of them run 6 days a week .so training is divided in tempo run , hill run , speed run and all that.
We reach at the top and now it is no more dark. Lush green surroundings , great cool breeze : rejuvenates my tired body and I start feeling fresh . the down ward run is smooth and fast. One can see vast plains of pune with thousands of buildings with predominately white and light colours. On my right there are lush green hills and mountains and in front big but in early morning light good looking urban concrete jungle. I am shown kanifnath temple on my right which has a very small square entry of 2 x 2 feet.
At 14 km pune / 17 km saswad milestone we have open stretch where wind speeds are very high .one can feel the wind pressure trying to lift you . if you are on cycle coming downwards that wind speed is sufficient to make you loos the balance.
I am not the only one enjoying this . Kites ( cheel ) in sky are having fun. They have spread their wings and are trying to float on this wind draught . its like free floating but with some great efforts.
Two of the runner friends are on two wheelers for support. They are providing water etc.
Katraj lake is on left side . there are few more reservoir visible , but I am not able to find more on them . two huge engineering cum educational complexes are clearly visible.
2nd upward loop is possible only because niten is running with me . alone I may have left half way.
We are talking . Niten wants to talk so as to check by comfort level
By the time we complete 3 rd length , I see him adjusting his garmin.
We have 3 sip water break and turn back. The moment he mentions lets have speed run I liberate him from co-running dharma and request him to go at his fast pace.
Within seconds he zooms out of the sight . ( later when I ask him , he says his fast running pace was within 4:30 ) I am the lone runner, and I am enjoying the climate , early morning sun rays and cool breeze.
I see my own shadow as at times early morning sun is behind me and enjoy the changing length of the same.
Bird chirping is now more prominent. At 14km/17 km mark I once again keep looking at kites while running and observe my inner urge to float like them in sky or at least on glider.
Last two long curves I am able to sprint.
Niten and few of the friends are waiting. Others have left for their hang out for post run joint group breakfast .
Time allows me do only few of the exercises and soon we are at café aarzu near NIBM road.
The whole group is there. Little introduction follows and I request them to spread the word about BNP green runners endurothon25.0.
I am wearing our T shirt , which is liked and enquired about.
I have two broon ( kadak bun) maskas and two small cups of chai. Pune irani restaurants and their unique brron maska and pink/orange coloured tea is party of my growing up during student days.
Niten introduces his friend who is passionate to develop running community. He has planned his life. At 45 plus he is retired from mundane life . post navy he has secured himself and now he is living life on his terms. All mornings are dedicated to running and spreading the running community.post running he spends his time in reading, music and talking to world over face book and e world to bantofy the gyan of running. Post beer, luch and siesta couple of hours are given in Gym.
Evenings are free to pursue whatever mind wants . some nights are celebrated with old monk .
He says lets keep and protect running within running community . we must not make it more commercial as once it reaches to certain thresholds the pressures and temptation of corporate type handling will bring is hard core vultures and the essence of running will be lost.
I hug my friend and leave as I am getting late for satynarayan puja at home.