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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

2:14:18 at SPBM 2015

The 2nd year of HM pacing at Shriram Properties Bangalore Marathon 2015 on 18th October 2015 went well as I finished with a chip time of 2:14:18 vis-a-vis the target of 2:15. The timing of a pacer should not  exceed the target time by even one second and should be within a minute of the same. That is, the ideal completion time range for a 2:15 pacer is 2:14:01 to 2:14:59. During the run and post completion one debate that has been raging in my mind is should the pacer run as per chip time(that is, the time that he/she crosses the start line) or as per gun time(that is the time that the race starts). The night before the race I read in the pacer's  manual (written by Venkat of Youtoocanrun - an experienced pacer and involved in organising pacers for various races) that pacing should be done by gun time. I did not agree with this and ignored it for this race. However, during the run I realised the advantage of doing so. The gun time serves as a reference point irrespective of when runners cross the start line. This helps runners who do not start with a pacing bus and  rather join it during the course of the race. On the other hand if the difference between gun time and chip time is more than a couple of minutes then it could be a challenge for many runners in the bus. Ideally all the runners targeting a certain time should start from the same coral together in which case the chip time should be fine.  Based on what is being followed in other races it looks like either gun time or chip time is fine as long as it is communicated up front to runners.

I left home at about 4:35am with RK to pick up RV from 80 ft road in Indiranagar. Portions of the 100 ft road was already blocked for traffic and we had to take an alternate route. After parking the car in UB city we reached the stadium by 5:20 am. After belting up the pacer flagpole with the help of Venkat I entered the stadium 10 minutes later. The area was , of course, flooded with runners- apparently nearly 8000 runners had registered for the HM making it one of the largest races in the country (after Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and Airtel Delhi Half marathon). Several runners - some familiar and most not known to me - expressed interest in running with the 2:15 pacing bus. Once the gates opened and runners rushed to the stadium tracks towards the start point I lost most of these runners. 

The race was flagged off just after 5:45am and I crossed the start line couple of minutes after that. It was quite slow going till we got out of the Kanteerva stadium. The route for this year's race was different from last year. The first 4 and the last 4 Kms of the race was inside Cubbon Park. Plus the MG road/Trinity circle/old airport road stretch was completely  avoided. This was done to optimise traffic control which was a huge challenge in 2014. 

Plus it is fantastic to run inside Cubbon anyway.Nice early morning weather, adrenaline of the race start and the ambiance in Cubbon Park meant that runners tend to have a faster first few Kms than they should.  I had factored this in. After a 6:30 1st Km, Kms 2 thru 4 were run at about 6:09/Km pace . Thereafter, the pace was steady between 6:20 and 6:35. Like last year I cheered every Km completed and struck up a conversation with some of the runners. Unlike last year this year's bus was less cohesive. That is, runners kept dropping off and new runners coming in. One reason was the aid stations. Up to the 15Km or so mark aid stations were very crowded and one time as well as some runners around them. Given the volume of runners there should have been more tables instead of just one or two. We reached the half way point in 1:06:49 at an average pace of 6:20/Km - about a minute slower than what I had targeted. On the way back we lost some momentum at the Kamraj Raod/Cubbon road intersection as traffic police stopped runners to let the traffic go.  The cops found it tough to hold the traffic- this is an area that has to improve - hopefully will do so over a period once the city becomes more aware and also the road blockages and alternate routes are well publicised. When we entered Cubbon park on the return stretch I realised that I had to accelerate a bit to finish within 2:15. Egging on runners around me I pressed the pedal and ran the last 3 Kms at under 6 mins/Km pace. This is not ideal and the lesson is to manage better and put more minutes in the bank in the first half. It had become quite warm after 730am. Another factor was the lack of clear Km markers towards the end. Anyway overall I was satisfied that I helped a few runners. 

I had intended to go back and run 10Km after a few minutes break like I did last year. I did start out to do that but abandoned the idea after about 500m. After hanging around the finish area for sometime I enjoyed the sumptuous hot breakfast. 

Ritika reached the stadium around 10am for the 5K Hope run. After some general entertainment and Zumba based warm up session the race kicked off a little after 10:50am. It took nearly 5 minutes for Ritika and me to reach the start point. The race was crowded and a lot of participants were walking rather than running. Ritika and I did run/walk and completed the 5Km in about 42 minutes. 

Before the 5K run/walk

Some photos from the 5K run/walk :

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