Bangalore Ultra Marathon 2008

6 minute read

Sunday was the day of the second Bangalore Ultra Marathon.

Had to get up at 3AM in order to reach Cubbon Park at 4:30AM for the buses to take us to 'Our Native Village' resort in Hesaraghatta. We reached early at 6AM and were waiting for the day to begin.

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The 37.5, 50, 75, 100KM runners started off at 6:30AM, and everyone were cheering them on. There was one person Santhosh who was running from 6PM on the previous day doing a target of 24 hours or 200KM. Phew.

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On a random whim, I decided to tweet during the marathon.

6:59 AM: Waiting for the 25K run to start at 730, it sucks to wait for an hour after the 50+ K #ultra runners

7:30 AM: Start!

I decide to run without music for the first 20 min.

After a while, I started listening to a talk by David Heinemeier Hansson on 'The Great Surplus' which is a really good talk that I recommend any dev should listen to. After that was over, I didn't have the mental processing energy to listen to more podcasts, so I switched to listening to music.

I think the majority of runners here were either listening to music or running in groups.

Life Lesson learned: Do whatever it takes to keep your motivation high.

9:00 AM: Finished first loop of 12.5 km in exactly 1.5 hours. Not sure if I can complete within my target time of 3 hours.

9:25 AM: Body begs to stop. Mind says hell no.

Life Lesson learned: It's all in the mind.

9:37 AM: Starting to feel that good pain in the knees.

Life Lesson learned: You need to cross a certain threshold of activity before you start feeling positive and energized. Activity precedes motivation.

9:52 AM: Reached 3/4th mark. 2 hours 23 minutes. There are a few people retired hurt on the mats and doctor is treating them... Getting some electral.

Life Lesson learned: I strangely found tweeting through the marathon actually helped me being more positive. It had the same effect as journaling. In this case, I got to vent my pain and frustration. After that, I felt lighter, felt like I had a fresh start and felt the need to do something more/better that is worth tweeting about.

9:55 AM: This is one beautiful location. Green everywhere.

Life Lesson learned: The right environment matters.

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10:04 AM: 50+km runners whizzing by. How do they do that.

Life Lesson learned: There will always be people better than you but you shouldn't get bogged down. As Bob Parsons says "Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing. When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place."

10:40 AM: 2km to go. Signs of cramps.

Life Lesson learned: As Bob Parsons says "When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: 'The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.'"

10:55 AM: Finished. 25 km in 3 hours 24 minutes. More than I wished. But ran better than expected. So happy.

11:04 AM: Nothing like pushing yourself beyond what you think you can. Amazing what the human mind and body can do.

Life Lesson learned: Life is more meaningful and fun when you have big hairy audacious goals.

The best part was that my timing had improved significantly from last time where I finished in 3 hr 52 min - an improvement of nearly half an hour! I usually berate myself on not performing well, but this was something even I was happy about especially because I finished strongly and not limping to the finish line as I had experienced in previous marathons.

Life Lesson learned: (Again) As Bob Parsons says: "Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves."

It's tough. Are you?

Life Lesson learned: It's tough. Are you?

You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line. It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.

-- Martine Costello

Update: Santhosh finally completed 156KM! Also, Tanvir has compiled a list of blog posts by various Ultra runners.


Toufeeq says:

Nice write up. Saw you after the race, stretching out on the grass. You seemed to have an expression of accomplishment (and pain) :-)

Tanvir Kazmi says:

Great review of the event. Congrats for finishing this stronger than last year, that tweet thing was really cool, and so were the quotes you put in this post! Is that 200KM guy still running :) (I am sure he is done by now)

Nirav Mehta says:

Congratulations on becoming better than your former self! My school motto was "Better Everyday" and I didn't understand the real depth of it until I was 25! Being better than how you were yesterday.. Everyday!

Loved your post. It was inspiring.

Keep running! And keep inspiring!

Sanjay Goel says:


Jayadeep Purushothaman says:

Nice writeup and congratulations on the run, I too was tweeting using the hashtag, #bangultra - next time let us publicize before the event.

Nice blog too, lot of common interests - will follow your blog!

Rk says:


Saw your tweets....I was so wishing to do this..but due to my knee injury doc suggested not to stretch too much..but I guess I will strengthen myself and next time I will participate least one lap :)

Swaroop says:

@Toufeeq Hehe, you said it!

@Tanvir Thanks. Yeah, the guy is Santhosh, I think you already know more about his performance!

@Nirav Thanks! Hope you take up running too ;)

@Sanjay Thanks!

@Jayadeep Yep, noticed that in your twitter stream, it'll be nice to have a standard hashtag :)

@Rk Go for it! Nothing like practice to get you to that stage.

anita says:

hey, congratulations! the joy of completing is worth all the pain, as they always say. santhosh was bloody amazing - i still can't get over the fact that he did 156k! and i don't think i would have the energy to tweet and run!!

Just a little something » The ultra experience says:

[...] ~ Santhosh’s 156 km effort and his work for Team Asha - Must read! ~ Shumit does a 100K ~ Swaroop about his 25K ~ Jayadeep’s first effort ~ Sathish on the highs and lows of his 50 ~ Venky on crossing the [...]

Rk says: many kms you ran (you never mentioned..but left enough space for guesstimate ..) is it 26 ?
did you run all the way...or did you walk ? at least while tweeting...were you running ? :)

Swaroop says:

@Anita Yep, crossing that finish line is some experience :)

@Rk Yes, 25 km. I was happy that I mostly ran this time, but I specifically took walks during the uphill slopes and difficult paths. I tweeted during those walks as well as when I stopped at the water/food stations

Ajay Matharu says:


Firstly Congratulations on finishing the race on high note [:)]
And excellent article truly inspiring. I noted down all the lessons you learned, so that i remember that [:)].

Kartik Mistry says:

Great! When Nirav talked about this. I feel ashamed that I couldn't even started cycling. Run Kartik Run!

Swaroop says:

@Ajay I thought most people will find this entry quirky, nice to know it was inspiring :)

@Kartik Hehe, reminds me of "Run, Forrest, Run!" ;-) All the best for your running and cycling!

Manish says:

Hi Swaroop,

Liked your description in form of Life lesson learning....... keep writing!

Best Wishes!