I had registered myself for my 5th Half Marathon and 2nd Auroville Marathon long back, And the time has come to Run it. I joined with an awesome group consisting of my HR coach Hari , my CEO Venkat Rangan, their friends Sivaram Kannan and Senthil Kumar with whom I went for the marathon last year also, my colleagues Kundan, Arshiya and Vasanth, and Kavitha for the trip.
We started on Saturday (08.02.2014) morning from Chennai and reached Pondicherry around afternoon. After finishing our lunch we headed straight to Auroville to collect our marathon BIB. Then from there we reached our hotel and checked in to freshen up and for some rest. After some rest we went to GRT to have our dinner which was really good. And I loaded myself with carbs as much as possible which undoubtedly induced sleep. So after going back to hotel I crashed onto my bed after keeping my running gears ready and setting up the alarm to wake up early for the next day. As usual I didn’t have any difficulty in waking up before my alarm and slowly realized that It’s Sunday (09.02.2014), The marathon day. We got ready on time and reached Auroville around 6.00 AM. As they followed wave start for the half marathon based on the BIB numbers, I have been put on the last group which will start at 6.30 AM. I did some stretches and calmed myself before the start. At last the count down went on.
As usual I start my run slow, in order to keep a constant phase through out the run. It was such a wonderful climate and the experience was awesome to run in trail, with fog and trees all around you, It just felt like a dream for me. The trail route is mix of variety of surfaces like gravel, red mud, loose sand and rocky at few places. One thing I cant forget is non Indian (might be Italian or French) volunteers at aid station cheering up the runners by shouting “Bravo, Bravo” which motivated me. The run was very smooth till the 15th km and I enjoyed each an every step, but I got cramps after that. I was slowly jogging and walking till 18th km. When I was trying to apply some pain relief spray, a doctor in the aid station advised me to take in more electrolyte drink, salt and lime. It really worked well and eased of my cramp a bit. While I was approaching 21st km, I realized that I will be completing the run before 3 Hrs if I could complete the last 1.1 km in less than 9 mins. I had no idea what i did, I ran as fast as possible and reached the finish point with 4 mins to spare. Felt overjoyed to complete it before 3 Hrs, my first sub 3 half marathon and my personal best. As usual medal presented by Auroville was different, last time it was made of porcelain and this time its made of dry pressed flowers and leaves. What more than a good portion of tasty Pongal with Vada and Sambar could be an an apt breakfast after an long run. After getting done with our breakfast we all returned back to our hotel.
We got freshened up and spent some time chatting. Senthil sir did a great job by finding a good restaurant near by through his friends. So after checking out we landed up at hotel Kamatchi around 3 pm, luckily the hotel was open till 4.30 pm for lunch. The food was really nice there, It’s a nice South Indian non-veg restaurant, I should say it’s the best in the whole trip. If you are going there don’t fail to try their Rasam. We also had ice-cream from a shop down the restaurant and I opted for Kulfi which was presented in a small earthen pot. After telling bye bye, see you soon to Pondicherry we started back and reached Chennai around 8 pm. This one is definitely A TRIP TO REMEMBER.