February 10, 2008

My first half-marathon @ Chennai Marathon 2008

Dear Reader,
If you are looking for the MARG CHENNAI MARATHON happenings, READ THIS ARTICLE!

Best,
Karthik
Updated on Aug 2008

Finally, the Hero Ultra Chennai Marathon did happen! Contrary to my expectations, the marathon was far well organized. Shahid, Ramesh and I had planned to park our vehicles near Dimensions Gym in Abhiramipuram and run to the starting point at Anna Square on the beach road.Ram had the gut feeling that we should be able to park our cars near the lighthouse and easily pull out incase we decide to drop out of the run.

We parked our cars in the inner road near the lighthouse in Marina Beach and walked to the starting point (Anna Square). We, from Chennai Runners, were a sizable gang (about a dozen of us) at the race. The marathon pretty much started on time at 7AM. The half-marathon was flagged-off at about 7:15AM. The marathon was jointly sponsored by Hero Ultra, and they had their electric scooters that were plying through the course of the run.

As for me, this marathon was my first half-marathon and completed the race in 2 hours and 28 minutes. I was not too happy with the timing though. At around the 12-14th kilometer, I was desperately looking for a restroom. Not being able to find one, I was distracted and eventually had to cut down on my speed. After that I could never get back to the pace that I started with. I was averaging at 11Kmph (about 6.8mph) till the 12-13th kilometer. The brief spells of drizzle was a blessing. The last 30minutes was however very challenging as the sun was up and my legs were feeling the burn very badly.

my_chennaimarathon_timing

The player version of my Motionbased trail can be found here.

After I crossed the finish line, I could feel the tiredness taking over and ended up taking a couple of bottle drinks (Limca) and treated my legs with cold mineral water. It felt like heaven.

Karthik_FinishLine_ChennaiMarathon2008

Karthik_FinishLine_PumpingFists_ChennaiMarathon2008

Overall, the marathon was organized well (from what I had expected). The traffic was kept under control during the entire course of the marathon. Hero Ultra did manage to successfully advertise their new electric two-wheeler. It looks really good and also it is silent, and more importantly, its eco-friendly!

Net-Net, some points about this event -

The Good-
  • Started on time (7:05AM)
  • There were water points!
  • Emergency staff (with Ambulances) were plying all through the half-marathon event
  • Traffic was kept under control during the course of the half-marathon
The Bad-
  • No enough water points (they were present for every 5kms!)
  • No cheering from the crowd or the organizers (though the volunteers kept whizzing in the Hero Ultra scooters)
  • No ice tubs present at the finishing point
  • No refreshments present for the finishers - Not even water!
  • Only participation certificates were given (Apparently, the person distributing the certificates asked me "How many do you want?")
  • No timing on certificate (it did not even have my name!)
Special thanks to Ram for taking a lot of pictures of the team, event and me :)

My body is now sore, and I hope to recover in two days. I just hope to get back on track for the Auroville Marathon thats happening next Sunday (17th February, 2008). Will Karthik do it? Can Karthik do it? Wait for more updates..!
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