Monthly Archives: July 2015

BNP Endurathon-2015

Held on: 18, July 2015

Location: Borivali National Park, Borivali East

Race Categories: 12.5K and 25k

Toilet Facilities: At frequent Intervals

Rating Sample Size: 225+

Women Friendly: 69% voted women friendly, 29% voted neutral

The BNP Endurathon terrain has been rated as tough. The 25km race involves doing the same loop twice. This year the absence of any rains ensured a higher suffer score. Even some experienced runners and pacers failed in meeting their target time.

The scenic route winds from the beginning of the Borivali National park all the way up the hill to Kanheri Caves. 87% of the participants described the route as scenic and panoramic.

The organisers also conducted a Running Matters Workshop and a complimentary post race leg massage for the runners which was greatly appreciated by over 85% of the participants.

The organisers should consider using another timing service provider for future editions.

The ratings below are only for both the 12.5Km and the 25Km race. The goal of the rating system is to enable you are a runners to have a fair idea of what to expect when signing up for a race.  We have also kept the scoring specific to Pre-race, Race and Post Race activities.

Last but not the least the ratings are based on survey filled by participants of the Race. The  ratings are based on a total score of 10 (10 being the best).  A score of 8 and above makes the race an excellent one. If you haven’t voted so far feel free to put in your votes in the comments section.

Should you run when you are sick?

We runners hate missing our workouts. More often than not we try to make-up a missed workout or do the next run even harder.

However there are days when we fall sick. This brings up a lot of questions.  Should I still train or attempt that race? Will I lose my fitness if I don’t run? Should I take some medication and continue with my run?

In many cases a serious runner would think of more reasons to run than not too. And sometimes a bad decision results in disaster.

A general rule followed in case of sickness is called the “neck rule”. Symptoms below the neck like chest cold, bronchial infection, body aches means you should avoid training. While a running nose, sneezing do not pose a significant risk. Of course a fever means no running at all.

For more please refer to this link.

Ashok Someshwar



  1. How did your initiation into running happen? And when?

I was always interested in outdoor sports, but could not follow any sports early in life due to family finances and consequently the focus being only education. I grew up in a modest one room tenement in the housing board colony of Tilak Nagar, Chembur. However whenever schools used to shut for vacations,   I along with my building boys used to run a couple of kilometres early morning. Later on once I started working, I got seriously hooked into hiking and rock climbing and as a part of strengthening the legs, I used to run around 5 kms every weekend. I was always in awe of athletes and especially the distance runners, and used to keenly watch such events on TV. I wanted to run distances, but could not sum up the guts to venture into it.

008Then the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon happened and I so much wanted to be a part of the event, but still could not muster enough courage to register myself. Then one fine day in July 2005, the cloudburst happened in Mumbai which left us stranded in office for a day. The next day I trekked from my office at Prabhadevi to my home in Chandivali a distance of approximately 20kms in a little over 4 hours. That is when I realised that running/ walking a half marathon within that time was a feasible option. I started training from the next month, mostly on the Eastern Express Highway, initially 5-10 kms and gradually scaled the same to 20km. However as luck would have it, 15 days before the race I pulled a hamstring and was doubtful of completing the race, but with a bit of physiotherapy and painkillers and a lot of guts I finished the Standard Chartered Mumbai half marathon of January, 2006 in 2:35 mins. Thus began my long association with running.

  1. What was the reason you got into running?

I don’t think there was any specific reason for getting into running apart from being fit and building up endurance for my long treks. However once bitten by the bug, now I run more for the joy of running and exploring the limits that I can push. One of the joys of running is the amazing amount of friends that I have accumulated. The kind of love and affection that I have got over the years is hard to describe and put down on paper. It is an experience.

  1. What was your initial experience when you started running in Mumbai in terms of weather, people’s response the roads, traffic and crowds?

I have been fortunate at not having any adverse experiences even initially, apart from the fact that I was alone on the roads running, and would sometimes meet some people who were out for walks. Initially dogs were a bother, but looks like most of them have got used to runners now. I have been born and brought up in Mumbai, and hence the weather never really bothered me. However with serious training now, I realise that one has to take it easy during summers. Therefore now summers are the off season training days where I concentrate more on heart rate based slow runs and on improving the form. Being an avid trekker, I thoroughly enjoy running in the rains and in the winter. As regards crowd behavior, sometimes earlier I had experienced young boys calling out of vehicles and making fun, but that’s probably their way of enjoyment and I leave it at that. But in recent times, I have seen that people look at runners with a lot of respect.

