When it was announced I was excited. A hill ultra and that too without much of fee involved definitely yes. Then started the process for Javadu Hills Ultra. I would definitely not sign up to run less than 50kms. Ultra is always above 42.2kms, right.
During Chennai Trail Marathon I got to know more information and was definitely attracted. Got myself registered and waited for further information. The second best part came, we get to stay in school. This means no cost for accommodation. And it is an experience to sleep on the bench and stand in the queue to use the toilet.
Few days before the run I decided not to take my jeep but rather public transport. Madiwala (Bangalore) – Hosur – Vaniyambadi – Jamunamarathur – St Joseph School, Athipet. The total travel cost was around 130/- only (TamilNadu buses have the least fare among all public transports in India). Took my bib U002, found a class room put my stuff. Met friends like Jacob and many others, Anup and his two friends cycled all the way from bangalore. In the night I applied some of Himalaya Stress Relief oil.
Late night my sleep was disturbed by the snoring sounds of other runners and of the sound of rain. Rains leave lot of thought, what will happen tomorrow, would it be slippery, would there be pools of water. Also 2days before the run on Friday I had run 16.5kms in my regular run to office. Would my legs cooperate.
Morning around 3:30am finally got up from the bench stood in the queue to use the toilet. Later did some stretches and applied stress relief oil again. My favorite shorts was put back into the bag since the zip for pocket would not work. Got on to my reserve shorts and SAPRoadies tee.
And and and it was raining again. Jacob and myself decided to walk to the start point. Took a leak and walked further only to find entire bunch of runners were following us. We were shocked and surprised and laughed.
Finally by 6:30 the run started. Once out of the school ground it was a down slope on tar road leaving me wonder how I would climb back towards 50kms mark. I was focused on one thing, no walking, no complaining of pain. From the up’s and down’s of tar road after 4kms we moved into the trail. Slush all over couples of places it was slippery and water was flowing across.
Steep up’s were blessing in disguise on the trail since during the return they would just be down slopes and easy to keep the legs moving. I decided on one thing to keep myself hydrated and eat chocolates and bananas so that I do not lose energy and get cramped up. There was lot of loose soil that few kms stretch there were more than 1kg added to my weight. I managed to reach 25kms mark and was still feeling comfortable. On the way towards the point I counted 6 runners returning from 25kms mark, it gave me a little boost that I would be doing all that bad and I have to sustain without losing time and pace.
Then there is something that I have learnt from my runs, lick your own sweat to replenish little bit of salts! And I do that regularly in all events. I took good 2-3mins at each aid station gulped down water, enerzal, choosing what to eat. There was a whole lot to eat, tomatoes, cucumber, sandwich, snickers, chikki, banana, orange and lime. I stayed away from lime since in CTM I felt maybe too much of lime caused acidity during that run.
One thing that I had decided and maintained upward climbs don’t lift head and see the angle of inclination, just look down at your feet and run. I did reduce my pace by the time I was crossing 35kms mark. I finished 33kms in around 3.5hrs. And one thing was strong the moment I start walking it is going to be difficult to start running again. So I continued at same pace, increased a bit during the down slopes. At times I did try to increase the pace in climbs but my hamstring was hurting. I cannot lose out now and behind me there were runners though there was sufficient gap. I had to keep moving. That was the only motto.
Crossed 45kms mark and inched towards tar roads another 4 odd kms to finish line. Once you get on to the tar road its a climb up steadily and I moved up slowly. Stopped at the last aid station had sufficient water, enerzal, picked up few more chocolate pieces and left. No turning back after that the only thing was to finish and finish strong. And there I was in 5hrs36mins.
My third ultra for the year. And a huge improvement in timings from the first one “Run the Rann”. I was happy with myself. The day after the run no pain! All feels good and am moving around without limping. The only tiredness was due to lack of sleep.
Definite scope of improvements are there like reducing the time of halt at aid station, strengthening my hamstring muscles. And I do not like wearing long shorts while running! :)
The best part of this run was the volunteers with their complete enthusiasm and dedication and energy. The food post run which contained potatoes. The one that I love to eat and my taste buds ache for after all the runs. Thanks to Peter and Chennai Trekkers Club and all the runners.
One selfish reason to run CTC conducted runs is there would be loads of photos which could be used for personal use. In no other runs do I find myself in so many photos and in scenic spots!