Marathon Tales- IX

Here is yet another post shared by one of the runners Venkatesh V.C.

Hi Organizers:

I consider this as a privilege and an honor to write a blog on the running experience at the recently concluded Half-Marathon at Coimbatore.

At the very outset, let me congratulate you for pulling off this mega event so effortlessly. Well, it seems effortless to the bystander or the participant. But I can surely get a sense of the magnitude of effort that has gone into executing it so flawlessly and leaving all the participants with one word to express their feeling at the end of this  experience – “Wow !!!”… Well, At least that is what I felt. 

Immediately on seeing the posting on the Coimbatore Vodafone Marathon, I decided to register (possibly one of the first set of people to register for this race). While one reason was my interest to run half marathons, the other was the cause for which this race was being conducted, which is very close to my heart – Cancer Research. I relate to the pain experienced by people who suffer this dreaded disease because I lost my brother in law to this disease and in the recent last 5 years, my elder brother has battled (and so far he is winning) the disease bravely. In fact, I derive my strength and the will power to finish the race from looking at what my brother has accomplished  during his fights with cancer where he had 3 remissions and had undergone 6 surgeries, lost his capability for coherent speech and ability to eat like normal people. I ran the Auroville Full Marathon in solidarity to my brother’s struggles and all those victims of cancer and their near and dear ones, who experience immense pain and suffering during the days they are going through the treatment.


I must confess, I was in two minds to make the trip from Mysore to Coimbatore for the race. One of the reason was the lack of practice due to my travels and the other was that only 6 days before the race I had returned from a business trip to UK and was not adequately rested. Luckily for me there were a few fellow runners (Thanuj, Sucheth and Shivanand) who were also coming from Mysore for the 10K. I never thought there were serious runners in Mysore as I had always travelled alone to other places for races. So the excuse of not having company to travel was now not there. This was motivation enough for coming to Coimbatore and I decided to make the trip.

In hindsight I am so happy about the decision I took. Else, I would’ve missed the race of my life. Clearly the experience was simply superb. Right from before the start of the race until the completion, the race was an “Experience surely worth a try”. 

I must also add that I got back to running after a gap of over 9 years after my knee surgery with the Wipro Chennai 2012 half marathon. I have run many races after that including the Auroville Full Marathon. This strength came from witnessing the will power and the determination of the cancer patients who go thru their pain hour after hour, day after day and for months together and come out victorious. I salute that fighting spirit and this race is my humble salute to all those fighters. KEEP FIGHTING. 

I must confess that despite the few elevated runs that were part of the half marathon, my completion time at Coimbatore was much better than the time at the Chennai Dream Run on July 7th 2013 by full 9 minutes. I attribute the better finish time, despite lack of sufficient preparation to excellent organization, world class volunteering and the encouragement through out the route. I could see the best practices of two of the marathons that I really admire – Wipro Chennai Marathon and the Auroville Marathon, were imbibed, implemented and in some places excelled. Water points at every 2 KM clearly helped (I surely benefitted as I tend to require frequent hydration). The police support deserves a worthy mention here. Without their support, an outdoor event of this magnitude would be difficult to pull off. 

I must say, that for an event that was being conducted for the first time in Coimbatore, the organizers, volunteers, the Police and the citizens of Coimbatore deserve to be commended and applauded. And you continue to come out with very innovative experiences like personalized photographs of all race participants, certificates etc. 

I am coming back again and again and again …. I am so happy I decided to overcome my inertia and decided to participate in this awesome event. Coimbatore and the organizers of this race deserve to be commended for this race. FANTASTIC.

Best Regards

Coimbatore Marathon 2015

Marathon Tales VIII

Runner  shares his experience after the 5km run at the recent Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon…

