Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Running a 50k amidst love birds

Ruth Anderson 50k,
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens,
Bangalore, India
April 19th, 2008

Last year BAUR had posted a vacancy for RD and my friend Rajeev Patel happily stepped up to volunteered his time and energy Direct the race. I had pleasant memories of 2007 Ruth anderson 100k and instantly signed up for Ruth Anderson 2008 race as well.

But due to some life events, I had to come back to India on a short assignment in Jan 2008. Past 4 months I was thinking about the course and how to run my own race.

I had done a long run at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens one of the weekends and was happy to find a nice 5km loop, which was similar to Lake merced loop in San Francisco. RD Rajeev had agreed to consider my solo run as part of the race and sent race bib as well.

Fortunately Rashmi was in town and relied on her support towards the end. She was also keen to get some miles during weekend. As part of my training for Everest base camp hike, I had managed to get some long runs, but nowhere near my 2007 miles.

(lone crew member)

Considering the rising temperatures in Bangalore, Rashmi had suggested a earlier start and we both were off at 6:30am.

It was a pleasant warm day, sun slowly waking up and nice breeze by the lake, first loop myself and rashmi were together as she was new to park. As the day progressed the daily morning walkers increased and all were curiously looking at my "ruth anderson bib". I got into rhythm and slowly got done with loops one by one. I met rush about couple of times, she seemed to be in zone and enjoying her run.

(nice loop by the lake)

I particularly enjoyed the section by the lake and just reminded me of the beautiful california trail running.

About 2hr 30 mins into the Rush had completed her 10 mile run and myself about 13miles I was feeling just OK, I felt the fatigue of long run, I did feel lack of regular long runs. But was happy to get to get this distance. Rush had gone home and had planned to freshen up and crew for last few hours.

I was keen on getting as many miles as possible before she turns up, but day started heating up, breezy trails turned into hot pathways and walkers turned into love birds all along. There was hardly any benches left in the park with loving couples occupying every nook and corner.

I tried hard to give them privacy, but there were some embarrassing moments as well. Rush had reached home and was getting me some sugar cane juice and gels. my rate of succeed(salt tablet) consumption indicated a clear increase in heat/humidity as well. One of the person in the park advised me to do a early morning run instead, I just smiled at him.

About 4.5hrs into run Rush showed up at one of trail junctions, I was glad to get some rest and bandana. Wet bandana was a great relief. I was one loop short of marathon distance and I was looking fwd to it. Once past 42k, the rest was a formality.

It wasnt one of my best runs, But I was just happy to get another long run and race this year. I am sure the love birds were sick of seeing this crazy runner spoiling their weekend loving moments.

This encourages me to be more regular with my long runs, my conditioning is rusted, it is clearly shown in my recovery time as well. I miss all the long runs and races done during 2007, what a prolific year it was.

I have all my admiration and gratefulness to Rush, for all her support during the run. Thanks to RD Rajeev for being very accommodative. I heard the race in San Francisco has been a blast, hopefully will be part of it in 2009.


Rajeev Char said...

Congrats you crazy man!!! Hats off to Rush as well - having volunteered and raced - I now know volunteering is tougher :-)

Padma said...

Congratulations Mr. Rao Anil!! That is very cool (hot? :-) ) that u were able to do it there! Awesome determination!

Rajeev said...

You are an amazing athlete. I am amazed at how you crafted a plan and executed it to perfection. Your finish time was your second best 50K time ever!! So much for training!!!


Anonymous said...

You are an amazing Athelete ! Hats off to your determination ..:)

anil said...

Thanks Rajeevp, rajeevc, padma.

just need a reason to go out and get some run.

hope you folks are doing good.


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hey, great job, Anil! Thanks for giving our run a true international bent. We'll let the heat and humidity over there make up for the lack of wind. I'll catch up on your trekking posts soon.

VH said...


I didn't know that you did a 50k in Bangalore!! Congratulations -- you should have roped in some of the other ultra runners in Bangalore too (I know of at least one other there).

Awesome, man!