Midnight Marathon

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.

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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:

Physical exercise gives such a high, especially running.

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

I ran 21 km in 2 hr 52 min.

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!