Monday, May 26, 2008

A Sun Feast Run and Paul Tergat

If you thought Bangalore played host to another Marathon, you are in majority but wrong. It is nowhere close to a marathon distance that we ran, some 15times shorter. Only a long distance runner will tell you effort(20K) is not equal 2*effort(10K).
But as I ran up Kamaraj Road in scorching heat, I overheard a BMC worker lady telling her son, “neenu voodo marathonu”, “you too should run a marathon”.
This is what the 10K run really achieved. It got droves of people on the streets to run the 10K open or the 5.7km Majja Run. With Procam event managing, the hygiene factors were in place – sufficient water stations, medical aid, chip timings and media attention.
The running scene is fast changing in Bangalore, Nike joined with RFL to conduct running workshops to help runners train for the run.

Inspiration shot from Paul Tergat
Paul Tergat, the second fastest marathoner, the first man to go under 2:05 in a marathon, was in the city for the run. Thanks to RFL,a few of us got to meet Tergat in flesh and blood. I ran the distance of 15kms from home to Nike, Indranagar and got my sweaty tee autographed. He went on to answer many of our questions on running – why do you run? to what shoes you wear? to How we should train to be able to raise our running a few notches. It was fantastic – a great inspiration.
The pre-run pasta party was at Bangalore Bistro right after the Paul Tergat meet. I had managed to shoot myself in the foot setting an ambitious “40min finish” for the 10K, I had to alter it to “40s finish” to save face.

The run – A Sun Feast

The Bangalore Sunfeast Open started at 9am. I was there at Cubbon Park before 7 to see the start of the elite athletes’ category. they sped past within a few seconds. I also faintly noticed the rise in the temperature, by 9 when we gathered at the start line, it was scorching hot. And what a gathering it was… I had to use up all of my lane-changing skills to get past the crowd at the start. It was a full km before some sunlight started finding its way through the crowd.
By the time we reached Cubbon Road, it was a full 5 course Sun Feast only. With no cover for the next couple of kilometers till Ulsoor lake, I was melting away quickly. I poured water generously on my head in a desperate attempt to cool down.
I completed the first 6kms in 28mins, already 2mins behind plan. I was able to step up pace only at the 8th km mark and I was glad that I was totally out of breath by the time I crossed the finish line netting a total time of 47:54mins.

I did a la Virgin Mobile Ad (where this girl has a “Call Me” on her tee) to spice up the run. While it surely didn’t get the desired response, it sure did get a lot of laughs, comments and suggestions. More from Anita and Rajni.

But elsewhere, it looks like my prayers are finally being looked at!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Non-Stop Nandi

3:30am hit snooze button, 4am on saddle, 6am Non-stop to Nandi, 45mins frustrating wait at the Nandi base camp, long convoy of cars at last, 6:45am start, picture-postcard scenery, 26 freakin runners, spectacular cloud covered peaks, easy-first-4-tough-last-3kms, U-turn, 53kms milestone to Bangalore – some day all the way, club talk – couch surfing and wwoofing gyan from Anupam, pass bird-watchers with bazooka lens, hi-hellos to Madhu, Rekha and others from BBC who were biking up Nandi, foreign bikes – treks / Merdias have taken over the base camp, hydrate and moov, steal biscuits from Leona, on saddle for return leg at 9, sugarcane juice at Chikkajala, tender-coconut at Jakkur, home by 1130.
95kms of cycling in 4.5hours, 15kms Nandi run in 1:50 hours – ‘die’athlon?

Date: 26/04/2008

Full album here

Bala's narration and fotos hyperlinked.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Anniversary Ride - Horsley Hills

Tarun Tejpal, in his Alchemy of desire, amongst many erotic scenes also finds space to discuss the ‘rat-race’ which he likens to a greased pole.

The office is a well greased malkhamb pole, with everyone slithering up and down the shiny wooden pillar. Right at the top, as in a ship, was a crow’s nest, a comfortable cupola where one man sat. The idea, I gathered, was to get as close as you could to the cupola and the one man. What happened then I has still not figured out. Quite clearly the man was not going to pull you into the cupola. You stayed on the greased pole. But, going by the ceaseless frenzy, something did change.
Matters were not helped by the cupola man’s conduct. Every now and then he leaned out and slopped some more grease onto the pole. It had the immediate effect of sending the ones nearest to him into a panic of slipping and sliding. Boot-on-face, boot-on-face, boot-on-face. All the way down the pole the climbers went grinding boot-on-face.
Then the frantic climbing began again.
There were some very smart people slipsliding away on that pole. Their clothes were dirty, their hands stained, their faces shone with grease, but in their eyes was a fervour. Their sights were set firmly on the man in the cupola, and the more grease he slopped on the pole, the more boot-on-face he unleashed, the more they became convinced that up there – in the cupola – lay the answers to the riddles of their life and career.
Some very very smart people. Faces shining with grease. Slipsliding away.