Blog link-

It was an awesome moment when I crossed the finish line of the 5K run. I had a sense of pride in running the 5 kilometers in aid of the Coimbatore Cancer Foundation along with the most civilized fellow Coimbatorians.
The arrangements were hassle free by the Organizing from the lineup, track, refreshments, medal counters and the breakfast. The Team showed real spirit of organizing and set an example for team work and event management.
The support by the Coimbatore Corporation and the Government of Tamil Nadu was awesome. A special thanks to the Coimbatore City Police Department for all the effort and the totally Awesome and Friendly security provided at the venue and along the course. A special Hats Off to each and every police personnel.
To inspire the 5K runners, was none other than Dr. C. Sylendra Babu, ADGP at the starting point.
As the run began, Karthik Ram and myself split once we entered the race course not meeting till the run was complete.
Had beautiful nostalgia going on as a slide show in my mind how my aunt Subbalakshmi who lost her battle with cancer having fought it for over a decade. She was the first person whom I knew who had Cancer and was the source because of whom I came to know what Cancer was.
Then came the beautiful thoughts of all the people whom I knew who lost it to cancer to name a few Janaki Aunty (Hyderabad), Janaki Aunty (Coimbatore) and Razya Aunty. All my well wishers who had taught me something or the other in my life.
I also had some inspiration from a few people who are fighting their battle with Cancer and are living a normal life. Prefer not to name them.
Overall, I had a good time and was proud to run the 5K run for the Coimbatore Cancer Foundation.
Thank you family for believing that this 82Kg person would be finishing the Marathon. Thank you friends for the best wishes and Special thank you to Kumar Uncle for the beautiful ride to the venue. Thank you Karthik Ram for collecting the kit on my behalf.
I managed to complete the run in  48:22:29 (Mins:Secs:Mill Secs)
Kudos to you Naveen!!

Marathon Tales- VII

And then  Thyagaraj Annaswamy shares his experience via Fb…
It was a very well organized event and I (including Deepa Bhat,Malni SinghNikash BahadurSood ĀnkitāKiran Kumar NRama KrishnaDhanasekar Sadasivam & many others) totally enjoyed running the Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon clocking my personal best. I would like to highlight a few positive aspects of the event:
1. races started on time and that helped us to finish the race well within pleasant weather conditions
2. the police & cadets who controlled the traffic and monitored the route did an excellent job
3. the aid stations were very well positioned and the volunteers seemed to do their job well
4. in-stadium arrangements like medal distribution and breakfast were well organized (except the instant photo chaos)

Overall, I enjoyed it and thank you for such a great event! Keep it up!

Marathon Tales VI

Here is a small note from Runsters…  We are loving this feedback!! :)


We would like to thank the organizers of VCM for this awesome event..
Pluses: 1) The Purpose of the event
2) The medal quality esp 21.1K
3) The traffic control.
4) Route
5) Volunteers and Marshals
6) No plastic bottles at the aid stations
7) Start and Finish venues being close..
 Expo venue
9) Even the weather.!
10) Not being stingy at breakfast station
11) Bib name choice
12) T-shirt, the bag and the hanky..

and Finally for making Coimbatore a Marathon city..! and teaching those bigger events to be not so stingy with T-shirts..

Marathon Tales- IV

Wow, this is truly inspiring. Runner Santhosh K Ramachandran has written a blog post about the four races he ran recently, and we are honored that one of them was the Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon… here is an excerpt from his blog-

Location: Coimbatore.

The only small city in the list, but they made up for it on many counts. The Tees were there, a sling bag, a hanky. The traffic control was great. No plastic bottles at aid stations was a good deal. The Start point and Finish were close by and wonderfully sorted. The cause was great and it was the cheapest entry fee of all (Rs.500/-). Great weather. There was Bib name choice offered, even an optional dedication Bib. Great route. Over a flyover, under a flyover, race course, it had a mix of everything. Free food for everyone, way to go cbe!!!

The negatives were very less considering the lack of experience for the organizers. They were there at stalls of Hyderabad and in the kit of DRHM. The 10K rush was affecting the top 100-150runners of half marathon, that could’ve been avoided. Thankfully 5K was started much later. Instant photo though a great idea could’ve been organized in a better way. Some had also complained about the food being at the top of the stands for exhausted runners and some elderly. I guess, that was the only place with some shade.

Well, That’s it..!! Got another trail running race in Chennai next weekend The Chennai trail marathon. Need to start writing reviews sooner. Ha ha..!!

You can read more on his blog:

The Marathon Tales- II

Here is one more story shared by runner Prajakta Deshpande Karthikeyan 

The Coimbatore half marathon

Anxiously looking forward to the D-day ; we started from Chennai on Saturday…


Train from Chennai was filled with runners … Marathon was the topic everyone was discussing about.. words like Running , timing , pace ,Garmin, speed, 21k, tempo, pronation , strengthening …we’re coming from every row and corner of the train….Chennai runners, dream runners , cool runners all were in Duranto and our journey started with all high spirits with loads of greetings, meetings , discussions and rounds to all compartments meeting others , taking pictures .

In Coimbatore ,We were sitting in the restaurant and someone asked “Hey how much time did train take to reach coimbatore”
one replied “Hmm..I guess 7or7:30″
Other replied “Array no…it took 6:47:32″
Precise moment we were all looking at each-other with a knowing smile thinking ….”Here we spot a runner”

Sunday Race started sharp at 5:15 am with warmup and music…..this was my first timed run as earlier two half marathons were run only with the focus of completing the runs .With bit of nervousness I left the starting line and started my run… Pace was good ..I was feeling good..I crossed the first flyover and I could run with the pace of 5 in my first 3 km …
After approximately 3kms ; When I was feeling bit tired …I spotted Swami …from Dream Runners …I joined him to stop myself from walking.

