My 7th 50Km finish at the Bangalore Ultra 2016 on 12th November 2016 in 5:58:38 placed me 5th in my age category and 13th overall. At the first Ultra in 2007 the shortest distance was 52Km. In 2010 I ran the 75Km distance. And then last year I DNF'ed. While this was my slowest ever 50Km finish I was very happy and satisfied that I completed in under 6 hours . Few weeks before the race I struggled to run a 5K in 32m and reconciling to the possibility of a DNS. While making up my mind to run the ultra I was mentally prepared to take 7/7.5 hours to complete it. The first half was perfectly on target in 2:41:46 at 6:28/Km pace. As it became quite warm and the right half and glutes started hurting the second half became tough. I ended up walking a lot after 32Km or so. At times walked more than ran a Km - so most of the last 15 Kms were at a pace of between 7 and 9 mins/Km . Managed to dig in and 'sprint' the 50th Km in 6:20. As always I thoroughly enjoyed the experience - the wonderful trail, the well stocked aid stations(salted peanuts being my perennial favourite) and the sight of familiar and not-so familiar runners pushing and/or enjoying themselves. The right glute was quite painful during the ride back; however, overall recovery was quite fast with a couple of short easy runs during the week.
Woke up at about 3a m after about 4 hours sleep. Left Ranka at 4:15am to reach Vishy's place in Koramangla around 4:30am. Picked up Rinaz from Sarjapur road and headed towards Hennur road off ORR. Due to misguidance from Google maps ended up turning into Hormavu road.Fortunately we realised the mistake early(thanks to a closed railway crossing) and corrected course. As a result we made it to the venue at about 5:45am . By the time we got ready and walked to the holding area there were barely 3 minutes left for the race start. I handed over my bag to A2 for checking in at the baggage counter and rushed to the start line(ditching V and R).
|few minutes before race start|
At exactly 6am the 50K and 75K runners took off - about 150 or so. I started with Rishi, Amrita, Naresh and Sunil. The last 3 pushed ahead by the time I completed my first Km in 6:25. Rishi , who had a shin issue and was not planning to run the full distance, stayed with me. We ran a fairly steady pace runversing on various topics. A little after the 10Km mark Rishi turned back while I continued at a similar pace.
|Selfie on the run|
Rest of the run I ran mostly alone with Amrita and I crisscrossing each other frequently. There was a cold nip in the air when the race started and the weather stayed pleasant till abut 730am after which it started warming up. Towards the end I thought it was much hotter compared to last few years probably as it had not rained in the weeks leading up to the race. The route was very dry unlike the slush of the previous years. Have fallen on the route in the previous two years I was cautious and conscious this year.
Had lunch with podium winners Naresh and Amrita before heading back in Naresh's car at about 130 or so reaching home at 330 PM via Ramamurthy Nagar and Koramangla.