(Photo courtesy: www.marathon-photos.com)
After a long time I completed a Marathon without dropping out. In 2010, I did not run a single Marathon except Ultra which was a disaster. I was more than determined to restart my running with Mumbai and not to drop out.
On Saturday 15th January 2011 by evening my throat was in a bad shape. I was finding it difficult to speak still continued talking. I took few strepsils to clear my throat but I think they made it worse.
16th January 2011, my throat felt better but difficulty in talking was still there. No time to drop out. 6:15am started the run with others who were not aspiring for prize and were amateurs. I was running at decided pace and not exerting myself too much in the first half. Things looked fine. By 7:30am I started cramping up. Due to lack of energy reserves in body I needed to eat something from getting cramped up. Luckily my bro Shyam, was running in front and I never lost sight of him. I went to him and took the additional nutri-bar that he had. Ate half. Kept the rest in my hand. By 8:30am, I was nearing the 21kms mark and was happy that things were going as planned. A 4.5hrs finish looked very probable at this time. I had conserved all my energy for the last 10 odd kms.
Then the inevitable happened. My throat was getting from bad to worse. Stomach was cramping up further. Finished the remaining nutri-bar. The only good thing I was doing this time was to keep drinking water at regular intervals. It did help a lot.
The stomach cramps was getting more frequent. Whoever offered biscuits I shamelessly took 4 from them. Those biscuits, continuous water intake did help. I was also afraid that if I exert too much, it could lead to coughing and maybe pull out from the run. I started walking a bit. Cooled down my body then again combined walking with running. I was at sealink by this time. It should be awesome sight to be there early in the morning or early in the evening to watch the sun go down. But not at 8:45 – 9:00am when you are fully exposed to the sun and the humidity. At that time I thought my finish would be worse this time, maybe 6.5hrs. Then by 33kms, I started running without stopping, though at a far lesser pace but better than walking. The other factor that was bothering me was the irritation on my neck. I had got bad rashes few days earlier due to mix of sweat and heat.
It was tough to overcome all these but I did not want to be mocked at on halting in another marathon half-way. The other factor is how to get back to start point if I drop mid-way? The only solution is to run & finish.
A big thanks to those who handed out Parle-G biscuits. A kid who gave me Enerzal energy drink. Those who clapped and encouraged which made me decide against walking.
While the spirit of Mumbaites is awesome. I have never seen such a spirit by residing people in other cities where I have run.
One thing I always wonder is, is there any shade in Mumbai. It seems to be a city bereft of trees. There were few instances when I was running under trees. Mumbai needs more greenery.
Congrats to fellow runners from Chennai Runners, RFL and from elsewhere on completing.