I am back again with yet another post.
Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) – 2010 – MY DREAM RUN!!!!
The Start, the dream run and the finish:
I thought that a mere reply or comment to Techdivine’s SCMM article may not encapsulate the myriad range of feelings that one encountered during the Marathon.
I Would like to thank TECHDIVINE Creative Services for updating through tweets too the status of the marathon.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has been around for 7 years now and I have had the good luck of running the marathon 6 times leaving aside the first time. However this year was a watershed year for me personally speaking. I have had 2 Dream-runs, 3 Half-Marathons & this year I ran the FULL MARATHON!
Let me trace the steps that led to this marathon for me.
Somewhere in the beginning of August, one of my friends’ mailed me about registrations for the marathon being open.
Lazy as I am, I logged onto the SCMM site a week after the communiqué. I was surprised to find that the registrations for the half-marathon were closed. Hence I registered for the next best option – the 42 Km Full Marathon. This was done keeping in mind the fact that the runners for the 21 Kms & 42 Kms begin their respective races from the same starting point. Hence I always had it at the back of mind that I will start off as a full marathon runner and end up running the 21 Km Half-marathon along with my friends.
Come Saturday 16 Jan 2010, my friend and me, went to collect the Bibs and Goodie bags. At the WTC Expo, realization dawned on me that the starting points for both the Half-marathon and Full marathons were different. While the Full Marathon commenced from CST, the Half marathon started from Bandra.
I saw this as a great opportunity coming my way. Never had I attempted anything of such a kind. As for practice for these races, the only practice that I ever did was on Race day!!!.
So, come race day & I was pretty much eager to go the full distance. (Kindly note, this is not advised at all)
I have always been either a quick runner or a brisk walker. Not the average jogger kind of guy who would easily go on jogging till the end of the race. Normally, I carry a small travel bag with all sundries in it and deposit it at the baggage counter. However, today, I had made up my mind that, if it seemed tough, I may return from the very place where I gave up. Hence I carried only my backpack which had a change of shirt and a few energy packs of electrals (FDC Ltd).
On Race day, I reached the venue 15 minutes before time. The race started sharp at the anointed time of 6:45 AM and there were a million feet pounding the asphalt. Here I was, surrounded by a sea of people many of who were playing the follow the leader game & went where the person ahead of him was going. I tried to keep up pace but after 10 minutes, I started my walk.
Every time I felt some amount of energy in my body, I would run. Then once I was exhausted, I continued walking. I had one simple plan and a few smaller ones that helped me on my way. From my past experience, I knew that an hour of walking will enable me to complete a minimum of 7 Kms. This translated into 6 hours for 42 Kms. So rather than counting the Kms left, I counted the hours.
Smaller numbers meant the brain was always in agreement.
Then another trick was when a marker came along, indicating the number of kms completed, I told myself that 21 Kms still remained.
Irrespective of whether the marker showed 5 Kms or 10 Kms or 15 or 25, I tricked my mind into believing that there were only 20 Kms left to travel and since I had done the 21 Km half-marathon before, the brain sheepishly nodded in agreement.
By the time, I was convinced that I would be able to complete the marathon came the stunning and mighty Bandra Worli Sea Link.
For someone who has never seen it previously, this was a God sent opportunity. However little did I know that this was also one of the worst stretches that the Marathon had to offer. With the clock reading 10:30, I set foot onto the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL).
The sun was at the horizon and every thought of a cool breeze subsided. This coincided with the fact that the water stations that we runners took for granted at every 100 mts, were nowhere in sight. All runners were left to fend for themselves for the entire stretch of 6 Kms on the sea link. So much that all of us were quite thankful when we stepped off the BWSL.
By this time, I had only around 8-9 kms left to complete my first full marathon. As if on cue, my leg started sending signals to the brain that it had had enough and that it may stop walking any minute. There were some indications of this happening earlier too before I set foot on the sea link resulting in a small icepack session at the medical stall put up for this purpose. By the time, I reached within a striking distance of 7 Kms, my legs literally gave way. My toes were starting to turn inwards, my calf starting to bend backwards and my thighs unable to sustain any more body weight. I limped my way actually dragging both legs upto the finish line and heaved a great sigh of relief to have completed the Marathon and still in one piece.
However I would like to thank all those who made this possible. My friends who supported me throughout the race. Then there were parents with their kids lining the streets encouraging us participants to go on. There were kids handing out Parle-G and Marie biscuits, some enterprising ones even handing out soft drinks to the thirsty. There were little slum kids who were thrilled at the number of people who were running and gave us hi-fives. It was a pleasure to see those lit up faces. To see the people who came out onto the streets on a Sunday morning for no reason of their own but just to watch all of us participate and to egg us on in our initiative.
I would like to also make a special mention of the seniors who were running this marathon just like any other youngster and yes there have been many who in their 60s have gone past me while jogging along as against my trundling.
It is really a big appreciative effort on part of the populace to turn up to attend events like this and make their august presence felt and make Mumbai known for what is famous the world over. – For its welcoming hands and open heart.
This was my Marathon and I lived every kilometer of it. Would participate the next year too!!!
Your views are welcome.
Mani (A.k.a Ananth.S.).