I ran the Mumabai Marathon 2008

It's been more than one and a half months since I last updated my blog. I tender an unconditional apology to all my readers. Please do drop by regularly from now on to read more of the stuff that interests you.

In this post I will write on my most treasured achievement in the recent times. Many of you might have known this, others you will get to know of it. I ran the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2008 on 20th of January 2008. A full "42.195 km" or "26.2 miles". For more on the experience of this run please go ahead.

[The Day Before]
It was a pleasant saturday after noon when I took a bus from Prabhadevi to Churchgate. I fell asleep in a ride of about 40minutes. It was not difficult to find the "Get Active Mumbai Marathon Expo" at the World Trade Center.I was impressed by the scale and publicity this event was I collected my bib(1615), met a few friends at Powai and headed back to Rohit's place by night. Got my running gear ready. In retrospect I believe Nike should sponsor all my Marathon runs.Draped in Nike from head to toe! (Nike shoes, Nike socks, Nike running shorts, Nike dry fit tee, Nike head band).

The most important thing the day before the marathon is food. I had a couple of aloo parathas and veg biryani and fruit custard.

[After the Run]
"13:57:**" was what the timer read when I saw the finish line. There were a group of people welcoming and congratulating me.(There was also a photographer who took some shots of mine, if your are reading this do send me those photos), I just grabbed a bottle of water and emptied it for the umpteenth time in the last 6hours. Collecting my timing certificate and the medal was a very sweet experience. Barely able to walk, I collapsed in the middle of Azad Maidan talking to my mom. Tears rolled down my cheeks while I was talking to my fiancee. I was just crying. A melodramatic scene indeed. I collected myself, limped back to the historic Victoria Terminus.

The feeling of running the full marathon was just overbearing. This was a significant moment in my life. I have never done anything in the arena of sports and running the full marathon made me speechless.

[The Run]
Mumbai is the city I love to be in. No wonder I chose to run my First Marathon (I don't consider half marathon's as Marathon) here. There was a cool breeze as I stepped out for the Azad Maidan at half past six in the morning on the run day. There were lot of people dressed in all the colors of the rainbow all way along. The crowd was just great, the crowds in Hyderabad run are pale shadow of the show here.

Once in the arena, I met Sesh another fitness enthusiast from Hyd. It was a real coincidence that he spotted me out in such a huge crowd. The run started with a huge roar and there was a sea of humanity cheering us all along.

The first 10k took about an hour, the next 5k about 40min. Then slowly the pace reduced, I was having pain in my right foot. 18k in about 2hrs+, the pain was increasing. I wanted to better my half marathon record mark, but took about 10mins more (21k in 2hrs 40min). The pain in the right foot was unbearable at this mark. It was just moving mile stones all the way since then. A few miles down the line (~25km ) I was just unable to walk. I would have collapsed.

It was here that I met Tanvir a journalist, we pepped up each other and those on the way to push ourselves. To add to the woe the traffic was opening up, which was a big de- motivator. At this stage I met George from kerala. He was officially the last man to finish the Marathon in last years edition and was determined to do better this time. We were joined by a bunch of others who were determined to reach the finish line.

To top it all there came a bus to pick up all the tired folks. This was one of the most difficult mental tests to pass. On one side the body forces you to consider the option of the comfort of the shade, on the other the mind wants to complete the marathon. It was tough but the will prevailed. It was not easy, there were no distance boards in the last 10km, the were water stops were far and few in between, the traffic was open, no body seemed to know how far we had to go, a complete chaos.

Once we reached the church gate, I pep talked another guy to run along for the final distance. We jogged to the flora fountain and from their just managed to give the final sprint to the finish line. All the while my poor foot was taking lot of pain.

[The Evening]
I could just barely walk, I had these boils in the groin area, blisters on my feet, and the worse of all my right foot hurt like hell. I could gauge the severity of the injury only when I was immobile for most of the next two days. Talking to Nalu, Mausi and good food at Mausi's place helped a lot in mental recovery.

[What Next]
I am planning to run my next full Marathon at Bangalore Mid Night Marathon in May 2008(if it happens in time), and will start my preparation from 9th February 2008. I will keep chronicling my preparation over here.

Tune in now to so-did-i, lot of exciting things coming your way.

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