We had invited people/runners to share their stories/experiences now that the Coimbatore Marthon is over and done with.. Here is the 1st in the series, received from Thanuj Kumar..
First of all a heartfelt congrats for organsing a wonderful and memorable run on Oct 6 2013.
I would like to share my experience of the Run. Here it goes. You are free to correct the gramatical mistakes if you decide to publish this article on your blog.
I am from mysore, there were around 10 runners from mysore who were part of 10K. I don’t know on official records how many had come from mysore.
I wanted to run a 10K outside karnataka for many months, injuries and obstacles prevented me to stick to BLR and mysore for the whole year. Was wondering on the india running website, suddenly noticed Coimbatore marathon!! As usual wrote to the organisers to check on the final dates. Most of the race organisers dont even care to reply to the enquiry mails.Flash came the reply and the mail impressed me and after seeing the first line of the response i decided; whatever may come, i am running this race.
Schedule was hectic in september with races on all weekends. I was fearing that, injury might not allow me to run! I always “Live Strong”. Kept the injury thought aside and started preparing 4 the race. Many people laughed at me saying are you going to CBE to run? i said, its my decision and said are you coming to challenge me there?? , i got no answer but a silence from them.
Since i always support cancer runs, i spread the message of the run across my colleagues and wanted the word to spread about this. Most of the replies were negative as regular runners were taking a long break after 29th september. Finally got 3 of my running mates to register for the event. Completed he formalities on the last day of the registration and was ready to go for the event.
After Mysore run, i was literally exhausted physically and mentally as running was too much. But Having decided not to skip the event, was mentally prepared to run the event.
Last race i had done in TN was at Chennai in 2003. Way back . That event was orgainsed quite OK and i had no much expectations from the event.
Confirmation mail to collect the Kit came and then i booked the Travel tickets and was ready to come to CBE. Managed to get a very good hotel to stay.
Venkatesh VC , Regular runner from mysore also joined us in the journey. He was running for his brother who killed cancer. I was inspired by that. During the last year, i have had so many personal tragedies, that now i am trusting only running to cure them.
I had decided to dedicate this race to 2 of my friend’s father’s( Dileepa and Deepna ) who expired in recent days. Their demise was a shock to me.
Landed on a hot saturday afternoon at CBE and as usually negotiation with auto guy was done to get us to Brookfield’s mall to collect our BIB’s.
Mall was buzzing with people and we collected the BIB’s. People at helpdesk were so courteous to guide us to what we have to do. I have never seen such an enthusiastic people in any pre-race event expo. Activated the BIB’s and said Hi to Official Photographer , Anju and left for lunch. Had a good lunch at Annapoorna and headed for the hotel to take a break.
The Booklet had all the needed info that we didn’t bother to check with the other organisers to clear our doubts. This was my first race that i would be starting before 6AM .
I had read, that 8K people were in the race. I felt that i will be running against a good crowd. That came true.
Evening landed at the stadium to check the environment. It was good to see that lot of young kids having their routine drills and practice. I felt that i was in an athletic world. Had a short warmup and packed my bags for dinner.
Went to Bed after seeing T20 dreaming that i will be finishing the race in top10.
I usually don’t get sleep before race day, i will be always dreaming about the race. I got up at 12,1,2,3 and finally at 3.30AM. Got ready and asked my teammates to be prepared by 4.30AM. Sucheth and shivanand got ready and at 4.45 we were ready to go to the starting point. We rushed and at 5:00 we were at starting point, we saw a crowd of people standing at starting line and The sound of Bullets were roaring. I felt that i was in some international marathon. The cycle marshalls and Bike marshals were so amazing that it impressed me. Met bharath of FlashbulbZZ said HI to him and went for warmup. Now i felt that decision to attend this was worth it seeing the crowd at starting line and on the pathway.
After the half marathon started, i got ready and came to the starting line. Managed to come to the first line as i wanted to avoid hushing and pushing. I saw W.Devaram was called to flag off the race, Indeed i had received the prize at chennai 10 years ago at chennai 5K run . Announcer asked us to do some drills and i was only worried about the start as my warmup was done.
Race flagged off and boy it was on time 5:45. This is what i call professionalism. and the hushing and pushing started, pulled up myself and made some way to run free. After the first turn saw NCC volunteers cheering by clapping us. It really moved me as they were encouraging strangers. I have never experienced this in any race. The police were making sure that the runners got the way and were blocking all the vehicles. Waved to all the NCC cadets who were cheering us and then made some headway. Target for me was to run in 38 Mins. After 1Km i saw one youngster willing to move forward with some pace, i targeted him and kept pace with him, he suddenly slowed down. I decided to carry that guy till the end. That was the best decision i made, he was so amazing that he started to pull me and kept his tempo till the end. I have seen some people rushing when the pace is altered. I was guiding him to make sure that he was in a correct pace.
The first water point came, i was so amazed that there were so many volunteers ready with the water and energy drink cups ready to be given to the runners, i felt that i was running an international gold label race at an international city. I had seen those in videos, but here i saw it for real. The arrangements were so amazing that i have no word to express, on the other side, there were claps for us after we were passing through the water points.
Route marshalls were so amazing who were guiding us all through the way. At an early morning on a lazy sunday, there were people who were cheering runners. I was impressed by volunteers at the water points. Race route was simply amazing with the route being flat and the climate being perfect for running. at 7.5Kms saw Soji Mathew zoom past us with his flyknit racer. I wanted to catch him for some 500 mts, but his pace was like rocket. Decided to continue in my normal pace. I saw scores of regular runners who were in front of us. Continued to run past the and at 9KM mark, i decided to overtake atleast 6-7 people. That was made possible by the co runner who started to kick the pace. When we entered the stadium outskirts, score of people were clapping and cheering.
The amazing and the most cherishable moment was at the stadium entrance. I felt that i was running olympics marathon.There were nearly 600-700 people who were cheering the people who were entering the stadium. Thanks a ton for that. I got so much energy at that point. I finished stronger at the race finish. Medal was simply amazing. I loved it.
the co -runners said time was 41.13, i kicked myself for not completing within 40 Mins. But then i realised that the course was 10.4 Kms. I congratulated my co-runner and thanked him for the help. He was elated, i don’t know if he had clocked his PB that day. Went for an instant photo , took a breather and stretched myself and picked up my baggage and was back in the stadium to cheer other finishers. was too hungry but was cheering the finishers for sometime. Then i came back to have the breakfast as my colleagues had finished the race. Arangement was amazing, Food was too good and no words to describe. The volunteers guided us to the counters.
After a cool breakfast , decided to cheer more runners who were finishing. Waited till the prize distribution ceremony and decided to move back to the hotel as i had a bus to catch at 12PM.
Walking back i saw scores of runners who were hugging and celebrating their success of running the race. It’s how the runners are made.
All of them were winners, The finishers are so great that they dared to run the distance rather than sleeping and chit chatting on a sunday. Hatt’s off to them.
entire event was like a mini carnival and personally me and my colleagues enjoyed it to the fullest.
Personally i would like to thank all the organisers and specially the volunteers who made the race so memorable for me.
I will always cherish this race as the best one in my life and this will be the benchmark. I was very happy to spread this words across to my colleagues who kicked themselves for not attending the race.
Next year on my calendar CBE will be there. Will not miss this race at any cost. i am sure that next year you guys will have more than 10K runners which will make the biggest race in south india.
Happy to be part of the race and satisfied with the result as my official time said 41:38 and i held 27th position. For a 33 year old man, it was a good race.
Headed back to Mysore thinking when will i race again at CBE marathon.
Thanks guys once again. Salute you guys waiting for 2014 CBE run…. .