Home > Important_Day, Running > Dec 5, 2010 – Sunday: My longest run ever! :-)

Dec 5, 2010 – Sunday: My longest run ever! :-)

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I hadn’t blogged in Smoking Runners for a long time, but I simply got to write about Shahid’s ultra – the Madras to Mahabalipuram 48k run – which we did on Sunday morning. I took 5:45 to finish that – my longest in terms of both distance and time. 🙂

The Shahid’s ultra had been on the cards for sometime now, but it had really kicked into action about 10 days back. A whole bunch of us (Ram, Shahid, Shahid’s friend Paul Bennet, Ramesh Sesh, Senthil, Sree Kumar – more on him later, Ramani, Balaji, Neville, Rahul Nandi – who I hadn’t met, Anandhaselvan – and me) had planned to do 50k starting from Dimensions. Another bunch, about 5 of them mainly from Anna Nagar were joining in at VGP and planning to run 35k, and a couple were joining at the Toll gate gunning for a 30k. 

Woke up at 2:30, picked Balaji up at 3 from Nandanam signal and got to Dimensions by 3:15. There were a bunch of people already there. We waited for a while for Shahid’s aid van to arrive but it didn’t turn up, and so we dumped our bags in Shahid’s CRV, told his driver what to do and set off at 3:50 or so.

Was running with Shahid, Balaji and Ramani doing a 5:1 RW as usual – with the plan being to shift down to 4:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1 every hour. :-).

First hour was fine and it was great running with these guys. Slowly started drizzling just around that time, and we were really enjoying that bit. We were in fact hoping that it would continue that way right through because it was so soothing,  but soon it was just bucketing down – a proper heavy, downpour that drenched every bit of us, including the socks and shoes which just became totally soggy. The rain eased off around the 24-25k mark, and I took that chance to dive into the van and change my shoes and socks (I was the only over-analytical runner who had thought of the rain possibility and bought an additional pair of shoes and socks and put that into the aid van) – and that helped a lot. I seriously have no idea how the others did the entire run on wet, heavy shoes, soggy socks and blistered feet. Just that 7-8k in wet socks was bad enough for me.

On the aid van – We should call that a relief van and they did a super job. As usual, the van would go to the 1st runner, park there and then hold station till the last runner had passed, and then would go driving up to the first runner again. We were in the middle of the pack and so got benefited  the most :-). The van was packed with Gatorade, GU Gels, bananas, water, 5-star, medical kit (bandaid, volini etc) etc. Awesome stuff – all courtesy Shahid.

Shahid dropped back to give some instructions out to the van; Ramani sir dropped back as well; Bharghav (who was part of the VGP 35k gang) joined us for the last 15k or so – but it was Balaji and me all the way. Balaji was just simply great. He is such a character! Has a super head on his shoulders, well informed, always has an opinion and is fearless in expressing it. Irreverence doesn’t begin to describe him. And, he is a great runner. Fantastic company and I don’t think I would have finished if not for him running beside me.

The run itself was beautiful. There was this patch where we had lovely pictures on both sides, massive gusty winds but thankfully pushing us along. If we had sails, we would have flown – bloody strong winds with us – it was a massive boost at that time, around the 32-36k mark. It was then, that the light drizzle which we had wanted started as well – so the weather was perfect. It was 8 o’ clock or thereabouts, but felt like 6! :-). We were extremely tired already, but just about everything worked in our favor right there. The weather was absolutely perfect right through. The sun never came out and it never got hot. Brilliant running weather.

We were on a 2:1 by then, and 38-42 was just spent on getting to the Marathon distance before the 5 hour mark – which we did. We got to 42.2 in 4:58. Slow, but we were elated anyway. We cut to a 1:1 and that euphoria kept pushing us right through – we knew that every step more was the longest we had ever done – just that feeling was fantastic.

Got to Mahabs and the last 1k or so inside Mahabs to find the hotel (Hotel Butterball, a new small hotel just behind Nilgiris) was a little painful :-), but it was still great. Finished exactly 48k in 5:45. Time was close to 9:45 in the morning.

There were a bunch of them who had already finished (Ram, Neville, Senthil, Sreekumar and Bharghav who had gone ahead ) when Balaji and I crawled over.

Shahid had thought of everything – there was a big block of ice, buffet breakfast waiting and 4 rooms had been rented for us to shower and change! Bags arrived from the van as if on cue – and so it was just great. Tucked into a big breakfast (Masala dosa, sandwich, omelette and juice), showered and changed.

But, it was already 10:30 and I had to get out of there in a hurry because I had promised that I would be back on time for my son’s friends B’day party at 11:30. There was no way I can join the rest of the jingbang, which from the looks of it, was going to take at least another hour to get going.

Thankfully, Sreekumar was leaving then. He had a couple of friends who had driven down just to pick him up (he was not aware of the van pick-up) and I was about to hitch a ride with them. Those 3 were just a fun bunch! Unbelievable and totally surprised me with their tales. What was even more unbelievable was Sreekumar who had started running just 8 months back when his weight touched 100 kgs – he had finished the 48k in around 5:30; had done the Bangalore ultra 50k in just over 6 hours, and now weighs around 78 kgs! There is more – He eats only curd rice, speaks Tamil that is dripping in Iyer-speak but drinks about 2-3 times a week. Same goes for his friends – their idea of carbloading is to drink about 4 pegs of brandy the night before a 15k. Don’t ask – I didn’t understand either. :-). But the ride was super fun – and I got to Dimensions by 11:30 and Boatclub by 11:40!

My legs were sore, but surprisingly not terrible, and I was able to walk around a bit without looking like a cripple.

What a great run! 🙂

Categories: Important_Day, Running
  1. saro
    December 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    can u hear an echo, hat a GREAT RUN!! thats me!!truely unbeleivable, kudos to u, keep it up!!

  2. karthikpadmanabhan
    December 7, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Thank you Momski! 🙂

  1. June 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

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