Its that time of the year again; when I am reminded and write about my annual sports achievements, reliving those challenging moments in my mind, and sharing the happiness of my success with my readers. Forming those thoughts after this gap of few months helps me set apart the fantacies and elated emotions from the facts :)
It was the morning of 16th January, 2011 when participants from all over the world ran for a cause, a belief, a goal... The Standard Chartered Marathon 2011 flagged its 11,000 Half-Marathon participants at 6:15 am IST and announced the start of the races for the day. We were to start from the holding area at Bandra Reclamation and reach Victoria Terminus which made it a total distance of 21.029 kms.
My heart pounded reverberantly as the countdown for the race began. Running over the artistically constructed Bandra-Worli Sea Link was thrilling and the beautiful sunrise added to its pleasure.
There were water and sport drink pitstops where we could hydrate ourselves. Also, the emergency medical units by Asian Heart Institute, mobile toilets, and Relispray units added to the comfort of the runners. We were accompanied by media reporters, doctors and encouraging residents all throughout the route. Some excited and enthusiastic veteran runners kept motivating the newbies to keep enjoying the run as we kept time.
The moist zone at 10 kms mark was refreshing. It kept us cool for the later part of the run;Chowpatty, Marine lines- when the sun was right on top of our heads. I was banking on the 3hr pacer lead by Venkat, which they had introduced this year to complete the race. He was the confidence pill for me as the race day approached, but I managed to complete it before him and his gang!
I was prepared for the Peddar Road stretch from the previous year's experience of the Gold's Gym Cycle Race... The uphill was the most challenging part of the race for me... It was timely that the Kenyan and the Ethiopian Marathon Runners passed by, because that really pumped up our energy seeing them sprint across the road. Residents at Worli Sea Face, Peddar Road offered lime juice, and glucose biscuits as they encouraged us runners to keep it up...
The past 3-4 month's resistive practice on the sand had prepared me enough to cover the road stretch of 18 kms. The tempo, the group I was running with, the crowd and seeing my enthusiastic, fun, and loving family at Churchgate cheered me up to reach the finish line with full zeal and energy... Finally, I managed to complete the race in 2:58:29 net time, enabling myself for a AIMS recognized timing certificate.
It wouldn't have been possible without the support, and prayers, of my dearest family and friends, the educative seminar of Asian Heart Institute; where I learnt to recognize the needs of my body, and the confidence pill.