They say if you want to win something, run 100 meters. But, if you want to experience something, run a marathon. After running several 10k races in good time, it was time I ran a half marathon, a distance of 21 km. So I jumped at the sight of this event, Kundalika river marathon, a run in the lap of nature besides the river is like balm for the soul.
It was an evening marathon which started at 4.30 pm and after just 2 km, began to feel the effects of killer heat at 36 degrees and peak suffocating humidity. The terrain was hilly with steep 45 degree slopes, ups and downs throughout which make running a real test of endurance. Started this race with an intention of achieving a sub 2 hours time and in the first 3 or 4 km realized that this was unachievable. Never run before in such demanding unfavourable conditions with back-breaking elevation. Running at top speed was just not possible and I knew if I want to target a time of sub 2.5 hours, I had to consistently maintain the motion of my legs. Though the slopes forced most of us to walk, on downward slopes we could accelerate a little. People were fatigued and drenched in sweat, exhaustion written large on their face.
To talk about myself, I just said to myself, “Don’t quit. Just push on. Don’t think about the miles that lie ahead, but only the next step. If you can do this, you will soon reach the finish and what a finish it will be.” So just carried on despite all the odds, felt fatigued and challenged. Throat was parched and dry. Was drinking water at every 1 km stop and pouring water to cool somewhat my heated body. The soles of my feet were burning with the heat generated by running in this hot sultry weather. But, irrespective of it, I carried on and also with a target to complete it in 2.5 hours.

My only main inspiration was the fact and my self-belief that the human body may have limitations, but the human spirit is boundless. I can do it and its this CAN DO, WILL DO attitude that made me forget about the distance that lies ahead and just disconnected from all thoughts, lowered my head and put one foot in front of another and run like my life depends on it.

Let me talk about the event organization. It was superb and flawless. Water and enerzal stations at every 0.5 to 1 K ensured that we were able to run in these conditions. Many firsts about this event like a zumba style warmup and cooldown before and after the race. The zumba was really terrific and made me blast out from the start. Dance after the run was awesome. The volunteers were simply amazing, always cheering and encouraging and spraying water at every half a kilometre. At 2-3 kilometres, they were playing dhols to pump us up and it helped a lot. Their genuineness touched me and other runners as they really wanted everyone to just go all out and finish, defying all the odds.

Post run woww…there was a heavenly rain shower waiting for us, just got drenched and felt like it washed away most of my pain and fatigue. It was simply divine. They also had provided big ice blocks on which we laid our tired legs and entire body and that felt so good, a great way to remove the soreness and aid in recovery after running 21 kilometres on steep inclines in terrible heat. Last but not the least, the personal touch of the organizers who personally asked and insisted that I enjoy the rain shower and the lovely ice block treatment. All other participants were also touched by this personal caring attitude of Nikhil Shah and other organizers.

This run taught me laser sharp focus….just get on with the job….stretch your potential and you can do magic. The biggest competition was with myself celebrex for pain. ….doing more with each step…..ignoring the inner voice that says its tough, its excruciating…what the hell…..Damn, We are much bigger than any obstacle. A lesson in living it was… to forget the miles that lie ahead of you….but to just narrow down your focus to the next 10 metres n then the next and so on …

When I finally reached the finish, I cried with the incredible joy of fulfilment, cried a lot, yes it was a deeply emotional experience on reaching the finish, a life-altering experience.

Guyz, this is a marathon which everyone must do for its toughness because the human body has its limits, but the human spirit is insurmountable. Just go on to do whatever it takes, glory awaits you at the finish line……you are capable of so much more than you have ever imagined.

Thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race…the pain in your legs in days…..but the glory of your finish will last forever

Surely go for this event next year….it will leave its deep imprint on you.