The 2nd edition of Urban Stampede organised by Runners For Life at Olde Bangalore resort on 22nd August 2009 was a huge success! With 139 teams from 56 companies and 10 non-corporate teams this was by far the largest ever RFL event. Three teams from Mformation participated in the event - 2 in the mens/open categaory and 1 all women team. I was part of Mformation team B. Though I was feeling perfectly fine when I left work on Friday 21st August evening I got hit with severe cold and sore throat later that evening. I did not sleep well at all that night. I left home around 520am and after picking up a couple of colleagues reached Olde Bangalore resort just before 630am. The place was buzzing with activity with runners everywhere. With overnight rains the weather was very pleasant. I volunteered to run 4rth in my team instead of 2nd. My goal this year was to better my last year's timing of 24:34 and if possible try and run below 24 minutes. However, with the cold and body ache picking up even before my turn to run came I knew this was going to be very tough. The run started punctually at 7am with the first set of runners taking off to huge cheering from their fellow runners. I walked around for some time chatting with lots of runners including a few that I did not recognize by name. Waiting for your turn to come in a relay specially when you ar enot feeling well can be quite challenging. By the time I started my run just before 8:40am the first three teams in the open category had completed the race. These were two teams from Toyota Motors and a team from Hindustan Unilever. Deepak Mhasvade ,a great RFL runner,finished his 5K in 22:09 to lead HUL to 3rd place.
I took off very fast and covered the first half Km quickly but had to slow down considerably soon thereafter. Even then I managed to get to the turn around point just after 12 minutes. However, I started to tire quite quickly and managed only a 25:33 finish - almost a minute slower than last year. I was quite disappointed with my timing - it was also one of those few runs that I did not enjoy too much. Considering that I am in much better running form now compared to last year and also managed a sub-49 minutes in Sunfeast 10K I can only blame the flu for the sub par run! Also, I guess I am more cut out for long distance running wherein I am able to sustain a certain average pace for a longer period of time rather than a fast pace for a short period of time. Overall most of the Mformation runners did well specially a few of them who were doing their first ever 5K. The Mfomation women's team finished second. The overall rank and timings of the 3 mformation teams:
- Mformation Team B: Ashish- 26:18; Ravi- 37:14;Sridhar- 36:39;Bhasker-25:33; 2:05:44 finishing 60th in the open category
- Mformation Team A: Sharan-41:44;Sanjay- 38:53;Dwarka- 33:43;Gaurav- 33:43; 2:28:40 finishing 81st in the open category
- Mformation Team C: Kalai- 36:32;Navya - 35:52;Ranu-45:22; Shilpa-41:14 2:39 finishing 2nd in the women's category