Friday, March 06, 2009

The 'National Geographic' Charlaw Run

The Charlaw Inn NH3 Run No. 859

The Newcastle H3 puts in an additional run out in the countryside on the first Sunday of every month and that gave me a chance to squeeze one more.
Billy was driving from Jesmond and offered me a ride. The run was to start from Charlaw Inn in Edmondsley on the way to Durham. Billy’s navigator, Marian was out in London and I, barely knowing how to read the signs and the map, was to step up and do the job. Little wonder then that we got lost on our way and on my advice (very indianish but effective) stopped at a post office to ask for directions.
The run was hared by knickerless, Bellox me & Talking B – the family hared run. There were the regulars of the NH3, but lots more walkers. It felt great at the start of the run - the cool breeze, the endless fields, the windmill on the horizon, the hash jokes lifted the spirits.
The run quickly took us off the road into the fields and woods. There were some steady uphill sections and the path in the woods ran along a creek for a while, we jumped up and over fences, cattle gates, fallen trees and floating timber. There was a Beer stop about mid way at a local inn, the Wardles Inn and we set off again after the hydration.
The Animal Farm
It wasn’t difficult to find the right trail – do not go in the direction if you hear the hounds barking or if the sign says “beware of the bull”. We passed some deer, rabbits, highland cattle and some wild hashers running all over the place. In many places the earth was soft and it was near impossible to keep the mud off the shoes. I had managed to save my shoes almost till the end, but was duped just once by some grass over a slushy patch and went in ankle deep into cold mud.
The Farewell
I was honored again at the circle, with a down down, a complimentary NH3 tee-shirt and cap. Thanks NH3 for those wonderful runs and for being such a shit-hot host. On On…
Rest of the photos here
Ps: The title of the post is inspired by someone who has made a few appearance on visorview in the past and made it to the finals of the NatGeo Misson Navy... hats off!!!

Run Kennedys

Obelix, Watsarong, Lubri, Counterfit, Billy, Marian, Lubricunt, Speedbump, Inncontenance, LHJ, HJ, Knickerless, Yohoo Banger, Totempole, Phatphatia – that was the entry that went under Run No. 858 at Kennedy’s at 8:25 on Wednesday the 25th Feb '09 (that is 1day short of 3yrs since I started running with the BH3. It's in the archive here).

For me, it was one more run made easy by the Hashers. My directions were simple – walk 700mts to the Jesmond Metro station. Be there at 6:10, look for a pretty lady in running gear (read, Speedbump) and she will guide you to the run site.

The run did start off well – with cops stopping by to check if the flour was WMD and I saw off a pint of Guinness before the start. The run was in South Shields and close to the sea, but the hares – Obelix, Watsarong and Lubri made sure we saw none of it. We ran through many red houses shouting our on ons. Many “Molly Checks” (a U-turn sign, upon reaching it everyone turns back and goes right back to the hare, circles the hare and gets back on the trail) and Triple FRB checks (same as FRB check only done with 3 FRBs) kept the pack together. And then there were “three on ons” - 3 flour dots in a row to indicate the right trail where the FRBs shout on-on-on.
The closet we got to wildlife was a toad that was living dangerously. Thankfully none of the hariettes were looking for the Prince Charming!

Customary down down were given to the hares at the circle. I got a down down for being the flasher on the run. It was Spitfire in the circle and I got back into the on-inn and tried the NewCastle Brown Ale and the Johnsmith.

Many thanks to Speedbump and to Billy and Marian for driving me back to the hotel. Marian even got out of the car into the cold night hug me a goodbye. On On…

Photos here

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Bangalore Midnight Half Marathon 09

It took me less than 2hours to run it, but 1248hours to write about it. It’s like when they ask you in interviews "what are your weaknesses?” (Well, it’s probably not like that, but wtf) As you can see the Bangalore midnight marathon did happen. Crossover didn't manage it screw it up totally, only they decided to have it one week before the Mumbai marathon (oh yeah, that’s pending too).

It was the Mumbai marathon that I had been training for and I didn't want anything to really come in the way of the best part of the training - the tapering. But with a marathon happening in Bangalore, was I going to miss it? No.
But unlike some brave hearts like Rishi and Amrita who decided to run two full marathons in 2 weeks, I decided to do the half.

Athreya picked me up (and Reena, omg!! oh!!) and we reached the school from where we were supposed to start. We had to walk a long way to the start line though.
We didn't have the fuss at the start like in the last edition of the midnight marathon and we may have started at 12 midnight too.

It was fun to run the first few kms with Leona who was 'jumpy' after she had won the 5k event and downed a few beers! I was running alone for most part of the run. It was very pleasant running in the night and the whole body cycle working aganist you didn't bother me. I was trying not to run too fast just saving up for Mumbai, I guess. We had to do 2 loops of A to B and B to A of nearly flat course.
I held the pace for the first loop and then caught up with Prateek who was also doing great on the prep for Mumbai. Infact, both of us were holding the pace down, so it would not affect our tapering :)

With about 2-3kms to go, we could hold it no more and sprinted for the finish. I finished in 1:57mins. This is my first recorded marathon under 2hours - PB!!

But the night was nowhere near over - we all waited in the cold night waiting for the RGI girls to finish their relay marathon. I ran the last few hundred meters with most of them, they finished on the podium. Meghana did the 10k, the first 10k for her young one she is still carrying.
So there! Not the greatest race to run, but it was good fun with all friends around.

Statutory warning: Be ready for some dated posts to come up here...