Mostly, I remember the last few kilometers of KTM. Because I’ve never been so relieved that it was done. But then I say that after every run :-)
Well, I probably wasn’t the only one : with the sun shining in all its glory : at times during the 3 hour affair I could feel it penetrating into my skull (through my hat) and burning holes and radiating out. I am not kidding. It was so HOT. We didn’t get an overcast day as we had hoped. Instead we had clear skies and the blazing sun and a delayed start : as a result of which most folks suffered quite a bit. The full marathoners were still running way into the 5th and 6th hour and I can only say that I am filled with admiration. I couldn’t have gone a mile beyond the 21!
In fact the last 2 kms or so was quite bad. I had developed a bit of a headache (I usually do when exposed for prolonged hours to the sun) and a blister on one sole. So, I was literally ambling along waiting for the corner to appear.
That’s when I caught up with Rajendra Patel.
â€œHow much are you running?â€ he asked.
â€œOnly the half,â€ I replied.
â€œOh good, good. You know, this is commendable. Especially carrying your weight.â€
Hmm. Not my weight again!
Before I could respond, he added: â€œNow we can run together.â€
So we ambled along together. Meanwhile, Rajendra Patel decided that he needed to keep up the conversation. He was an ex-Army guy and had been to Nagaland. He had met several Boras (and were they my cousins?!), and he lives in Pondicherry now.
It was actually due to him that I got completely distracted by my painful aching sore muscles that had had enough. He insisted I should not beat him at this stage and I agreed.
So finally, after 2 hours and 58 minutes of the heat and the sun, we crossed the finish line together.
On an aside, the KTM route was beautiful : whenever I had a chance to look up and around! Green all around with a channel of water running alongside you and fields to both sides : an absolutely idyllic countryside scene which made me feel at times that I should have been there with a camera instead. A perfect location to take a stroll or even go on cycling. The only traffic was in the form of buffaloes and a few villagers who seemed really amused at us sprinting, darting, ambling and walking down â€œtheirâ€ territory.
So that was the KTM. The Ultra comes next!