Kundalika River Half Marathon (KRHM) is one of the toughest half marathons in the country. It is an unusual half marathon in the sense that it is an evening half marathon, the first of its kind in the country. There are night marathons of course in various places like Surat, Bangalore etc. But this marathon starts even when the sun is still not down.
KRHM is held in Kolad village which is about 110 kms from Mumbai off the Mumbai Goa Highway. If you are travelling from Mumbai then you need to take the Mumbai Pune Expressway, take the Khopoli exit go past Pali village, go past Durtoli Phata and take a left into Kamat village, a small sleepy village with little inhabitants.
The speciality of KRHM is not just the marathon, but other activities such as river rafting, kayaking, zipline, rope laddering, tarzan swing etc. So the idea to hold it in summer is fine with the entire family having a nice time together. Kundalika River flows nearby and since the river rafting and kayaking can take place only in the morning hours before the Mulshi Dam river is freed, therefore the idea to hold an evening marathon. Something for everybody in the family.
KRHM started at 4.30 p.m. when the sun was still blazing down, humidity levels were murderously high. It is an undulating route throughout but at the start itself there is a steep down slope where you have to be careful with the footing in order not to fall down. Thereafter after about 2.5 kms there is a mud & rock track which has a steep incline much like a mountainous track. This steep incline left everybody gasping for breath. Thereafter the route is undulating throughout upto 10.5 kms and back. The route takes you through few villages with bougainvillea trees, cactus plants and bamboo shoots enroute. There were a few children more bemused at what the adults were straining and moaning for in their village. They probably could have covered the entire route in a canter. By the time we were on the last few kms, the sun had gone down and the darkness that enveloped the village was stunning to say the least. By now we were running on pure instinct and guts to ensure that none of us stumble and fall.
The KRHM organisers did an extremely wonderful job of providing support to the runners. There was water station at every km, water spray at every half km, bananas, oranges, energy drinks. The kilometre markings were accurate throughout. Post run there was a nice medal, followed by rain dance, ice blocks to cool off the tired soles, dance music for people who still had some energy left and fun galore.
I would recommend this race highly and please go with your family to enjoy the outing to the fullest.