  1. How did you hear about Bandra NCPA monthly run? Any memorable or funny moments?

It was somewhere in 2009, when Saurabh a friend asked me if I was interested in coming to Borivali National Park on a Sunday for a 10k run. I agreed, and it turned out that Giles Drego, whom I met for the first time there, had initiated the run to introduce people to running. One thing lead to another and a group was formed on the Runners For Life web page. This led to many local running groups being formed, like the Run Run Run, Mumbai Marathon Runners, Navi Mumbai Runners, and Bandra runners ( I forget the group name). 015This is where Giles, Ram, Milton, myself and few others got together and started organizing events like the BNP Half Marathon, which ran for three consecutive years. Milton was instrumental in starting the Bandra NCPA run as a training route for all those training for the SCMM, since the route was the same. Hence I was a part of the initial runs itself, though I cannot recollect the dates. Each of these runs have been memorable and runners from far and wide across Mumbai have participated all along. Hence it has truly become a melting pot of runners. It will be difficult to single out a moment out of so many treasured moments, but the ones that stand out are the runs with Kothandapani Sir and Barefoot Ted. Both awesome runners. The chit chats, the cheering at the finish, and the jokes and camaraderie, and above all the breakfast at the Irani restaurants all sum up to make the Bandra NCPA runs so awesome. The Anniversary runs also have been very memorable, with the cakes and celebrations.

  1. A word on your association with Mumbai Road Runners and Bandra-NCPA run

I have been associated with Mumbai Road Runners since its earlier avatar Mumbai marathon Runners and we have organized so many events, in which I have had some part to play, though the lions share of all the efforts were always by Ram, Milton, Giles and few others. Hence my association with the Bandra NCPA runs have also been since its inception. These monthly runs have a special place in my heart as we all started the fire! A run not to be missed for anytime if one is in Mumbai. Let the cheers and the tribe of selfless volunteers increase, for they are the life of the Bandra NCPA runs.

Khushru Patel


  1. How did your initiation into running happen? And when?                                                

When I was 47 years old a friend’s son brought me a form for a race which was to happen within 10 days.  The distance was 10 Kmts.   He made me sign the form and he got me my race bib etc.  I came 10th in that veteran race and the prize money I got was Rs.100/-.  This is what gave me the incentive to get into serious running.  All this was sometime way back in 1986.

  1. What was the reason you got into running?

As I came 10th in my first race with only 4 outings before the race as the 5th outing was the race itself – gave me the confidence to take up the sport as I felt that with constant practice I could be a winner.

  1. What was your initial experience when you started running in Mumbai in terms of weather, people’s response the roads, traffic and crowds?
  • As far as the weather is concerned, I am from Mumbai and did the weather did not have much impact on me as I was used to the climatic condition.
  • People’s response was varied.  When on practice some cheered and some jeered – matara matara.  Some youngsters would stop the car next to me and asked me “Uncle you want to race” laugh and zoom off.
  • The roads are pathetic.  Pot holes can damage an athlete’s foot and slows you down as you are constantly looking down to evade these.
  • As far as the crowds are concerned in race conditions, they always cheer which give you a high to push yourself.
  • One has to be cautious of the traffic on normal practice runs.   However, on race runs it depends how well the organizers have made traffic arrangements.


  1.  How did you hear about Bandra NCPA monthly run? Any memorable or funny moments?

Through running buddies, I think Milton Frank who put me on to it.   There are quite a few moments that I will cherish.  There is Bhaskar Desai who always makes people laugh with his antics.  So does Cowboy Kavin.   The camaradie between runners is fantastic.

  1.  A word on your association with Mumbai Road Runners and Bandra-NCPA run.

I try to join them whenever I can if in town.  I look forward to these runs every month.  What is more you can meet the new runners most young and some not so young.


Dr. Nipa Diwanji Sheth

Time to say good bye to our beloved Runner, Dentist and excellent Dancer. Sadly this was her last MRR run with us as a runner and volunteer. She’s headed back to the States and we wish her all the best. So here’s to Nipa!

