Touring The World Through Races

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 
6.40 hrs. 

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. 

~Copyright@BijayNair-2ndAug2018

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The Full Marathon route map for a glimpse of the city.

*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.

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Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

7BMMARATHON

Bornes-Kitur-marathon

If you ever find yourself racing at the Bay, now you know how to pace yourself!

 

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Cuddly Canine Competitors

The sports section of yesterday’s newspaper featured the Goldfields Pipeline Marathon in Australia. It was not the runners, however, who were the focus of the article. A dog called Stormy took up the challenge and diligently ran the half marathon route (21.097 kilometers or 13.1 miles), completing the distance in two and a half hours. The crossbreed was said to be very friendly, and prior to the start of the race was even seen at the half marathon section saying ‘hello’ to his “fellow competitors”. When the event took off, the doggo promptly raced alongside the humans, revealed race organizer Grant Wholey. At race stations along the route, he was seen having a little runaround and greeting the volunteers and participants who had paused for a water break. Stormy kept following the crowds, keeping to the middle or back of the pack, and finding running companions by teaming up with random runners on the route. Wholey added the black and brown canine came from a nearby Aboriginal community, where school teachers revealed the locals called him Stormy. He belonged to a community rather than a single owner, and was said to be a year old. Stormy successfully completed his half-marathon near the West Australian town of Kalgoorlie in a time usually taken by amateur runners. He was awarded a medal for completing the race, and winning the hearts of his human competitors. Rangers impounded the pooch when no one claimed him after the race, and Wholey revealed some of the runners are keen on adopting him. Some podium finish for this doggo who stood up to the long distance running challenge!

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Keeping the pace. That’s how it’s done.
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Seen passing through each checkpoint along the course, which made him eligible for the finisher’s medal.
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Proudly sporting the medal.
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Kept in a pound for seven days, and put up for adoption when no one claimed him.

In similar news, a canine from Alabama accidentally ran a half marathon and finished in seventh place. While human racers train ahead of a race for months, the two and a half year old pet hound dog completed the distance in an impressive 1:32:56 for 13.1 miles (21.09 kilometers). Ludivine was said to have snuck out of her owner’s garden and joined runner’s at the start point of the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon (in 2016. It is now known as the Elkmont Half Marathon.) Her owner April Hamlin admitted to Runner’s World that her pet regularly wanders off without her in the town of Elkmont, and was embarrassed that her canine companion may have got in the way of race participants. Ludivine was seen bouncing around in her collar, so racers assumed she belonged to someone and would turn back home after a head pat. The canine racer was seen running off to romp through streams and sniff around yards for a while, before she got back in the race and decided the challenge was on again, determinedly passing fellow runners. Volunteers at the race happily clicked pictures of every participant, including the non-human one, and sent proof of Ludivine’s long distance running prowess to her owner. The finish line picture at an impressive seventh position was also captured. Hamlin explained this was the first half marathon in Elkmont, and the organizers and participants were parents of kids who regularly run cross country and wanted to raise funds. Ludivine unwittingly brought more publicity to the event. Doggos continue to win hearts all over!

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Be courteous to all volunteers.
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Interesting things might happen off-route…
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But it’s important to regain focus.
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Why follow the pack when you can lead?
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Seventh position in a trail half-marathon with 1:32:56. Show the humans how it’s done!

Sources:

~www.telegraph.co.uk

~www.abc.net.au

~Mid-day newspaper