Swami recently had Achilles’ tendon treatment and was advised complete rest. He told he wanted to run for his wife and daughter who were running half marathon and he may drop off half way if pain is more..(Though He completed his run in less than 2:15 and my first 9K running with him was the most steady and fastest run during the half marathon. )

Weather was awesome..route was beautiful..sun was yet to rise so No sun-rays till I completed 18K ..and no much sweat ..People on the route, traffic police , NCC guys were all very encouraging and enthusiastic throughout the course .

Well placed water points with smiling volunteers , enthusiastic photographers spread across the route and awesome runners met during the run made this half marathon a total success and memorable one.

Thanks to Coimbatore organizers for organizing this event and making it a grand success. Special thanks to Gokul and his volunteer brother Arun ..who took care of my son ,Advaith while I was running as suggested during one of the AU runs by Gokul himself. Thanks a million Gokul for the support. We , me , my husband and son could all enjoy the event and truly happy to be part of it.

Thanks to Chennai runners , our KK nagar group , Dream runners for all practice runs and encouragement without which running 21K was a dream. I completed my half in 2:31:43 and happy about it .

Looking forward for the next year Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon!

Marathon Tales- III

And we find yet another runner has shared his experience with us through the Facebook page…

Vk KrishnanHi VCM organisers and Coimbatore Runnners,
My bib no is 1112 and I want to thank you folks for the excellent organisation and the HM was quite nice and I thoroghly enjoyed the trail till the end.
The end could have been better if you had seggreagated the 10K and the HM runners as I found it a bit difficult to close my finish due to lot of distractions and the 10k guys were moving pretty slow rightly so due to their lesser distance.But overall experience was too good andI look forward to participating in the city once again. thanks a lot for making it memorable, great job done for the organising the marathon in a great way…..
Wishing you many more successes 

The Marathon tales- I

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..

Dear Team,

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.

Race Day:

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…. .




And the event was a grand success

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you……………….. Thank you!!

It was such an honor watching the race flag off and become such a grand success! It was beautiful seeing people come together like this, it was heart warming seeing all the volunteers come together, it was such a treat seeing the participants zip off from the start line!! 

Thank you once again to all of you for the support and cooperation in making this event what it was!! 

Marathon Check list…

With the Marathon just 2 days away, do read the entire email carefully.  All of this information and more is published on our website

Please read the following instructions carefully to ensure a safe and memorable experience at the Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon 2013.

 The Expo

5k Runners

Venue: Whispering Stones, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Perks Arch Road

Date: October 04, 2013

Time: 10am to 5pm

 The Route map

10k & 21.1k Runners

Venue: Brookefields Mall, Brookebond Road

Date: October 05, 2013

Time: 9:30am to 5:30pm

The Route Maps- 10km and 21.1km


•             If you have not received an email with your bib number, it is ok – just walk in to the expo with identity proof to collect your kit.

•             Remember to bring your original identity proof with a photograph to collect the bib and submit photocopy of the identity proof you brought along.

•             In case a representative is going to be collecting your race kit, an authorization letter and copy of identity proof of you and your representative is a must.

•             As of now registrations stand closed, but if they do open, you will be informed at the Expo.

•             Do carry photocopies of all documents with you. In case you forget, photocopy services are available for a small charge at the expo venue.

Race day

Route Map

Please note that the start venue for the 5k, 10k and 21.1k Marathons is at the same point on Avinashi road.  Kindly refer to the Route maps mentioned on the home page on


The Bibs

Kindly don’t fold, crumple or tampered with it.

Do not cover the bib while running. The Bib should be clearly visible at all the checkpoints.

Fill in all the blank details on the back side of the bib [in case any]

If you have dedicated your run, make sure the name is mentioned and visible.


We will accept bags from runners with Bibs at the start area which will be delivered at the finish area after your run.

Baggage rules:

•             The bag should weigh less than 5kg in weight

•             It should be smaller than 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20cm).

•             The bags should be shut or have a Zip or drawstring to close the bag.

•             Do not deposit any valuables.

•             Collect before 12:00 noon.


•             Use public transportation or vehicle pool as far as possible and make sure you reach the start venue at least 30-45 mins before start time

•             The roads will be closed near the start venues by 5am and only limited parking space is available.

Happy Running! Good luck