Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mind over Matter – Finishing Bangalore Ultra 75KM Marathon! (Updated)

A 75Km Ultra Marathon proved to be one of the biggest challenges I had encountered till date. The physical and mental exhaustion and the pain were indeed beyond comprehension and nowhere near what I had ever imagined. The trail was demanding; the route with multiple uphills and downhills was uneven, and adding to the misery the sun was out in full force. A killer muddy trail that made sure I drew on that last ounce of energy and will power to complete it. But the finish was sweeter because of the fact that I had hardly prepared for it - absolutely no practise, and also the fact that I proved to myself that I had the determination to finish it no matter what. Persevering relentlessly for 11 hours to finish it gives me the utmost satisfaction and the confidence to overcome obstacles. A feeling of ‘ecstasy’ has engulfed me: a feeling that cannot be described in words - just has to be experienced.


Couple of years back when I registered for my first half marathon I thought that was the longest distance I would ever run. But like everything else in life you always want to look ahead and achieve the next bigger thing. That’s what made me attempt my first Full Marathon (42.2Km). But never in my wildest dreams had I ever contemplated on running an Ultra marathon (distances greater than 42.2Km).


Couple of weeks back when I came to know that I was not going to Athens to run the ‘Athens Marathon’, one of my friends suggested me to participate in this Bangalore Ultra event. It so happened that it was the last day for registration and the adrenaline push that came by looking at the distance made me go ahead and register for it (despite the high Rs1700 registration fee!). I had not even prepared for a Marathon let alone an Ultra Marathon. But it didn’t matter because I hardly knew what it would take to run Ultra distances! People supposedly train 3 to 6 months for Ultras. But I didn’t worry too much as my plan was pretty simple - the idea was to keep running.


The event was held this Sunday - 14th November, and the start time for 75km/100km was 5AM. One of the best things that happened was my friend Karthik volunteered to accompany me for the event. I couldn’t have asked for better moral support. As the race drew longer his presence throughout those 11 excruciating hours was a major motivating factor and at the end of it he even ran the last lap with me. He was the support system, chauffer and photographer all rolled into one. Just goes to show the importance of having proper support system to achieve success, especially when you are trying something out of ordinary.


We got up at 3AM, got ready and were off to Hesserghatta (location of the resort where the marathon was held). After some difficulty in finding the resort we managed to reach the venue at 4.55. So I had to literally sprint to the start line. Sharp 5AM the event started and I was off without having an iota of idea till when I would run. I knew I could finish 42km without much fuss but I took special care not to run fast. Conserving energy and maintaining the body so that there are no cramps was the key to sustain oneself for those long arduous hours.


Each lap was about 12.5km around the resort that was mainly grasslands with hardly any tree cover. The trail was muddy and had multiple slopes. The route would have been excellent to cover had it not been for the fact that I was running and the sun was blazing. My timings for each lap gradually reduced from 1.25 hours the first lap to about two hours by the time I finished the last lap.


The middle laps were the most painful as it was in the afternoon with the sun at its peak, and your mind playing games with you and asking you all sorts of questions. Your legs stop obeying you, the pain becomes unbearable and the communication between the brain and the leg becomes non-existent. You decide to run for 120 seconds before the next break (read walking), but by the time the countdown reaches 90 you would be already walking. After another couple of laps you will reach a stage where even though the brain decides that its time to run the rest of the body would be on strike and would fail to just takeoff. Overcoming these things is what makes a true marathon runner and what gives you true happiness at the end of it.


The 6 laps of 12.5Km each totaling to 75Km took me about 10Hours 57Minutes at a rate of approximately 7Kmph.


Running the distance of my life and tasting success while doing so makes this experience truly overwhelming, the pain worthwhile, and my determination, will power and persevering abilities stronger. An experience of a lifetime compressed in those 11 hours.



PS: Rest of the photos can be found here… Photos courtesy Karthik.


Update: My official timings is as below..Ranked 6th with an over all timings of 10 hours, 54 minutes...

Bib Name Gender Category Rank Category-Rank Net-Time

7001 Dilip Adiga G V Male Open 6 5 10:54:08:85


22 comments:

Krishna said...

Soooooooooooooooooooooooper !!
I don't know what else to say, after all the running that u've done :p

Keep going..err.. I mean keep running :D

Pratibha said...

Super! :) Well done...:)

dilip said...

@krishna & Pratibha: Thanks..:)

Harish said...

Excellent achievement!!! So next 100 KM??? :D May be plan it after 2 years il try to join you :)

dilip said...

@Harish: 100 km?!? Only insane people run 100Km..:D

Sagar said...

Phenomenal rank and time. You are indeed a 'super'man.

dilip said...

@Sagar: hehe..Thanks..:)

Rajesh Goli said...

Super maga :)
I wouldn't be surprised if you ran from here to Mysore one of these days :)

Divya Pavoor said...

Dilip- You delight me.God bless you.

dilip said...

@Goli:
Thanks..
hehe..yella ok, Mysore yake? ;)
Dude, running to Mysore is insane - which i am not..:)

@Divya:
Thanks a lot for those words.

Srinivas said...

Just one word. GREAT !

Only insane run 100KM ? So did you think about 42 and 75. Didn't you ? :)

dilip said...

@Srini:
Thanks..:)
Yes..But 100Km is just too much..:)

Pratibha said...

Just another 2 laps Dilip!;)

dilip said...

@Pratibha:
Thanks..:) If every two laps i say that to myself then even 100km seems pretty small..;)

Ashwini said...

ranked 6th..wow! Too good da.. wish i had half the mental strength (not to run though :) ).
why don't you start another service- all about marathons for dummies..how to train, where they happen, what you need..etc. I can bet you'll have quite a few opting for it..

dilip said...

@Ashwini:
Thanks..:)
And Yes, that thought came to my mind after the recent Ultra Marathon..But it involves too much of time and effort i thought..:)

Deepthi said...

Ranked 6th ..simply too good !! 1 of our treats can get cancelled :)

dilip said...

@Deeps: Thanks...But I thought by now the count would have anyway got overflowed and reset back to zero..no? :D Thats how many treats are pending from your side..:)

Divya A L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dilip said...

@Divya: Thanks..:)
Though i dont like the new christening /extension of my name..:)

Ketan - www.ketans.com said...

Awesome is the only word... congratulations...

Ketan - www.ketans.com said...

Congratulations...Amazing feat...keep it up..