Friday, December 07, 2007

First long distance race

I do not know what exactly were the sequence of events but I had registered for the Pune marathon held last Sunday.

Same time last year, my office was abuzz with talk about the marathon. A large contingent took part in the 4.5 Km dream run. They said that it was fun with crowds cheering and bands performing all the way. It was a very hectic period for me and my fiance then with just a couple of months to our marriage. But this time there was no excuse. This was something to be experienced. I opted for the 10 km run. Being a regular at the gym for half a year now, I felt that I was reasonably fit to run that distance with proper training. Me and a couple of colleagues from office ran for a week averaging 3 km a day. It was very hard for me to run beyond that without adequate rest. I felt that I was over enthusiastic to register for the long run. But I was determined to complete it without taking rest in between.

Race day comes and its a chilly December morning around 6 AM when I take my bike and travel 15 km to the location. A friend of mine joined me and we went searching for the start point of our category amidst hoardes of people spanning race, gender and age. We apparently had to submit a form and stamp our number card pinned to our t-shirt. Believe me, it was chaotic. Around 12000 participant had turned up and there was hardly room on the road to stand! We somehow made it to the 3rd row of the start line and finished our formalities only to wait for an hour to hear speeches by the organizers and celebrities who had come to flag the race. The crowd went berserk when Salman Khan stood up the podium. Sunil Gavaskar flagged off our race and we tried to go past the crowd of people who were still awestruck with the celebrities.

After the initial shoving and pushing, I started a slow run and with distance the crowd gradually spread. Within 2 km I started to pant and had serious doubts on completing the race. Around the 3km mark, I was pepped by drummers and people on the streets cheering. The initial part of the race was slightly uphill and tough. It only got easier later. I kept running and lo behold, it was the 9km mark! I did not even realize that I had run this far. My hearbeat increased with anticipation which only made me more physically exhausted. Then did I see the beautiful arch that said finish point for the mens 10km. I crossed it and stopped but my legs wanted to run more. Running had almost become an involuntary action by then and I had to force myself to sanity!

It was my first and a race to remember!!


///slash\\\ said...

Congrats- I had pictures of our Aashianathon where you and your bro got wild card entries only to win the competition.

Maverick said...

Thanks slash! Yes the aashianathon was no less satisfactory :) Do send those snaps across if you still have them.