Bangalore has been gearing up for the Sunfeast World 10k run, so was me. I have only once been part of a marathon, which was the BSNL Bangalore International Marathon on December last year. Believe me, the thrill of running with whole of Bangalore is just amazing. So I didn’t wanted to miss this opportunity.
The registration process was also available online (along with the many drop boxes), which made it really easy to get myself registered by paying Rs. 200/-. The simplicity of the process gave me the first glimpse of what turned to be a truly well organized event.
Training for race day:
After registration it was time to get ready for the real race day. I have done a 10k distance before (including the last marathon), so I knew I could complete it. The fact that most worried me was lack of training for quite some time with my foot injury. So started running over the weekdays in the treadmill of the company gym. Also tried out couple of 10k attempts over the weekend. The first was a failure where I had to stop with severe back pain after just 3 kms of run. I regained some confidence with the completion of the second run, with not much complication. The open 10k run (in which I participated) is scheduled to start @ 9 am. With the current hot weather of Bangalore, it is going to be real tough. I knew the problems I might face, but there is no way I can prepare myself for that. Just decided not to stretch myself by getting carried away by other runners (knowing my limitations).
We had to collect our bib# some days ahead of the race. So left office early on 16th Friday evening for Kanteerva stadium with my office colleague who is also participating in the run. The idea was collecting the bib# much before the race was the sign of a well-planned event. This reduced congestion (due to multiple collection time for multiple days). There was also a fair happening down there in parallel where different sponsors were displaying their products. A surprise for me was a F1 car at the entrance, courtesy Vijay Mallya. The bib collection was at the end of all the stalls (very smart, as you can’t avoid the stalls). We showed our acceptance letter and ID proof to collect our bib#, my bib# is 1420. The number 420 at my chest was not very comforting J. Collected the timing chip with a deposit of Rs. 100/-. We also received a goodie bag, with loads of stuffs (water bottle, biscuits, mints, chips etc.). Well, to be honest I felt the value of the goodie bag was more then the registration fee of Rs. 200/- we paid. The line at the bib# collection counters was also small, thanks to the multiple lines for different ranges of bib#. Detailed information of the race day (route map, locations etc.) was duly attached with the bib# for the convenience of the participants.
Race day, 18th May 2008:
Woke up early then my regular Sunday time. Took bath and got freshened up. I had planned out for a light breakfast the previous night. Prepared some fresh fruit juice and gulped some bananas. Did not want to go there with a heavy stomach, which might create problem while I run. Asked my rommie to drop me at the stadium entrance. Reached the stadium @ 8:10 am. Went directly to gate 12, which was the entrance for the participants with chip. Once in I saw many peoples already gathered there. There were music and entertainment programs going on at the middle of the stadium. Started stretching my muscles and got warmed up for the run. The women world 10k participants were completing their runs, and we all stood up to cheer them up. Unbelievably there was a photo finish by first two women participants. Athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia dominated the top 10 places. This followed the prize distribution ceremony. The times clocked by the winners in 26-27 minutes were just too amazing.
We were asked to line up at the starting line. At exactly 9 am, the run started. I also started with full josh with all the other participants. It was real hot out there and after the halfway mark the heat started to take a toll on me. At one point of time I almost decided to stop running because of getting extremely drained out. My speed reduced quite a bit and I saw peoples overtaking me. What was more frustrating was the seeing the peoples who overtook me which included ladies and senior citizens. I did not wanted to stretch, nor wanted to quit. So kept moving at a steady pace until I hit closer to the finishing line. Reenergized myself for the last 100 meter and gave a final push at least to beat some participants. The clock showed 10:06. I believe I completed the run in 66 minutes with an average speed of ~9 kmph. Will have to wait for the timing certificate to get my official timing. I was dead tired and exhausted from the heat.
Collected my refreshment pack. I was happy to see some bun and biscuits in the pack. Good thinking by the organizers, as at that time I needed them very dearly along with the water. Went to collect the timing certificate. Saw lots of peoples already standing in the queue, suggesting the high completion percentage. The timing certificates were over by that time and organizers asked up to deposit the timing chip, and the certificates will be mailed on a later date. It was time to call up family and friends to inform my completion of the 10k run.
This 10k run was more enjoyable then my previous half-marathon experience for multiple reasons:
- Great organization, easy registration and bib# collection
- The traffic was stopped for all the route, last time there was quite a bit of traffic mess up
- Water stalls were sufficiently available, last time I remember water getting over and I was begging for water from my fellow participants
- Since it was a smaller distance run, huge crowd accompanied me from beginning until the end (minimum drop off’s) and it was fun
- The only dampener for me was the race timing, it started too late (9 am) and the sun was unbearable. The run could be made more comfortable by advancing the race timing.
Added on 27th May:
Received my official timing, it's 1:04:36