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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Satara Hill Half Marathon 2015

Finally a non-Mumbai marathon. Western ghats has been my trek zone during monsoons. But this year, the Marathon was my first trip of Monsoon. Satara is located 120km south of Pune and is a place surrounded by an amazing green cover, that shines up especially during monsoons. When I came across the details of the event few months back, I registered for it at once.

This Marathon is unique, not just that it was beautiful, it was challenging as well. As they aptly said, The toughest and the most beautiful! The route is a full uphill climb for first 10.5 Kms and the return is all downhill for the same distance.



I was in Ladakh 2 weeks earlier for my GHE expedition. Just returned, I didn't had much time to practice. I did 2 runs of 10k each in 2 weeks, which gave me some confidence for the event. It was me, Anirudha and Amit (again we 3 from hyderabad). We did a car road trip together to reach Satara. It added a lot of flexibility as we could take breaks at Pandarpur and I could meet a friend in Pune as well. Sushil also joined our pack from Pune

The event day!
Not much sleep since last two days but the event day charged me up. I refrained to do any warm-up before the run as I wanted to save all energy. My plan was to use first 2-3kms as warmup and then do my stretching.

The race flagged off and I went as per my plan. I wasn't able to sync my breathe well for first 4-5Kms. It was like almost giving up. The weather was really good, cloudy with a light breeze. And really encouraging was the view that kept improving with each step. I also kept observing all the birds I was seeing around me, especially the white-whiskered bulbul!

The climb was continuous till atleast 7-8Km and the 2:20 bus was not encouraging as I was always behind this fellow. I but did not halted and kept running at whatever pace I could manage (not sure if it was a good decision). All in all, it was a tough run uphill. I was happy about the electrolyte supply from event organizers every few kms, which I kept sipping.

We were now at top of the hill overseeing this huge valley. Closer to 10.5 mark (the U-turn back to Satara) I saw Amit and Anirudha. It seemed I wasn't much far from them, but downhill story was different. These guys paced up too much downhill. I also did had a real good time running down. Not posing much strain to my knees I ran at a good pace along the slant. It was tricky to control yourself around the curves.

Last 3-4Kms I could feel the endorphin kick. I was running at exceptional pace, enjoying the cheer from the crowd and the music in my earphones. I couldn't sprint to full, last few 100mtrs, but I managed to finish in a good time. 02:15 was my timing as per my chip (my GPS read 02:13 for 21.6Km).

The run was followed by Marathi food at Amit's friends home, visit to Kaas pleateau and bath under the waterfall. This was the best part of the trip, lot of home made and delicious Marathi food. We drove back all the way taking our leisure time as we reached hyd next day at 11am :)
Home made missal poori.. yumm!
worth the run!
Earned it (silver for 2.00-2.30hr)

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