Chapter V ( 5/5) :Borneo International Marathon 2018 . Photo/video blog; 1st BNP ( Borivali National Park)Green runners’ family masti .Malaysia & Singapore :May 2018

Format :

Section 1 : Borneo Marathon 2018

Section 2 : Photo Journey: The travel with different themes.

Section 1 : The marathon

The route finally takes a long left turn as we enter the University Campus. It is huge and green.

One Caucasian lady trips and falls down .Before any one goes near her to help she gets up. Bruises are visible, but she remains a determined runner and resumes running.

Inside the University we get double shock as we encounter killer inclines. This is going to be 5 to 6 km hill work out!!As we go upwards to come down again to face one more incline. We are reminded of our own Enduranthon route in Borivli National Park. A lot of calculations related to targeted pace and finish time are now getting revised.

{University inclines ne vaat lagadi!!}

I am with Sheila till we encounter the first incline. She decides to take it easy and I try to keep a running pace rather than walking pace.

I see an interesting T shirt. Soon I am talking to the runner from KL. He is part of smaller group . I express my appreciation on T shirt design as he explains his group’s activities.

Soon I am running with Snehalbhai ( gala ) . He is a fast runner. We are able to run for almost a km and then I request him to go ahead at his natural pace.

University run is still enjoyable as there is no traffic, roads are wide and there is adequate water and isotonic drink for support.

Once out of University campus we are back on the return loop.

Now I am running with one runner from Kerala with “ Soles of cochin” T shirts.

“We are four of us from Kerala who are running this marathon.” As he is briefing me I look down to appreciate that he is a barefoot runner.

We decide to meet at the end of run after our run talk. I move ahead as he takes his walk break.

As we run towards road going to the stadium ( the finish is inside the stadium )we are merged with 10 km crowd. The road/lane suddenly becomes very crowded. Many of 10 km are walking.

The Mumbai training comes to rescue. Race or no race Mumbai roads are crowded. Whether you are walking or running you have to constantly find your place to keep up the desired pace. So starts the zig zag hurdle race.

AAh !! I have calf pull !!

Doing zig zag means shifting your body weights. If there is simple straight empty road one can buy peace with mind and body by keeping a constant monotonous motion.

But jumping here, squeezing from that gap to run pass the human hurdle involves different kind of manoeuvring.

At the fag end ( may be 700 metres remaining )of race I am getting cramps. Bloody humidity! I want to blame all external factors except my own fitness level.

Do I walk? Do I run at reduced pace? Before I can decide we runners are stopped at a signal to allow movement of vehicles.!!!!

Interesting to see how circumstances find ways to reduce your targeted finish time.

For me this is good as I do deep breathing. Post clearance I resume my run at reduced pace. As I enter the stadium the right calf reminds me “Who is the boss ?“

And I meekly reply “You only.“

Again I find myself running and even increasing the pace as the finish line magic gives new enthusiasm.

In ideal conditions I love to finish last 500 metres with sprint speed.

On completion , we are requested to leave the stadium running lanes and go out .

The food packet given is nothing great, but has a lovely muffin.

Later I request one of the volunteer to give me one extra muffin as I know Tvisha would love to have one . The young lady gives me willingly with a great smile.

I am waiting for Sheila . In the meantime we have one more surprise.

Unmesh Naik ( Comrade runner and Old BNPGR member , fellow runner during Bangalore ultra, Comrade support run at Lonavala ) I have named him “ Big Boss “ as respect to his size. (Alternatively you may consider his position in corporate hierarchy as he is one of the top honchos )has also run Borneo marathon with his friends.

Mr Mandar is part of his group (but not around ) and I ask him to tell Mandar to be our local running guide when we do our morning runs in KL ( as part of my passion/obsession, always whole heartedly supported by Maheshbhai and Sanjay ) of running in different geography and environment to imbibe the local air and culture.)

We have our group photos.

Sheila joins me .Soon we have our post run stretching exercises .

Now we are 35 runners. Difficult to keep track of everyone

{Blessings for your first international 10km}

.I request Sheila and Shital to wait near one of the food trucks as I go on twin job.

  1. a) Doing the survey of the stalls , facilities and best place for sitting exclusively and group photos ( with view of the main run )
  2. b) Gather all our scattered friends, request them to meet and reach the preselected stadium sitting area.

Soon I have shots of black coffee (free sampling ) , visit and compare the prices at food trucks including star bucks coffee.

We all are now in exclusive sitting area looking directly at the runners approaching the finish line.

We all are here except Sree. Sree has once again decided to run one more race at her own sweet pace so that she remains on roads for almost three hours.

Highest Endurance award goes to her. She gets royal welcome as the whole group cheers for her finish.

Hon. Secretary of BNPGR, Sreedevi Sivadas gets standing ovation as she completes her run.

…………………………………………………………………The End………………

Eating (and drinking)

Japanese Ice cream

We are Indians. We love to carry food, discuss food and at times waste food.

(Wasting food: it’s one the most funny and ironical aspect. Wastage of food is usually directly proportional to your Earnings. Less you earn, less is your food wastage (obviously you just can’t afford it). More money you have, the society will devote more resources for you. In any five star hotels you can easily see plates being change every now and then. Different plates for different food items. Most buffets generate a lot of food wastage)

If food in any wedding is not good, we label the whole wedding as a flop show.

