I had signed up for the Chennai Duathlon 2015 when it opened as I thought that I will train well and do my first Duathlon since I missed it last year. As with all best laid plans my training went for a toss due to several work related trips that coupled with lethargy and exhaustion ensured that I was quickly running out of practice time and the event was fast approaching.
From the Classic option I downgraded to the Half Marathon which theoretically appeared achievable even with little or no practice but reality bites and it did bite when I finally reached the venue. Yesterday I was still debating if I should go for the event and that is when some running buddies stepped into to motivate me. A big thanks is due to Sindhu, Piyush and all the others who pushed me at the last moment.
The morning started early with lightning and rain and for a brief moment my resolve was shaken but I remembered the words of Piyush who said that we will have fun and I decided to go out and have fun. My non running friends must be wondering how a 2.30 AM start and a drive to a venue 30 odd kilometres away even before dawn and taking part in an event that involves running and cycling in slush as fun, but my running mates know that this IS fun.
This was the maiden running event for my brother who had made a name for himself with his cycling rides in his group off late but running was a challenge and I planned to tag with him during the running phase. The two categories were separated by about 15 minutes and I was quite happy with the pre run stretches that ensured that my creaky joints were race ready (almost!) The venue was quite good; situated inside the DLF Garden City complex off the Old Mahabalipuram Road the running event was between one gated community to another one while the cycle loop was on the OMR.
The Half event had three sections a 5 Km run followed by a 20 km cycle ride and a final 2.5 km run. By the time the event started the rain had weakened to a drizzle which though a little annoying helped to make the morning pleasant. Since I decided to have fun, I switched off the tracker on my mobile and decided to settle for my chip timing only. After the socialization with some running mates it was time to start. The first running leg was comparatively easy however the lack of practice showed up as I had to take more breaks than usual.
At the changeover I found that my running shoes getting heavier as I had to walk into a puddle to retrieve my cycle but the cycle loop was fun. I passed by a “cycle marathon” organized by a local corporate for its employees and family members and it was good to see many cycling along with us. At the U turn point the volunteers along with another running buddy Vivek Bhai ensured that I did not miss the timing mat.
The next changeover was quicker with the volunteers helping to put away the cycle and then the final running leg started. For some time my legs refused to obey my brain and I found the going quite tough. After a long period of using one set of muscles changing over to another set was a real challenge. Cycling after running is quite easy in comparison. With a combination of more walk and less run I managed to come in sight of the finish when I made a quick run for the last time that day. The helpful volunteers ensured that the post run stretches were done by all and once I did them I realized how much they were required, aches and pains started everywhere.
Once the stretches were done the most important activity of collecting that little metal piece, that piece suspended on a ribbon that makes men and women do crazy things at crazy times for a little bragging right but more for the happiness that he or she has pushed himself / herself that much more again.
The sugarcane juice and the good breakfast capped of a great day. A special mention is due to the organizing team “The Mongrels” who did an amazing job. In my personal opinion this was one of the better events that I had the chance to participate. As I had a busy Sunday I could not stay back to join the celebrations of the other winners and finishers.
It feels good to be back and I am excited at what lies ahead for I know that whenever I may feel that I need a push there are many just waiting to do just that.
Do more folks!!! Get up and get moving…