Running season resumed here last month, post the scorching summers, and the next couple of months are going to be busy with race strategies, nutrition regimes, schedules for running and cross training – all in preparation for the upcoming races. Our running events here cater to various distance categories – 10k races, half marathons, 25k races, full marathons, 12-hr ultrathons, 24-hr ultrathons. In keeping with the race mood of the season, I have been looking up race scenarios around the world, and the escapades of long distance runners who spend hours on the road, trail or hills. Nothing like a little fun read to tide over all the serious training. In yesterday’s blog-post I wrote about canines who unwittingly entered races in the US and Australia – making themselves at home on the route, running side-by-side with human participants. Today, I came across a parody on the Mumbai Marathon (scheduled for January 2019). Marathoner and author Cdr. (Retd.) Bijay Nair presented a novel take on the marathon race, the route of which covers prominent landmarks in the city of Mumbai, enabling runners from around the world to breathe in the city as they run the distance.
Now the full marathon distance in the Tata Mumbai Marathon begins in South Mumbai, reaches up to the Western Suburbs till the half way mark at Bandra, from where there is a turnaround to return back to South Mumbai – the start and finish points are the same, thereby taking runners on a tour of the city. To avoid overcrowding at the start line and ensure participants are spaced out, registered runners are allotted race categories. Amateur runners begin at 5:40 am, while the elite start the race at 7:20 am. Unsurprisingly, the elite runners overtake the amateurs at certain points on the route (in spite of starting after them.)
Cdr. Nair has composed a hilariously novel approach to estimate one’s timing in the full marathon category based on where the elite athletes overtake you on the route – usually the Kenyans and Ethiopians who win the race. Using prominent city landmarks as indicators, one can calculate what the finish time would be depending on where you were on the route when you got overtaken. Below is his esteemed analysis from years of racing at the same event, and having the elite overtake him at various points of the city landmarks as he edges closer to the finish line. Cdr. Nair has humorously added emojis to aid this “serious” analysis from years of racing experience on the same route. The race literally takes you around the city, as evident from each of the landmarks on the route.
“The Amateur Full Marathon kicks off at 5.40 am and the Elite begin at 7.20 am, thereby providing a difference of one hour and forty minutes.
If the Kenyans cross you at Worli Seaface while they race towards Bandra, then you rather stop running and play kabaddi.
If they cross you at the start of the Bandra Worli Sea Link, then your finish time will be
If they cross you at the Bandra toll point, you will finish in 6.10.
If they cross you at Mahim Junction, it will take you 5.45 hrs to complete.
If they cross you at Hinduja Hospital, then your finish time will be around 5.20.
If it’s at Shivaji Park, it will be 5.05.
If it’s at Siddhi Vinayak Mandir, then it will be 4.50.
If it’s at the Passport Office, it will be around 4.39.
If it’s on the return of Worli Seaface near INS Trata, it will be a 4.37 finish.
If it’s near Worli Dairy, it will be 4.33.
If it’s at Mela restaurant, it will be 4.30.
If it’s at Mahalaxmi Race Course, it’s 4.28.
If it’s at the Haji Ali Seafront, then it’s 4.26.
If it’s on the Peddar Road flyover, it’s 4.23.
If it’s at the Antilia building, then it’s 4.21.
If it’s at the Babulnath temple, it’s 4.18.
If it’s on the Marine Drive Seafront near Wilson College, then it’s 4.12.
If it’s near Taraporewala Aquarium, then it’s 4.06.
If it’s near Jazz By The Bay, then it’s 4.00. 🍸🍷
If it’s near Flora Fountain, it’s 3.55.
If you find yourself crossing the finish line before the elite runners, congratulations!!! You win two nights and three days at Nairobi or Addis Ababa. “
*kabaddi – a team sport from South Asia, played on a field
*Bandra Worli Sea Link – a cable-stayed bridge which literally connects the city from South Mumbai to North Mumbai, and is only accessible to pedestrians on the day of this marathon.
*Antilia building – a twenty-seven storied skyscraper in South Mumbai which is a private home in it’s entirety.
Some pictures I found online of different sections of the route.
If you ever find yourself racing at the Bay, now you know how to pace yourself!