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Forty Two

I completed the full marathon i.e. 42 km on Sunday in the Bangalore International Marathon 2006.

Well, barely completed. After running the first 21 km in 2.5 hours, I was elated at my good timing, but then the worst thing (for a runner) happened – cramps. I just couldn’t run, it hurted. The irony was that in the past 6 months of heavy training, I never faced this issue, and it had to happen on the final D-day. I tried a little running and little walking for a while and managed to reach 28 km.

At the 28 km mark, I gave up. I grunted and cursed myself. Then, a fellow marathoner came along, cheered me up and pushed me to go on. Okay, I guess it was worth another try. So, I mustered all the energy left in me to get up and walk. A few more marathoners came along and encouraged me to simply walk if I can’t run. I winced and walked, but I was pleasantly surprised at the encouragement by the people around, and specially the traffic cops.

If there was ever a test of my will power, I guess this was it. I took 4 hours to walk the rest of the way back to the Kanteerava stadium.

In the end, I was disappointed that I couldn’t run the 42 km as I wanted to, and my goal of finishing in 5.5 hours went down the drain. But at least I completed.

A huge shout of thanks to Ajay, Niara, Vikram – my running partners and closest friends, without whom I would’ve never run the marathon, let alone work towards my dream of running the full marathon.

Is it a coincidence that the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42?