NipaProfile1. How did your initiation into running happen? And when?
I started to run in 2004 following the birth of my first child, a daughter.
While I was in California, I was the President of a non profit dance troupe that raised funds for various charities. One such organization was Asha for Education. I was extremely impressed with the great work they did wrt children’s education in India and learnt about their marathon training program.
I joined their non-profit marathon training group and helped raise funds for them.
I ran my first half and my first full marathon then in beautiful Hawaii under their guidance.
I took a break from running after the birth of my second child for a year and then restarted soon thereafter.

2. What was the reason you got into running?
Multiple reasons.
One, a desire to help kids. I had a beautiful baby girl… first. Motherhood had given me a center and focus in my life that I never had before. It had made me want for a better world, and it had made me more committed to the future than ever before. What better way to celebrate the birth of my daughter than to try and help other children in the world who are less fortunate than she might be. My daughter would never know what it is to not have the means to a good education and if I could ensure that even one other child could get there then I could truly celebrate her birth.
Secondly, in some small way if I could be her role model in addition to being a parent then that’s an additional bonus. Apart from good values, the one thing I hope to share with my children is the ability to set ambitious goals and work hard towards achieving them throughout life.
(This was one big reason I prepared for and performed my Arangetram at age 44 too…something teenagers do)!
Since 2004 until now, I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with running. Motherhood, dentistry and dance took center stage in my life and running took backstage. However, I’m slowly getting back into long distance running because I love everything it has to offer…the camaraderie, the high-after and the cardio-vascular fitness.

3. What was your initial experience when you started running in Mumbai in terms of weather, people’s response the roads, traffic and crowds?
Mumbai’s running group is amazingly friendly. They welcome and encourage everyone regardless of speed or distance they can run.
The weather is tough to handle but I guess that’s what makes our runners here truly remarkable! It’s much harder to run under these tough conditions, be it weather, pollution or traffic and that’s what makes them tougher than the rest.
Road conditions are great during the early mornings but later can be tough, given the traffic, heat and humidity.

One thing I’d like to add here… While I was in the US, I noticed that a lot of runners raise funds for various charities. They and their friends and families pledge an amount they will donate per mile run. I would love to see Mumbai adopt this. In whatever small or big way it can. There are runners who buy charity bibs here but it’s not the same. Raising funds for charities involves helping spread the word for that particular charity which goes a longer way than simply buying a charity bib. I don’t wish to preach but it would be good for society in general and our running community to be more involved in social projects 🙂

4. How did you hear about Bandra NCPA monthly run? Any memorable or funny moments?
I met a fellow mom from my kids’ school then who was training for the Goa half, when I first relocated back to india. Through her, I met other runners and then learnt about the Bandra NCPA runs. What a great concept! To bring runners together along a route which they would be running on during the Mumbai marathon 🙂
My most memorable moments were when I met runners who were legends in their own rights. I had a small party at my place and had asked people to invite a few runners. I met some of my closest runner friends at that time and have established very close bonds through these years.
The tough Pedder Rd hill and the feeling of jubilation once it is crossed, the cheers of fellow runners near NCPA, the chit-chat and photo sessions after, the cool down stretches and breakfast at Kayani following the run are etched in my memory.

5. A word on your association with Mumbai Road Runners and Bandra-NCPA run
This group has a lot to offer for new and established runners in terms of resources and advice. The runs every month are very well organised and help everyone get into the groove of things before the main event aka SCMM. I would strongly recommend anyone in Mumbai who wishes to take up running whether for short distances or for long ones, to join the group and learn and share.
Running is a very social sport. The Bandra-NCPA runs help runners to strengthen the friendships and improve on their running while having fun in the process.
Also, it is great to see the selflessness among runners during these runs. Volunteers who step forward to help by giving out water and food and photographers who help preserve these wonderful memories created.

