Running the ULTRA

More running tales! I hope I don’t turn this blog into dairy of my running stories but it’s getting so addictive now that I can’t stop. I’m on a new high when I run and having done a couple of runs, I’m getting to a point of being obsessed with running. Oh well, there are worse things one can be obsessed about I guess.

The Bangalore ULTRA is taking on International stature in its 3rd year. This year, it was held on November 15. The running distances (in km) are 12.5, 25, 37.5, 50, 75 and 100. Yes, there were 18 people who ran the 100! About 600 runners showed up overall.

I chose the relatively sedate 25 km which is a little more than a half marathon distance. The trail in picturesque Hessaraghatta (Our Native Village) is a beautiful one and it’s a sheer joy to be out there early in the morning.

Our day started early; at 3:45 a.m. to be precise as the Jayanagar Jaguars (of which I became a member without my knowledge) numbering about 40 had hired a bus for the 2 hour trip. And yeah, we even had a banner on the front of the bus proclaiming our membership.

We got to Our Native Village just in time to see the 6 a.m. flag-off of the 37.5K and 50K runners. We could also see the 75K and 100K runners making their way in the darkness with flashlights. That’s dedication for you!

The 25K started promptly at 6:30 a.m. and I set off at my slow trot, still apprehensive of running 25 km at a stretch. The path was easier to run on than the KTM though and it helped that it was cloudy the entire morning. The route is 6.25 km one way and back on the same path so a loop is 12.5 km.

I actually did pretty well on the way out and stopped at the 6.25 km water spot for some sandwiches and energy drinks. I headed back to the starting point and made no stops along the way.

Nearing about 20 km is when I started tiring and losing steam. I proudly passed the 21 km, albeit in bad shape. I pretty much had to take a break at the 22 km mark and had more stuff to eat and drink and used a lot of the pain spray on my right leg which was starting to ache, from the calves to the thighs. I also had an embarrassing case of nipple rash and my shirt was spotted with blood in the right places! While quite funny to relate and think about, I must say it burned like hell and was terribly discomfiting for the last 10 km.

I ended the run in a not so decent 3 hours and 37 minutes but was happy to have finished it at all.

The organization and logistics for the event were exemplary and hats off to the Runners For Life group for pulling off a flawless show.

Next stop, Midnight Marathon in Whitefield!

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