Archive for October, 2012

Experiences of My First Half Marathon

October 4, 2012

‘Behind every successfully man there is a woman’ – Saying seems hackneyed but when you achieve something and you look back, you see an army of people who made sacrifices for your success. There are some who contributes a little more than others and mostly they belong to fairer of the two sexes. I would thank my wife who stood by me and helped me in every possible way to achieve the feat of finishing a half marathon in sub 120 minutes.

 

The experience of finishing Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) was awesome undoubtedly. Warm-up for the half marathon started with a session in Max Hospital, Saket where marathon veterans like Sunita Godara and Tanvir Kazmi shared few of their experiences and important tips. All of were quite helpful. I ignored one of them and suffered. It was- ‘Reach the event venue at least 1 hour before the start of event‘. My figures would have been different if I had taken this advice seriously.

 

I had an inkling that certain roads will be closed but never imagined that whole area around Nehru Stadium (Event Venue) will be totally fortified. I reached near Nehru stadium at around 6:20 am and kept on looking for parking for next couple of minutes. Parking was conspicuous by its absence. At around 6:35, I parked my vehicle in a no-parking area at around 1 km from the stadium and rushed towards the venue. Count down for closing the doors of holding area was going on. When I entered it was in between 4 and 3. I had luck to enter the arena at around 7:55 am, almost 15 minutes after the start of the race.There was a huge crowd of runners in front of me which reminded me of traffic jams on Delhi ring road. I was not running at my natural speed due to congestion on the road.

 

Second advice that I neglected was ‘you should not try anything new on race day’. But this advice got a lower precedence over another one which goes down as- ‘If you miss first water station on the race day that is your first mistake’. So drink some water at each water point’. I normally do not drink water while running. I might be surviving long runs without water because I drink nearly 2 litres of it immediately after getting up in morning. That’s a kind of anomaly that works well for me.

 

On race day I stopped at almost each water point on the route till mid way and realized that I am not very comfortable in taking water during running. So on my way back, I skipped many and felt much better.

I finished a race comfortably clocking 1:49:45. Although I had no experience of such a long timed run but I targeted 1:40. My target is not yet achieved and this will keep me desperately looking forward to the next marathon.Nothing can replace once’s own experience, lessons from other’s experience can just speed up your learning process.

 

I never imagined that an activity like running can attract such huge crowd. It was an awesome crowd. People from all age group from different races- African, Asian, White, Brown- people from all walks of life and from around the globe. Flying ladies and gliding aged runners deserves a standing ovation and so do the ‘pacers’ in the event. I got introduced to this term ‘PACER’ very recently. That’s someone who helps other runners to finish the race in within a particular time. Scintillating musical performances by rock bands, cheerleaders, people standing besides road cheering for runners, superb arrangements for water and other refreshments and not to mention the glimpse of elite runners from different countries- These highlights will stay in my memory forever.