As diverse as our country, our group is also quite diverse.

At one end there are hard core non veg eaters and at other end we have Jain friends.

We have opted for Indian restaurant food as part of our package.

Except one or two places overall the outside restaurants selected by SOTC are good.

The issue remains with breakfast.

The so called continental breakfast can start as early as 6.30 am, but with Indian addition the timing usually starts after 7.30 am

Most of tourist catering hotels offer complimentary breakfast. The problem starts at the very concept.

For many tourists (including majority Indians) Breakfast must take care of Lunch and beyond.

Moment breakfast s thrown open it is like 50 % sale of Zara to Gucci.

People just jump and fill the plates to the fullest .It looks as if they are part of some crockery manufacturing company who are there to check plates holding capacity.

Moment Dosas are refilled in the main container , just one family takes 5 to 8 dosa in each plate leaving others with the expression “ oh I missed the 50 % sale “

Later when you see food being left in large quality in so many plates and you really wonder what’s wrong with everyone.

In Singapore there are threatening messages about not to carry food/fruits with you, not to fill water from restaurant zone, not to take that towel from hotel: you will be jailed.

{A lot of low cost air lines from India and a lot of other countries have made Singapore trip much more easier .For us at times it is more economical to go to south east countries then visiting our own North east states.

When you invite people who are coming from dusty towns with crowded lanes and roads, When you invite people from smaller towns where they are actually kings of their surroundings, When you invite people who are actually rich and powerful in their geography, When you invite people who are used to doing things as per their whims and fancies (no one to ask them)……you are creating very interesting matrix.

City full of rules, regulation and fines has to deal with very different people.}

We are not allowed to eat in bus. Singapore is strict NO NO , Malaysia has Singapore complex so they try to implement the same.

For Indians travelling in bus and not eating and singing antakashari songs is insane punishment. Oh these guys are missing all the fun in life.

Mustafa roof top

As a runner group we are conscious eaters. We are Borivali National Park green runners. Eating and generating food crumbs and related garbage is big concern for captain (the bus driver) but we are conscious people. We hate to see litre when we run in Borivli National Park and over years “BEING” with green have become very responsive to our habits and their adverse effects on environment.

Soon they realise our quality and remain little bit lenient.

Our first food break is at our own T2 terminal itself. Sharanya has star bucks coffee when some of us are having homemade food including green chatney with methi thepla and dahi bhaat (easy on tummy as we are just two nights +one day away from Marathon.

The mid night flight food is avoided by many, but it is rice with vegetable/chicken combination. Being a low cost air lines they still serve packaged fruit drinks and basic food.

At KL terminal when we are waiting for Kota kinbalu flights the eating options are limited but janata has coffee and light snacks. We have our first ringgit transaction at marry brown restaurant and find KL airport’s food at this terminal is more economical compared to Mumbai/Delhi/Benguluru airports.

Our 1st lunch (part of package) is at Kohinoor: North Indian Restaurant

Which is next to water front is good.

Everyone takes a mental note to come back in the evening as the night life on water front in Kota Kinabalu is most happening.

The coconut –Oreo shake during our Kota Kinabalu walk (Race expo to Hotel) remains one of the highlight our Malaysia tour and all our efforts to find “Repeats” during our tour remains futile.

The breakfast spread at Ming hotel is quite good (if you are open to the local and continental cuisine along with limited spread of Indian options)

And it gives you South Goa Hotel kind of feeling.

Food at Mother India ( North Indian & Mughal Cuisine )is great and once we have the whole restaurant only for our group without much botheration of timing.

Having food at Kota Kinabalu matches to Susegad kind of concept of the lovely town, pretty much like Goa. No one is in great hurry. One can come here for a week or more just s and the only thing to do and enjoy food , night life at water front area.

Post Marathon we all come back to Kohinoor at waterfront to enjoy the evening and dinner. Dr Heng Aik Cheng joins us in the night as I invite Marjie and race director for our post marathon celebration party.

He is quite approachable and we have nice interaction with him.

He is frank enough to admit “ 35 runners all the way from Mumbai , India for our Borneo marathon???? Oh they may not turn up !!”

He says “ Till the very end we were apprehensive . You may not turn up even if you had paid marathon fees “

My sweet reply to him : “ Sir , in that case you should have somehow acknowledged our group’s commitment during race day proceedings. “

In and around Silka May hotel you have all the south Indian hotel chains : Anand bhavan , sarvanna bhavan etc.

We have our dinners in different localities. Little India to KL tower.

Delhi –Delhi at KL tower had issue with one of the food items , but what we could get post dinner was : DJ music . The whole BNPGr janta now want to groove. The dance floor is open as DJ keeps playing songs on demand.

Singapore dinners are in and around little India area. The roof top restaurant at Mustafa gives us exclusive area where as River walk tandoor on Rangoon road and Tandoor near Farar park junction have mad rush. During evening peak hours multiple group descend with overlapping timing slots just to push your eating dinner somewhat hurried affair. ( Post Kota Kinabalu we miss the laid back pace ).

Bye….see you next time….

………….

…..End ………

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