It was 4:05AM and we started our drive to the ECR Toll booth. Ram joined me in the early morning drive and we reached the destination just in time at 4:30AM. Having done our pre-run conditioning, we got prepared for the BIG Run! Vidyuth briefed the volunteers of their modus operandi. We began our run at 5:00AM sharp, after Ram and Hari briefed the runners of safety instructions.
It was pitch dark on the ECR road with no street lights at all! I started off in full swing and managed to stay up to my expectations for about 15Kms. Rupert, Hari and Shumit whizzed past in the very beginning and were the leading runners. Ram and Ashvini were the others to go past me later followed by Anuj and Abhijit. I did not wear my iPod and it was a nice experience in the morning....enjoying the sound of silence and insects and the sight of darkness all around us.
There was a point at about 10-12Kms when I was kind of running out of mental fuel. KK came to my rescue with his company and some motivating words. We chugged on for a kilometer and a half, and then KK went on his own. It was then when I bumped into Rajesh. That was the beginning of a wonderful experience - Pushing the limits! Me and him kind of pushed each other's limits in a very unique way. Initially we walked for about 800meters. Then he started to jog...I continued to walk. Then he started to walk....and I started to jog to get past him. So this activity continued all the way to Mamalla, and we made it to our destination! We actually went past our destination by a kilometer and then realized we missed out. But to our pleasant surprise, we had our dear friends Mr. Ravikrishnan and Mrs. Savithri Ravikrishnan, who volunteered help through the entire run and gave us a ride back to Mamalla Resorts. Thanks to you Mr. & Mrs. Ravikrishnan!
Puffing and panting...and a sigh of relief and achievement were some of the expressions that was found in most of our faces when we gathered at Hotel Mamalla Resorts (about 3 kms before Mahabalipuram). It was Bliss!
Some lessons learnt/observations:
- Running on the roads where there is a curve/bend in the road is slightly challenging. The banking on the road puts uneven pressure on the knees
- Running is a Mind Game, and not just a Game of Physical Fitness!
- Camaraderie can take a team a very long way. Run as a team and reap the benefits!
- If you feel tired after a 10-15K during a 30K run, try doing Power Walking or just keep chugging on without lifting the feel much off the ground. It helps!
- Take an energy drink like 100 Plus or Gatorade with you in a bottle/fuel belt. It can push you thrice the distance as much as what plan water can
- Arm and shoulder movement helps propel your body ahead and helps you shove through the wind blowing in the opposite direction
- Be Positive! Never think you will get injured...the very thought might injure you!
You can also find some good running routes in Chennai on the right hand side of my blog, under "My Running Trails".