The decision to register for a Half Marathon was a huge one for me. Why? because i haven't ever ran or participated in an event of this magnitude so far away from my home. Hyderabad.. it's 1600kms away from Thrissur and i haven't been there before. I decided to message Bharath, a good friend of mine from dailymile, to ask about the hotels there. He replied inviting me to stay at his house! It was so nice of him.
I began my trip via train at noon from Thrissur. It was a 24hr journey and got through it nicely. Bharath called me once i reached the Secunderabad station and told me to come to the Bib distribution venue. Got a bus from there to St Mary's College, Yusufguda. K.P Suresh sir called me while i was one the bus, he had been waiting for me there since last 1 hour! I met him there, he was a very nice person and introduced me to a couple of veteran runners. It was a very good experience meeting them. He helped with the registration as i had no clue regarding it :) It was my first race. He introduced me to Bharath. He gave me the keys to his house, i went there and it was a very clean house. I was really touched by the hospitality and comfort i found there. I had my dinner from a nearby vegetarian hotel and went to sleep early. Bharath was having trouble sleeping early at 9pm and he was a bit tensed about the race. I was tired from the journey so fell asleep fast.
The Race Day
I woke up at around 3am. I was clueless regarding how to tie the timing chip to my shoes and didn't knew i needed to pin the bib to my tshirt. I ended up making Bharath a little late, sorry! But i guess it didn't matter much as we reached there atleast an hour before the race. Met many dailymilers there. Met Nikhil, i didn't recognize him though. Was great to meetup. Met Ram sir, KP Suresh sir, Sunil Venkitesh and many other friendly faces. Saw Ridhima standing near the starting point but i wasn't sure it was her. Saw Umesh sir but he was pretty far from me.
The run started at 6am. It was great to run along so many people. I made a newbie mistake and ran a bit fast in the initial stages. As a result started losing stamina once the climbs started at around 5kms. It was a steady climb with most of the run over flyovers. The running area had been nicely cordoned off and i had a whole lane to run! Hats off to the organisers and the Hyderabad Police. Ran along with Sunil for a while and later paced up. What i didn't expect was the continuous climb which was awaiting me after 5kms.. :) It was tough to run uphill for 16kms. But some how i made it. And felt good.
This was the 2nd race of my life! Always been the shy guy who's scared of sports. Finished the race (21kms) in a time of 2 hour 40 minutes. The route was incredibly steep with lots of fly overs. Some how made it to the finish in an okay time.
Everyone who finishes gets a medal. So i got one too! The first sports related medal of my life :)