My colleague and batch-mate, Ashwin’s wedding provided a break away from this greased pole and I was saddled up to Chennai on Friday, the 18th of April.
Before I leave the greased pole behind, albeit only figuratively, tell me… is philosophical musing simply an excuse for inaction or worse… incompetence?
(save the dil pe matt le for the comments section only!!)

I started at 5:45 on Saturday morning from my cousin’s house in Chennai (Porur-Guindy road) to meet the Madras Bulls’ Arul, to ride some 280kms with them to celebrate the MadBulls 6th Anniversary at Horsley Hills.

We stopped for breakfast at IOC Nandini Restaurant, near Chitoor Bypass, better than most I have seen on this highway. The MadBulls ride with far more discipline than my own club, RTMC, we rode in a staggered formation, maintaining constant pace for long stretches.

To reach Horsley Hills from Chennai, one needs to take a right off just after Palamner (196kms) and head to Madanpalli (+53kms) to Horsley Hills (+30kms). The hill itself comes from like nowhere and a short ride with 3-4hairpin bends take you to the top.

We were a large group of bullets, we had to pit stop a no. of times. After traveling some 280kms to reach the Hills, to reach a place called “Harita?” was pretty sadistic joke. Harita? in Kannada means “is it torn?”, use your imagination to figure out what body-part it refers to!! We were to stay at Harita Resorts on Horsley Hills.

I loved the place: Harita is the only resort on top of the only hill around the region. It’s not much of a hill station, but the resort makes up for the lack. There is a decent pool, play grounds, good party area and well stocked bar. There are enough cottages to accommodate last minute travel plans. There is nothing much to do there, but if that is your idea of a holiday, its just 160kms from Bangalore!

What was disappointing was that the only event that was ‘organized’ was the party. Tam item numbers provided lungi-clad sweaty guys enough motivation to gyrate like some belly dancers, some even looked choreographed!!! This song is a must hear, it captures most of the spirit. Click to hear music file Thanks Dosai.

We left Horsley hills on Sunday morning at about 9am. I rode mostly with Anil and Hosey… it was a fantastic route, that took us to Chintamani, H-cross, from where we took right to get to Devanahalli and were back home by 1130.

Now get back to the greased pole, will ya…

Friday, May 02, 2008

Anniversary '18 in a hole' Run

It was a triple Birthday flavor this April - Mine at Coonoor, BH3 turned 18 at Eagle Ridge and MadBulls celebrated 6A at Horsley Hills.

I have ripped this report straight out of the HASH Newsletter, simply because it was so well written and comprehensive. (shades of laziness?)

Report on Run No 465 - 18 in a hole run at Eagle Ridge on 12th April 2008

Hares - BFG, K3C, Kamasutra and Raw sex

BH3 has finally come of age...and to celebrate our 18th Anniversary some of our most experienced hares laid a trail with 18 checkbacks!! In true mismanagement style, the beer van crew were not aware that the run was on Saturday...but they did land up in time for a slightly delayed circle and party.

We have had many runs at this resort, but this is the first time the run went over to the other side of the NICE involved one crossing of the NICE road and thankfully the hashers did not damage any cars while getting across. The trail wound its way through a mango grove, skirted many fields, ran alongside a lake, went through eucalyptus trees and along the edge of a quarry...and in the process, runners often found themselves chasing the walkers. As the sun went down and sky changed colour, we managed to get everyone home and there was no need for a rescue party.

A short wait for the beer van was filled with time to munch some snacks and get the music going. The circle started as soon as the beer van arrived.

  • Hares were iced for mismanaging the run
  • This was followed by Dude, who is the 4th BH3 member to complete 300 runs - he was presented a collage by BFG
  • The many horrors were cooled down - great to have them here - and Nikhil even showed that he is a future Music mattress
  • Ex GMs were charged for volunteering to mismanage the SAIH 2009
  • Pushmush charged Kamasutra with guiding rather than misguiding the runners - a charge that got him to also cool his butt and get a special downdown
  • Virgins and visitors got their customary downdowns
  • Ex RA Duchess had sent a message for BH3 which was read out by BFG
  • Ronja of Eagle Ridge was acknowledged for agreeing to sponsor the dinner for the run
  • Shrieks was charged with annoying Ministers - and was christened 'Glorified Driver'
  • BFG then staged a 3 person 18th Anniversary skit which had Future suture enjoying a twosome of K3C and Kamasutra
  • Returners aphrodisiac, TFU and Dilip also got a chance to cool their butts as was OTR from Atlanta who stole someones shorts to use as headgear - we know where his brains are!!
  • The 18th anniversary cake was cut by our lovable hash aunt Meera, who has been hashing for more years than any of us
  • Rubher stamp and Perfect Asshole were iced for sartorial elegance
  • Athreya was also acknowledged for designing the T shirt at short notice - ON ON mate
    BFG led us through the hash hymn and then the party rocked...was great to see ages from 5 to 70 plus rocking together!!
    Here's to many more years of hashing...

Fotos here courtesy Abnash.