Sunday, January 30, 2011

gandhi jayanti run - 30th january 2011

never thought Gandhi Jayanti run today ie. 30th january 2011 would become so invigorating - it was because of the unusually cold  - in fact icy cold weather today at the Borivli National Forest. We were about 9 of us started off at 6.30 a.m. in cold dark conditions - hoping to do about 12-15 kms. I was in a group with Hemant, Milan, Gen and about 2 kms into the run - i took off at a brisk pace and went ahead much to the chagrin of the others left behind. There was another guy running just in front of me - he and i were like a running match - of course he was ahead all the time except when the small upslopes came, he slowed down - it was an interesting duel going on, but around 5.5 kms i slowed down because the roads were pretty bad and then came the monster hill - the last 0.5 kms stretch - here was where the fun began - i did one round and started back with qureshi - in the meanwhile atul & inder had gone down and returned back - so we came back with them all the way to the top and then again started back - this time the remaining three came up, so we came back again to the top - like that must have done 3 to 4 times the monster hill - not to be left behind anand came streaming down for his second loop - so we joined him again - for some distance - it was much fun and camaraderie going on all the time. finally we hit the mafco path and came home for a 16.5 kms distance in 2 hours - my stop watch conked off - so had to guess how much i did - pace was pretty good. bleeding nipples a gift to the father of the nation whose death anniversary it was today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

RFL Mumbai Runners party till midnight

2010 could be marked as a watershed year in the history of running in Mumbai – the coming of age of many runners – running groups abuzz with activity, people travelling together to other destinations to run, races & treks being organized within Mumbai and beyond. All these activities picked up stream throughout the year and culminated in a magnificent performances by all runners – smashing their personal bests or conquering the beast that is called “full marathon” either during the year or immediately thereafter in the standard chartered Mumbai marathon in jan 2011.

While this was going on, a need was felt for a post run runners party by some of the runners – a stray conversation developed into a full blown project. Whereas Milton Frank it was, who mooted the idea while an online conversation with Dan, Arvind Bharati and myself, the idea again picked up speed somewhere during the post Bandra-NCPA breakfast get-together. SCMM was identified as a marquee event, at least for the Mumbai runners and it was therefore decided to do something immediately after the Mumbai event which was scheduled for 16th January. The date of Saturday, 22nd January 2011 was selected as the probable date because of its proximity to the marquee event and also being a Saturday, people could wind down and relax with nothing to do on Sunday.

Arvind and his RFL team at Bangalore were euphoric that such an event was being thought about and gave us permission to use RFL name in the certificates, banners etc.

What is a party without there being some kind of awards in it. So, in order to encourage runners it was decided to do a Hall of Famer kind of list where the runners who have come in the top 5 positions in any event during the calendar year 2010 were to be given some kind of awards. We called it the Hall of Fame list to impart some element of uniqueness to it. But we still needed something – what was that? While thinking of some kind of zing to the awards thing, a thought struck – why not runners themselves choose who they considered were the best runners of the year 2010 through an online polling which was to be secret. Being a completely democratic concept this thought was floated around and found immediate acceptance from all the group leaders and therefore was put in place through a web based online polling form which asked runners to give three preferences to their choice of best male/ female runners of 2010. No specific criteria was pointed out, save that performances for 2010 was to be considered.

That done and completed – the actual nitty gritty of having the runners party doomed large on us – we
formed a core group of people like Giles, Milton & myself to bring this to fruition. While locating a party hall proved to be tough logistical nightmare, Bhasker Desai came up with the idea of hosting the party at the Juhu Vileparle Gymkhana Club of which he was the member. Location seen, liked, chosen, booked and paid – DONE

Certificates – Milton got the design done by his agency gratis, printing done by Mani also gratis – Merci both of you

Trophies – Milton & Giles scouted around for suitable trophies even while time was running out on us – Milton got the legend embedded on the trophies again through his agencies – Milton may your agencies double their turnover this year and you too.

 Music – Apurva Shah agreed to lend his PC and Ajit Singh agreed to act as the unofficial DJ (this is probably your true calling Ajit) and get the hardware and support for the same.

