Midnight Marathon

5 minute read

The World's First Midnight Marathon took place right here in Bangalore on Saturday midnight. It was held in the area surrounding the iGate office near ITPL.

Niara and myself had decided to run the half-marathon. We didn't even think about the full marathon because we have had no preparation at all, and we were about to run the half marathon just like that. Just the previous week, we both were facing leg pains/injuries but that didn't matter on the D-day.

Bangalore Midnight Marathon 016

The place had a festive atmosphere - with "dollu kunitha", clowns on stilts and even fire-eaters. There were bands playing in the main area keeping people entertained when the run was going to start, they were playing pretty good music although I wish they had better presentation skills.

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My inspiration came from the smile that actress Ramya gave when I was taking her photo ;-)

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And the run began. There was not enough lighting in the running area which caused problems, and clear instructions were not given regarding the loops. Despite these hiccups by the organizers, the atmosphere was great - it was 12.30 am and we were running, a thousand people or so, and enjoying it.

The first loop was completed with great vigor, but the second and third loops were where people started to give up or sit by the sideways trying to recuperate or trudge along by walking/slow running. I don't even want to talk about how the Kenyans just happily went running by (that too for the full marathon).

Because of the small area where the marathon was conducted, the entire run was in a loop - the half marathon was 4 loops and the full marathon was 8 loops (which means that one loop was roughly 5 km). The last loop was the toughest and I started to experience that severe exhaustion that I felt last time - the problem was that running caused exhaustion and walking caused knee pain and I was starting to get cramps as well. So, I decided to split the last loop into the number of roads that we had to run and each road I walked half of it and ran half of it, this tactic worked out well and I reached the finish line within a timing that I would be happy about.

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I finished in 2 hours and 52 minutes. My target time was 2 and a half hours, so I took 20 min more than that but it's okay, I'm quite happy about my timing :)

On the other hand, Niara took 2 hours and 20 minutes and she ran with only one break in the whole run - she has both stamina and speed! Way to go, Niara!

The run was good. However, the after-effects were pretty bad. I made the mistake of drinking too much water (by my standards) and I felt sick, a few minutes later, I threw up. After some recuperation, it was a long long ride home and it was a safe one thanks to Niara's brother Razik who took it upon himself to drop me home after seeing my condition. I slept for straight ten hours.

After I woke up, I was wondering whether it was all worth this much pain. I think yes :) Because:

  1. Physical exercise gives such a high, especially running.

  2. Running is more mental than physical. It really tests your determination. Everything else comes after that. And boy, was this a test...

  3. I ran 21 km in 2 hr 52 min.

  4. I participated in the World's First Midnight Marathon. What a great feeling! As the CrossOver folks like to say, we created history!

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Note: If you are interested in running and/or training for a marathon, then I highly recommending joining the RunnersForLife group and participating in their runs.

Update : Sathish has put up some videos that give a good glimpse of the event.

Update 2 : It seems that the CrossOver folks misled us - this is NOT the first midnight marathon, the first was held in Canada in 1996!


DesiPundit » Archives » World’s First Mid-Night Marathon? says:

[...] C.H runs what he claims is the world’s first mid-night marathon. If anyone knows any better, please let us [...]

Sachin Rase says:

Congrats for completing it
Also very nice Pics sir.


Events Bangalore » Bangalore Midnight Marathon says:

[...] reading Swaroop’s blog , I realized what I missed. But some consolation came through reading these blog entries and [...]

Prem says:

Great job! I only wish someday to run a half/full marathon. Keep it up.

Prem says:

BTW, who is the person in this pic(http://www.flickr.com/photos/swaroop/506934270/) ?

Pradeep says:

Thats Ramya, Kannada film actress.

Bikram Agarwal says:

Hi Swaroop,

Been a visitor of your site for quite some time. Am linking to this post from my blog. Do visit my Blogs.

- Vicky

Swaroop says:

@Prem : All it takes is practice.

@Jayakumar : Thanks. Yes, running is quite popular now, lot of enthusiasts.

@Vikram, @Mahesh : :)

Mahesh Shantaram says:

Ramya is sooooo gorgeous :)

Ramya says:

Awesome dude! And all this with little or no practise..Thats so like you g2 :-).

Jayakumar says:

Great job. Congratulations. It's also great to see running gaining in popularity.

Shruti says:

Hi Swaroop.I am Shruti. I stay in Banagalore working with an organization working in urban governance. I was looking for some comments on the Bangalore midnight marathon and saw your blog.
We were actually trying to ask ppl who attended the marathon what they thought the the city infrastructure when they ran. In the sense the roads,street lighting,traffic,etc.Basically was there something that you think needs improvement.
Also was the route only inside the Whitefield tech park?

Let me know your comments. You can also ask your friends who ran to comment. Would help us a great deal.


Vikram Chadaga says:

Nice post and nice photos ;) I really missed it :(

Hey u've gottu do the mysore marathon!!! :) u'll soon have a list of marathons u have done! :)

Sudhir says:


The marathon u mentioned that happened in canada was a light at midnight marathon. What i mean is that, although the time was midnight, it was still bright as day, the way it happen at extreme northernb and southern latiutudes. So technically speaking, BMM was the first true midnight marathon


Bob says:

Does it really matter whether its light outside or not? I believe the definition of midnight is 12:00 am.

Secondly from the accounts given, the run itself in B/lore began at 12:30 am. Clearly B/lore then wasnt the first midnight marathon, but I dont think thats important for the runners, just the promoters.

Well done to all the finishers.