Why I am not running the BSNL Bangalore International Marathon

There has been a lot of press mentions lately about the BSNL
Bangalore International
Marathon which is going
to happen tomorrow. I will not be running it because it is not
intended for people who love running.

Why do I say that?

The Bangalore Ultra Marathon was
announced eleven months ago that it will be held on December 16, 2007.
The BSNL Bangalore International Marathon was announced by the
Karnataka Athletic
just about one month two weeks ago that it will also be held
on Dec 16, 2007.  They knew very well that the Ultra is happening
on the same
I don’t know what is the inside story, but I think it’s pure
one-upmanship, they got ticked off that the preparations and
publicity for the Ultra seemed to be going well.

The organizers of the BSNL Bangalore International Marathon do not
take running seriously. If they did, they would not organize
a training camp for just ten
Do they really think they can convert a new person interested in
running to eventually run 42 km in just ten days?! If you consult
advice by professional runners, you will find out that it takes 18
weeks to train for a marathon according to the charts whether
a beginner or
an advanced
runner. Talk to any runner on how long they took to prepare for
their first marathon and you’ll know the difference. In fact, if
you want to know what kind of preparation hardcore runners do, see
this marathon day

They are not allowing women to run the full
When asked for the reason, they say that they don’t expect many
women to run it so they decided not to allow it. I have many things
to say about that but let me stick to facts – there are many women
out there, it’s just that the Karnataka Athletic Association does
not seem to be encouraging about it. Do they know there are women
runners in India such as Priya who ran 100 miles (160 km) in the

As a running enthusiast, these are enough reasons for me to not take
the BSNL Bangalore International Marathon seriously. Instead, I’m
running the Bangalore Ultra Marathon tomorrow.

In fact, there were discussions in the open-for-all RunnersForLife
mailing list regarding postponing the Ultra because of this clash, but
the race director Madhu strictly said
As an aside, if I’m not wrong, Madhu is a volunteer organizing this
and is not even part of the Ultra organizers company! Compare this
with how the other marathons are being organized.

Even CrossOver who organized the previous marathons held in Bangalore
have postponed it at least four
this year! It’s appalling that these organizers don’t take these
events seriously.

Contrast that with the participants in the Ultra marathon who met on
Friday night for
and had a ball of a time meeting other fellow

attended that pasta party and met a lot of enthusiastic people. One of
them was a guy called
What’s special about him? He’s a 68-year old guy, and the Ultra
tomorrow is going to be his 592nd marathon! That’s right, that’s three
digits. He’s been running since 1976. In fact, he’s flown down from
New York just to run the Ultra. He’s also participated in the
Himalayan run that I mentioned earlier. Now, that’s true passion for
a sport!

As for myself, I have not at all trained properly in the last two
months but I’m hoping that the old routine of running 16 km every
weekend morning will kick back in tomorrow and I’ll hopefully run

Bangalore Ultra 2007

Disclosure: I’m NOT part of the RFL club, just an avid runner. I may
join the RFL runs in future, but I’m certainly not biased towards
them. However, I am biased towards running and runners.

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Jamie Larson