More about me as a runner

2017 Target Events

  • 15th Jan - Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon - 3:49:54
  • 12th Feb - Auroville Marathon HM - 1:46:28
  • 29th April - Western Pacific Marathon
  • 15th October - Bangalore marathon - tentative

Blog Archive

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Enjoyable family weekend at Auroville Marathon 2013

The 6th Auroville marathon on 10th February was a very enjoyable family outing. The icing was that both my brothers did their PB HM time. I also had a  good run with an official time of 1:44. This is the first time in 5 years that I raced(ie ran hard) at Auroville. In 2009,2010 and 2011 I did easy FMs and in 2012 a slowish HM generally enjoying the fantastic route/ambiance and wonderful race organisation. This time my focus was the pace - so I did not interact with anyone during the run. Nevertheless,I enjoyed the race like every year.  I was on target to hit my goal of around 1:40 reaching 20Km in 1:34:50. However, instead of heading to the finish line I took a wrong turn and started running a 3rd loop. After about 450m I realised my mistake and turned back thereby doing about 900m additional. Anyway I am very satisfied with the run  specially considering that it was just 3 weeks after pushing very hard at SCMM 2013 and am confident that if I maintain my current fitness level I should be able to do a sub 1:40 HM in a road race. 

My goal was to try and do a fast HM and better my PB of 1:43:33 achieved at Mysore HM in October 2011 and get as close to 1:40 as possible. That is, run at an average pace of around 4:45 per Km. I did not train much after SCMM 2013 - apart from a couple of recovery runs in the week after Mumbai and couple of easy runs in the week leading up to the event ,I did a 5K short tempo run and a 13K run at close to target HMP (4:46/Km). It is generally not advisable to run hard for at least a month after a tough race in order prevent chances of injury. Therefore many people, including my coach Bill Pierce, would typically not approve of my racing at Auroville. Of course the ability to do multiple races in a short period and still stay injury free varies from runner to runner and many runners are able to race even on consecutive days leave alone consecutive weeks.  

We(myself, my wife, my brother and his wife) left Bangalore at 730am on Saturday and reached Auroville at 230PM with 1 break at A2B for breakfast. The  370 Km  route of Krishnagiri >> Arcot(bypass) >> Cheyyar (bypass) >> Tindivanam >> Vandavasi  had mostly good roads.  After lunch at the visitor's center we visited the Maitri mandir there and reached the hotel around 630PM after collecting our bibs and meeting with a few fellow runners. I went to sleep at 10:15PM and woke up at 430am. We left the hotel around 525am and were at the starting area in Auroville by 550am when it was still dark.

There were nearly 3000 runners this year across all categories - a huge growth from the less than 300 runners in the 1st edition in 2008. Over 1000 runners lined up at the start of the half marathon. I positioned myself at the front near Hari Menon. The race started on time at 6:15 just as daylight was breaking out.  I started out much faster than planned and did the first 3 Kms in 4:21,4:36 and 4:35.  I was able to sustain a good pace and completed 10Km in little over 46 minutes in about 4:37/Km.  Felt a bit warmer in the 2nd loop but surprisingly did not feel the humidity at all. Hit the 10K runners in the 2nd half of this lap - lost a little bit of time between Kms 15 and 18 in the narrow stretches where it was difficult to overtake runners. I took water or electrol at every other water stop. As always the support and enthusiasm of the volunteers was admirable. If I had not misunderstood the direction of the volunteers and taken the wrong turn I should have completed the run in about 1:40. There were a few minor changes  from last year's route.

The medal was again quite different this year and finishers got a bag instead of a T-shirt.

We hung around in the finish area meeting other runners till a little after Lakshmi finished. We then took a few pictures, had breakfast and headed back to the hotel. After a shower and lunch we left Pondicherry at 145PM and reached home at 830PM after a great weekend following the same route with one break at the TN tourism hotel just before Krishnagiri. 

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