Friday, November 12, 2010

Countdown to Bangalore Ultra 2010

With the Bib and T-shirt collected a couple of days ago, the last training run done and the pre-race ritual of a haircut and nail clipping completed, the 48 hours countdown   to the 4rth edition of the Bangalore Ultra on 14th November has commenced. And the excitement and nervousness is building up among the running community in Bangalore. Any RFL event is now highly anticipated by the running community in India and the ultra is ofcourse the most challenging of these events. Personally for me this is going to be the longest run in a race(not counting the 81K run/walk at Strides of Hope in February 2010). After running 52K at the 1st edition of the Ultra in 2007 and 50K in 2008 and 2009 I am targeting the 75K this year.  With training runs of 58K and 53K within the last 2 months I am reasonably prepared for this. The lingering mild cold and sore throat is a bit of a concern. And of course the various (hopefully imaginary) aches and pains - which runners experience during the last few days leading up to a race. I know it is eventually going to be a battle of the mind on race day. Though the route has changed a bit this year it is still a 6.25Km out and back course. Running 6 laps to complete 75K could get a bit boring (and lonely towards the end) .This will certainly add to the challenge. One will also have to see how it will be to have 800 runners on the trail at the same time. I assume some of the faster 25K and 37.5K runners will be hindered a bit.

With over 50 runners registered to run distances of 75K and 100K this Sunday, the Bangalore Ultra has come a long way in the last 4 years mirroring the growth of long distance running community in the country. There are several good friends from RFL who are among the 27 runners registered to do the 75K this year: Praveen Singh, Dharam, Chandra Gopalan, Sabine, Preeti, Nari, Jugy etc. And ofcourse Chandra Karturi will be doing it for a 3rd year in a row!! He was the winner in the 75K category last year with a time of 9:21:45.

Here is a summary of the top mens performers  of the last 3 years for this distance:

2007 (78K)
1 Jacob Boopalan 7:38
2 Mukesh Singh 8:57
3 Madhu Avasarala 9:03

(Note : these are amazingly awesome timings!!)

2008  (75K)
1 Athreya Chidambi 9:05:43
2 Chandrasekhar K 9:30:00
3 Subramanian K 10:39:19

1 Sunil Chainani 11:20:14

2009 (75K)
1 Chandra Sekhar Katuri 9:21:45
2 Navin Thangiah 10:19:52
3 Nandesh P 11:37:40

1 Jagannath Raju 11:16:25
2 Rahul Varghese 11:30:30
3 Ajit Oak 14:58:00

My goal is to try and complete the 75K in around 9.5 hours at an overall average pace of 7 minutes 36 seconds per Km. Depending on how it goes I would be thrilled if my timing is close to 9 hours. However, I will be quite satisfied if I am able to complete in under 10 hours and feel strong at the end. Dividing the race into three parts of 25K each my plan is as follows:
- First  25K in about 2 hours 35 minutes at an average pace of 6:15 per Km
- Middle 25K in about 3 hours 10 minutes at an average pace of 7:30 per Km
- Final 25K in about 3 hours 45 minutes at an average pace of 9 minutes per Km
I have set the high pace alert in my Garmin to 5:35 per Km to avoid going too fast(in the first couple fo laps!) and low pace alert to 8:45 to manage the average pace during the last two laps.
Finally I hope the weather is as perfect as it was the last two years with the sun not coming out till after 2PM. Here's wishing the RFL organising team and all the runners a wonderful, enjoyable event!!


MJV said...

Bhaskar sir you will do real good in the race. My best wishes for the same. Hope to meet you there as well. I am thinking to complete my First Full Marathon here... Still not decided. After completing my registered 37.5kms, thinking to do the same. Let's see...

Chandra Sekhar Katuri said...

Great Bhaskar, all the best for your run

manoj said...

All the very best, Bhasker! I am sure you will rock. Will pray for a favorable weather...
You may be out-running the battery on your Garmin (probably for the first time). Carry a spare watch in the drop bag!

Praveen said...

All the best Bhasker.Nice writeup.Its going to be my longest run too and I am sure to find inspiration from you on the trail!

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