Program – Milton & Radhika got down to the brass tacks of preparing a program sheet for the evening with games, dances, performances et al.

The entire team of Milton, Giles, Radhika, Apurva shah, Ajit, Mani & Qureshi were meticulous to the last detail and terribly hardworking to ensure no hiccups whatsoever.

We had almost the entire running fraternity (belonging to RFL Mumbai groups) at the party yesterday at JVG Club – the party had everything – music, dances, performances, gallant speeches, trophies, drinks, food – it lasted till 11.30 p.m. the official closing time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

jan 8/9th weekend

Completed about 10.5 kms in a chillingly cold and almost freezing conditions in the dense aarey forest on saturday, 8th january 2011 - later it was reported that it was the season's coldest day at 12.4 degrees centigrade. went for an intense yoga session conducted by trained yoga teacher and a runner herself Suchita on sunday at the nike run club - large contingent of runners gathered on both days - it was rocking run - later had breakfast at kyanis place near metro cinema - little regret at not having a go at another run today i.e. sunday at mahalakshmi where the guys were literally scorching the tracks there.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday, 2nd January 2011 - marine drive

Went off to Marine Drive today morning to do a short run following yesterday's huge run at the MRC. Did not join Milton's group starting from Bandra nor Kaushik's group starting from Khar. Priya came with me from Bangur Nagar so we pretty much travelled together in the early morning from goregaon station though she went by the ladies compartment. When we reached NRC, there was news that there was no NRC, so next best thing - run in the marine drive which was anyway my plan. Started off slowly testing my ITBC so the pace was deliberately kept very slow - weather was brilliant for running - early morning chill coupled with a cool breeze wafting across from the arabian sea - great place to run marine drive always bustling with runners especially at this time of the year - practising for the january marathon in Mumbai. Reached NCPA turned back,, talking comfortably taking in the early morning ethereal beauty of marine drive - its queens necklace still shining and resplendent in the early morning glory as if watiing for the queen to come by. Met Mike somewhere down the road and he returned with us and also commented on my slow pace. Went a little up the malabar hill did not like the place with all kinds of poops though a steep climb, the road was not good it was curving on the sides - difficult to keep balance. on the way back ran into sunder and then ran with him for some time, going up and down few times with rohit bansal, milton etc. finished 14.30 km in 2.01.07 hours. Had breakfast at stadium restaurant.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

Started the New year with a Bang with a 27.73 kms run at the Mahalakshmi Race Course today morning. It was chillingly cold when i reached there at 6.00 a.m. with nary a few runners or walkers all possibly fast asleep after the year end revelries in their homes, buildings, or clubs. Even the horses were absent from their early morning routine. i did not carry my water bottle which i usually do, but considering the cold it was a good decision. no need for water until 14 kms. my friend Mani came after i completed about 2.2 kms and he ran with me for about 4 kms or so, before he took flight with his speed. Qureshi came in later. 10kms done snacks break - banana taken, ear muffler taken off, chilly as usual again for 4 more kms before sun slowly starts peeping out, making its first appearance in the new year. Early morning sun at mahalakshmi race course is a magnifient sight, a bright red flame. the route was two faced in the sense that from the usual starting point to about 1 kms inward, there was a good breeze and chilly conditions when you keep going round (the ground is more or less oval shaped) the suns starts hitting you from behind. 19 kms done, second banana break - more to go, still looking good as per plan. two more loops 23.65 kms done - okay to go, should reach 32 kms with ease. another round done 25.70 kms done - okay three more rounds to go - should be easy though first signs of discomfort comes in. another loop done 27.73 kms done - decided enough was enough - the sun was not letting any more distance, since it is an open ground with no shade, it becomes difficult when the sun hits you. Ideal for training for long distance and should be a challenge in the summer. Do some post run stretches, go out for refreshments at sharda bhavan at matunga - delightful place to eat - typical udupi style - had ulundu dosa - their speciality and came back home happy with a good start to the new year.