Giles Drego

May, typically an offseason period for all us runners. The heat and humidity in Mumbai is what most of us describe as killing. Most of us get into maintenance mode and run minimal distances just to keep our fitness levels in check. However there are some runners who look upon this month as a challenge. They throw aside all reasoning and log phenomenal mileages. Well, 512.23kms to be precise. Meet Giles Drego, a runner and coach who needs no introduction. The King from the Queen of the Suburbs!

gilesprofile1. How did your initiation into running happen? And when?
On my First Race Day there wasn’t much crowd; hardly any cheering as in today’s day and age; but towards the finish there was ‘some’ cheering and ‘some’ crowd, all looking on, as we runners tried our Best to sprint the last 100 or 200 mtrs to the finish. The crowd looked on in Awe as at that time not many people ran. We were looked upon as “really fit guys”. And those finishing the Half in 2hrs or there abouts were considered like “hey these guys are really good”. It was certainly a heady feeling of Joy and Pride, Achievement and we Danced Right There at the Finish Line (that doesn’t happen now though”.

I remember the 2007 HM clearly. The road opened out to free running within 200mtrs unlike today, where in the SCMM HM one has to push, jostle, elbow and zig zag his way through for almost 4-5k before one finds enough space to run freely.

 2. What was the reason I got into running??
By age 50 I was overweight and couldnt run at all. Even to Walk to the nearest Bus Stop was an arduous task. I would think “in my late 20s I was so much in such good shape, was toned an fit” and “now I am 50+ an Look at how I have become”

So one fine day, on 3rd Nov, 2006 wen I was 50+ I decided to run and get back in shape, get fit an toned like I used to. I decided “I must do the marathon”. In running, exercising and training, I knew I would get fit.

 3. What was your initial experience when you started running in Mumbai, in terms of weather, people’s response, the roads, traffic and crowds?
As I started training from November 2006, the weather was not hot. It was Cool weather to train in an I didn’t have any problems running from November to Race Day in January. Later on, in the summer months it was almost No Training as summer months were too hot to train. Today, however,  quite a few runners train even in the hot summer months.

After the summer months passed an the monsoons began, training would re-start an I would train by running in the rain.

Initially people would wonder why I was running so much. Many thought I was crazy to run so much. My family too thought I ran too much an they all wondered whether it would tell on my health.

Roads and traffic though didn’t bother me too much as I ran in my vicinity where there wasn’t much traffic and the road was good.

Running in other parts of the city was and Is tricky. On coming traffic is a hazard the runner has to face whenever he runs on crowded roads and I always was at risk of being knocked down. But running on the side of the roads is how I just about managed.

Running on crowded roads was and Is a problem even to this day. I continue to face the ire of slow moving vehicles, honking and drivers even giving me ‘gaalis’ on one side and on the other side when I would run on the pavement, people

4. How did I hear about the Bandra-NCPA monthly run?? 
Hahahaha!! I didn’t hear about the Bandra-NCPA run — I Started it (along with Ram Venkataraman and Milton Frank). We were then on the Runners for Life (RFL) site and I had my own group there by name ‘Run Mumbai Run’ where many runners followed my tips, msgs, chats, discussions on running. Milton Frank too had his own group RFL by name ‘Bandra Runners’. Milton came up with the idea that we run from Bandra to NCPA and thats how this Bandra-NCPA run was born. Ram, Milton, myself an 2 or 3 others ran the First Bandra-NCPA run. We later promoted this Bandra-NCPA run on RFL.

I don’t remember any funny or awkward moments in the Bandra-NCPA run. But some memorable runs were certainly there.

We once called Kothandapani Sir all the way from Bangalore to grace one of our Anniversary Runs and we paid for his airfare to and fro.

I must Mention, at that time, we had a few notable volunteers like Mumtaz Querishi, Laxminarayan Iyer (Mani), who arranged for water an bananas at the finish. Anand (Ram’s brother) got Gatorade to sponsor energy drink. Ram and myself helped in other activities.

Another very memorable Bandra-NCPA run was when the Great Ted McDonald (a.k.a Barefoot Ted and who features in the book Born to Run) came and ran the Bandra-NCPA run with us.

We honoured Barefoot Ted by cutting a chocolate cake made in the shape of a Bare Foot.

5. A word on your association with Mumbai Road Runners and Bandra-NCPA run.
I am associated with Mumbai Road Runners (MRR) for long. Right from its inception. And I would like to continue being associated with MRR. But not being too Net Savvy, am unable to contribute in a big way via Net, E-mail, though in person I am definitely up-to-it to do my bit.

As a footnote I may add that I have done the Most No. of Bandra-NCPA runs — 53 till date. July 5th, 2015 will be my 55th bandra-ncpa run.