I arrived in Mumbai on Sat morning with a colleague of mine, so this was officially the first time I went out of town with someone to run, mostly I am a lone ranger. I was referred to an excellent place to stay by my running friend, Aditya, called Hotel Manama. It is right besides CST on the D. Mello road and a few minutes walk from the starting line at Azad Maidaan. Got my foot size and pronation measured at the Nike and Asics booths. Did a lot of wandering around that day, went to the expo to get the BIB, then to the Gateway for a look, and finally to the Marine drive to catch some sea breeze.
Sunday morning got up by 5:00 am and left the hotel at 5:45 to proceed to the starting point. Met a lot of people from Delhi Runners and Running and Living group there. The 42K runners were given an option to start early at 6:45 with the 21K runners, and needless to say, almost all the non-competitive runners went for that keeping in mind the Mumbai heat. By the time I crossed the starting line, it was already 7:00!
The first 21K for a marathon is just that, the first 21K in which nothing of note happens, you just keep on going, time goes by, and so does the distance. You can probably even close your eyes and think about other things. I was running at an exact pace of 7 min/KM and the 21K took me exactly 2:27, which seemed to suggest a finish of around 5:15 or so. I was running at a 8.5:1.5 strategy, i.e. run 8.5 mins and walk 1.5 mins.
The next 21K was obviously a different story, which can probably be divided into three parts of 7K each. The first one was a very comfortable 7K where I continued with my 8.5:1.5, crossing the Bandra reclamation area U-turn at 26K. The next 7K was a bit tough, and I switched to a 8:2 and then a 4:1 for some time. I am thankful to the people who were giving out bananas, biscuits, water in front of their homes and cheering us on. This “spirit” of Mumbai is difficult to find in any other city of India. I even bought some biscuits and a chilled milk bottle on my way! The last 7K for me was when you feel the true fun of running of the marathon, and without which any marathon is incomplete … the pain. It was just one step in front of another, sometimes walking, sometimes running, and sometimes in between. The Peddar road flyover on the way back resembled a mountain more than a road. Met Aditya at the return Marine Drive section and then we went together all the way to the finish.
The finishing line came at 5:21:57 as per my stopwatch. The medals this time resembled the ones we got at ADHM 2008. After that it was just a rush to get back to the hotel and we were on the train for our return journey.
Start Time (Official/Gun Time): 06:43:17
Start Time (Personal): 06:59:13
Finish Time (Net): 05:21:56
14 Km: 01:55:06 (net 01:39) (pace 7.07/km)
23.2 Km: 02:59:56 (net 2:44) (pace 7.07/km)
32.5 Km: 04:11:16 (net 3:55) (pace 7.23/km)
42.2 Km: 05:37 (net 5:21) (pace 7.63/km)
Last 10Km done at about 9/km!
Next is What … Running and Living Marathon, Gurgaon (Feb 22nd).