Monday, May 12, 2008

Run Maadi in the Sunfeast Marathon

Ever since I took part in the Mumbai Marathon in 2006 and failed to complete it, I have been waiting to take part in another marathon and complete the experience. The Sunfeast Marathon which is going to be held in Bangalore this May 18th will give me just the chance and I am so looking forward to it (my body is up in arms and would write something different, given a chance)

To me, the word marathon means something which is going to involve a lot of effort, oohs and aahs and a pain in the butt. The dictionary however defines it as
1. a foot race over a course measuring 26 miles, 385 yd = 42 km, 195 m
2. any long-distance race
3. any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance

The Sunfeast World 10K Marathon is being held on May 18th 2008 at Bangalore. It is not a marathon in the true sense as the longest distance is 10 kms. The good part is that only international and national elite athletes can take part in this category so I can always pretend that - 'I wanted to do the 10k run yaar but they wouldn't let me'. For atheletes (ahem) like me, there is a another category called Majja Run which is a distance of 5.7 kms. Couple of things struck me as comical - do the organisers really think we are going to have a lot of majja (fun) while running this distance? Also, the qualifying criteria is 12 years. Man, it is going to be pissing off if a bunch of kids run past me waving and shouting 'Uncle, Uncle'. There is also a Sr. Citizens’ Run and Wheelchair Event. Overall, I am getting good vibes about it as they have a pretty decent website - They have online registration and once I registered they have sent me a couple of mails updating me on the event.

The Mumbai Marathon had an awesome turnout. One of the main attractions was and continues to be the celebrities who come to support the event. Also, the sheer number of people makes you feel great, like you are one big city and all about to do something. There are people stretching, chatting, nervously wondering if they are gonna complete the race, giving each other fundas of what to do and what not to do. I was alone and hence spent my time people watching. The race kicked off and immediately my shoes began giving me problems. The laces kept getting unknotted and I had to constantly stop to tie them up. After about 2 kms, my legs started paining unbearably and I stopped running. After walking about two minutes, I cam upon a pocket of residents cheering on the sidelines. I felt so ashamed that these people were out there cheering each and everybody on and I WAS WALKING!! I started running again but my legs gave out. So after that, whenever I came to a pocket of supporters, I would start running. I saw the same spirit of Bombay folks when the big rains happened in Jul 06. The city people were out there providing food and help, sometimes standing waist high in water. What a city, man!!!

Coming back to the Sunfeast Marathon, the Majja run category starts at 9.45 a.m. The weather has been pretty hot over the past two weeks and that will make it tougher to run. The good thing is part of it will be through Cubbon Park. Most of the info is available on the site but there are a couple of cool things such as
Timing Chip - This is a high-tech internationally recognized timing device. It is a miniature transponder in a specially designed housing. It comes with a refundable deposit of Rs 500 on return. Alas, the Majja Rum guys cannot avail of this - these guys stand around and take your photo while running. Later, you can click on the event you raced in and enter your race number. Any photos identified with your race number will be displayed. Woo-hoo.
Best Costume Award - It is being given by Kingfisher. The best individual costume gets Rs 30000 and the best group gets Rs 75000.
For some interesting trivia, please check out Be warned, some of the trivia might put you off from ever taking part or at the least, agree that my definition is more apt.

So, I have started training. I have gone 5 times and have done the Majja run distance once. I feel I will complete it this time except for an Act of God. The downside is people have started telling me that I am looking thinner than ever. Jealousy rears its ugly head heh. Who da chicks gonna be looking at eh? Also, Gatorade has run out of stock in my part of town. I think someone is plotting against me. So if you can grab a case and you are in Bangalore, do come and be a part of this. It will be fun, for sure.


Matt said...

An update on the race - There was a huge amount of participation and lots of positive energy. However, there was hardly any crowd cheering us on. Kudos to the people who stood on the side and encouraged us. Also, the whole scenario was a bit chaotic. The event crew were very few and vague about the race. There was no guidance as to where to go and what to do.

Overall, it is a great feeling. The finish line enclosure was buzzing and totally alive. It is worth it and you should take part next year.

ViSa said...
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ViSa said...

Thanks for visiting my site. The Kaveri Marathon and the Bangalore Ultra are events organized by Runners For Life (RFL).. In case if you have not heard about them, visit

Apart from conducting such events, they also organize runs in and around Bangalore every fortnight. There are also lots of area wise groups within RFL where people catch up and run regularly.

I have been associated with group for the last 3 months and trust me, it has been a wonderful experience to meet like minded people.

Hoping to see you in one of the runs and Happy Running!