Past Sunday (Aug 30, 2009), I completed my 10th full marathon with timing of 4:25:54.. inching slowly towards my lifetime target of fifty. This was perhaps the most challenging ever course that I have run to date. I knew Hyderabad terrain has rolling hills, but had grossly underestimated the 'steepness' of them. Considering the hills, I am happy with the where I ended in terms of time..
Took Chairminar Express to HYD.. while my onward journey went without a hitch and the train reached on time, return journey was a different story. Had to take 4 different transports to the station and though train departed on time, reached Chennai 3 hours behind schedule.. throwing my work day schedule for a toss. Now coming to the photo here.. Found this guy precariously standing in a tall ladder (which was swinging wildly) and clearing the cobwebs in the Chennai Central station main hall. While this guy was sitting 30+feet up and holding on to his dear life, bunch of folks were manually pulling and pushing the ladder.. I said a prayer for him.
Stayed in the Ganchibowli sports complex dorm. The complex itself is relatively new and came up in the last 8 years.
Dorm arrangements were fairly decent and can't beat the price.. just Rs.250. One big advantage was we could just stretch and relax in the complex and the helpful organizers took care of rest. Also, the run ended @ stadium and we had to just walk to the dorm to crash after the run.
Called Ganesha for help with my running. Didn't have to go far to find one.. Lord Ganesha was everywhere and here is a drive-in devotee.. :-)
We were bused to the starting point @ KBR park and by the time we reached that place, it was already bustling with runners. Here are a few Chennai Runners who did a half.
Organizers had romped in police and defense personnel to join the run and that really really helped. With some senior officers running, Hyderabad Police regulated chaotic traffic for the entire period and went out of their way to help the runners. In my case, I had two wonderful officers follow me in their bike all the way through. They regulated traffic at intersections and encouraged me along. Dear Hyderabad Police Officers.. I don't know your names.. but a big Thank You for your assistance, which went a long way helping me run the difficult course.
Overall, happy the way things played out.. decent run.. amicable climate and well organized event.. couldn't have asked for more in India..