Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spirit of Wipro Half Marathon 2011 - Race report

Within 2 weeks of testing waters at Mysore Celebration Half Marathon, I ran the Spirit of Wipro (SoW) Half marathon. I had been training for the SoW 10k, but Wipro decided to host a Half Marathon for the first time and the response was encouraging. There were 125 registrations in all, and arguably 115 at the start line.

Over the years Wipro has been adding to this event and making it bigger. Last year had a coach help employees train for the run, this was the first time Wipro was taking at stab at the Half marathon distance. There was a medical test – Blood, ECG and Peak Flow test. I scored 85% of predicted values on the Spirometry Flow-Volume test (anyone knows how to interpret these results?)

I knew the course till half way mark, having run this race the last 3 years and finishing on the podium in the previous 2 editions. I did a recce of the other half of the route. It is a out-and-back course, starting on Sarjapur road, Karmalaram, Gear School, Varthur road. The course was nearly flat with a 1-2% gradients in the first couple of kms and similar gradients in the 12-18kms.

This run was also special because my sister Madhu and nephews – Rishabh and Aryan were also taking part in the 4k run.

The run was flagged off by Anurag Beher who then jumped off the podium to join the runners (that’s the first time I have seen that happen). I was soon in the lead making my way into the fog headed out on Sarjapur road. It was after 5k that I was challenged first – 2 guys (Dilip, the eventual winner & another, a 20 year old) just strolled past me, or so it seemed. They were in the zone – matching strides and running in rhythm, effortlessly. I was myself beginning to warm-up and was able to hold the 4:30 pace.

My plan was to hold on to 4:30 min/km pace till the U-turn point and then to slow down slightly to keep the next 10k in 4:53 min/km pace. This would take me to my Personal best and I would finish under 1h:39m. I was on target till the U-turn point. By this time, Dilip was way ahead and building the lead and the young man had stopped – I was in second position now.

With about 3k to go, I ran into the 10k lead pack and with 2k to go, the entire populace of the 4k runners crowded the road. There was no stepping up the pace, I was barely able to stick to a sub-5 pace. I passed the boys – Rishabh and Aryan.

I finished in 1h:39m:06s to claim the second spot. Dilip finished 3mins ahead in 1:36 and Sanjeev came in 3rd in 1:42
The post-race event was not as great as last year’s, the drum jam of Roberto was cut before it reached its crescendo and Vasundhara Das’s performance was uninspiring.

I took the opportunity to show the kids around the campus and my workplace, overall it was fun.
In the end, this was how the pacing chart compared against the actual:

I now have 3 Half marathons close to 1h:40m
 The Midnight Half Marathon in Dec 2010 in 1:38:58
 The Mysore Celebration Half Marathon in Oct 2011 in 1:40:28 and
 The Spirit of Wipro Half Marathon in Oct 2011 in 1:39:06
(Analysis inspired by
The comparison chart for the 5k splits is an interesting chart – the Mysore HM is the closest I have come to a negative split. Clearly, the last 5k needs to be worked upon. Let me know what you think.

No comments: