So I did the run again this year. The Sunfeast World 10K Bangalore (2010). It was an adventure, compared to the 2009 run. That was a run-walk-walk-run that ended in a photograph of me and a colleague in one of the local newspapers. This was a different story altogether.
|The Women's World 10K Runners|
It started off just like last years did - catching up with friends outside the stadium, checking out people in costume, watching the World 10K women return, hooting & cheering, mobile photographs and finally running out from the stands on to the tracks when the gates opened (as my sister-in-law said, "like animals released from their cages"). If it was not for the lifeless crowd ahead of me, I might have even pushed and shoved (erm...crowd mentality... uh).
Somewhere in the middle of this, the Open 10K run started and we searched desperately for my brother. He should have been easy to spot, in his fluoroscent green & red attire. Not easy but spot him we did and photographed him too. Look for him in the picture below.
|The Open 10K begins|
I took off on a sprint right at the start, leaving my friends behind within seconds. I knew I was unfit, untrained, unfed and thirsty, so I was pretty sure that my run would not last for long, I wanted to make the most of it when the energy levels were still high. That led me to throw caution to the wind and run right away, instead of starting slowly and picking up speed later. That was one of my many follies of the morning.
About 800m from where I started off at 09:02 hrs, I ran out of breath. Running on the hot roads in the blazing sun with no cap or sunglasses, what could I expect? More examples of lack of preparation. I hoped to walk a bit and start jogging again. I intended to jog as much as I could and I was counting on the electral/glucose supplies at the water-stations to help me. Sorry to note, no such thing. All that was available was water and sipping on it did not help at all. So, try as I might I found myself unable to do more than walk. Tired, hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.
|Pic courtesy marathon-photos|
A friend passed by and egged me on, so I ran with him for a while. He left me behind as he kept running & I kept slowing down. I caught up with another friend who was doing a slow jog too and very soon, even she had overtaken me. More walking. At every kilometer, there were volunteers and non-participant public egging us on and each time, I felt encouraged and ran a few meters. Maybe 20? Maybe 50? Could not have been more, I am sure.
"Come on Bangalore, Run. Do not run with your legs, run with your heart", one of the volunteers was screaming.
"Odi Odi, race madi. Avrigintha fast agi neevu odbeku. Odi odi", a fat middle-aged enthusiastic woman jiggling and clapping.
Cheering from cops holding the boundaries, traffic, dog-walkers, morning walkers, photographers, reporters, the cacophony of voices and noises were encouraging in a weird way. Yet, I found it a struggle to run. Except at corners, milestones and other places where the cheering just could not be ignored and the feet took off by themselves. By the time I reached the half-way mark, the pre-existing ache in my shoulders had aggravated. When a friend of mine asked me the previous night why I was running in spite of my shoulder aches, I said, "I'm running with my legs, how would that affect my shoulders?" Now I know.
I was grateful for the first-aid station that finally offered some electral. A bit of that powder in my bottle and I was ready to run some more. A lot of running and walking later, I covered 4.5km, where I met another friend of mine. She suggested we run the last bit. That and the fact that the stadium was in sight was enough drive for me. I ran the last 500m and turned around to spot my friend. She was gone! I waited up for her and we picked up another bottle of water, as I tried to get in touch with the rest of my crowd.
An apple, bun and a couple of biscuits later, I felt alive again. Achy shoulders, achy neck and the promise of achy legs but I felt alive. All I needed now was some cool air. A wait for my sister-in-law and an elaborate search for my brother, which included walking around the stadium, calling random people, munching on some puri and announcing from the DJ console, later we headed to where our car was parked. Another search for the car in the parking lot (like sister, like brother, we can never remember where we parked) and finally, we returned home in the heavenly atmosphere of an air-conditioned car.
Two days later, I am still nursing my body aches as I hunt down the official photographs on the marathon-photos website and squeal in delight, each time I find one from our gang.
I might have run about a kilometer and walked the rest. It was disappointing until I saw the pictures. They tell a different story. I have run. That is what counts. Looking forward to the next run. When will that be? Where will that be?