Mumbai - SCMM2015

Mumbai! I love the city for the memories it has given me of my runs. I have run 4 half marathons in my life, each one in Mumbai. 18 Jan 2015 was the day for my 4th consective run in mumbai since 2012. This time i had aims to really practice well, even cross 30k mark to be ready for next years full marathon. But all went into a trash as i sustained an injury 2 months before the run. It happened last year as well and this time i was so sad to miss 2 other runs and my frisbee game during that time. Though thankfully it did not bother any of my treks and expeditions. With one month to go and still a
paining foot i consulted a orthopaedic. He said 'you do not have enough time to recover'. I also assumed so, so i decided to just rest my foot for full 1 month. But stamina has to be retained, so my heavy cycling schedule came alive. Almost 120km of cycling each week.

preparation rides
4 days before the run i caught a heavy headache and fever. I assumed, the run is not mine this time, hope I just finish it. After 2 days of rest I did my trial run of around 3k. Really hard to put in words how happy I felt to run after such a long time.I showed a lot of stupidity while collecting my running chip. The venue was changed from last yr, which i realized at last moment, forgot the id in hotel which I had to go back and get (+2hrs wasted and energy!). It turned out to be a really tiring do, not so good if u are running 21km next day. And I also had plans to meet a friend at dinner.

This time was a different experience as i was staying with 4 other inspiring runners, all full marathoners, one of them (Andy) had practiced for more than 4 months. Could hardly manage 4 hr of sleep with all enthusiastic runners around who woke up at 3am. It was time to eat some carbs (bananas) and drink lot water to hydrate properly. I was at the starting point finally after that early morning local with a lot of fellow runners around. The same enthusiastic crowd with all
colorful gears and bib numbers in front made quite a scene. I knew i just have to finish so i did not waste any energy stretching and warning up. My plan was to warm up and stretch after 1-2kms of start.

Near the start line, Bandra reclamation.

Waited for the event to start as I was in C zone due to my performance of last year. Here i did some warmup and then race was flagged by Anil ambani. I kept an easy pace as some philosphical thoughts rang my head about our mere humanity and how much these individual timing targets matter. I enjoyed the amazing view of the bandra worli link which i think no non-marathon runner gets to witness the way we get to. I could observe some police boats below and the skyline of Mumbai (does not excite me anymore though :P). I even took a leak break which i never do in my runs and continued continuously for about 8kms, sipping water, eating oranges, and then i met my beloved aunty (a relation so hard to explain). I see her each year, this year she was surrounded by some kids with biscuit plates but not gur this time :( I said a good namaste and continued. The 02:00 flag
was running along. I checked my watch, wow I was still able to manage 10+ avg speed. I kept running another 3-4km and then took a major halt to stretch and relax, and let go the 02:00 bus. A thought of that extra stamina that comes in our frisbee tournaments charged me up and i thought of pushing little more. Bad idea as i got a bad pain in stomach after few 100mtrs (too much fluid?). I had to stop and then continue at a natural pace again. The marine drive was beautiful and then u turn towards the climb section. Here there are a lot of people to cheers, many kids and foriegn nationals also. You really need that cheer as it is a tough section. Crossing the 15km mark life is easier as u run downwards. Back to marine drive now u see a lot more music systems, cheer leader groups, NGO stalls, and a lot of support system too as it is the end of run. I took a brief halt at 17 and then crossed the finish line without a stop. I did not sprint as well, the last few 100mtrs which i always do. I was happy i finished the run among all skeptics, that too in a really good time of 02:08 which was not in my expectation.

A long stretching session and some snacks. Later I posed around the SCMM posters and met some fellow runners before leaving back to hotel to wait for the running gods to come.

The gods: Amit, Andy, Anirudha and Suresh

Andy completed in 03:34 (O_O), Anirudha in 5.45, Amit rathod in 4.50 and Suresh in 5.30. Hogged a lot of food and met some friends. Mumbai has it's charm for runners. I feel lucky to get a chance to run each year. Hope I do a Full next year! :)


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