It all started by registering for SCMM 2011 for Full Marathon an unchartered territory - Full Monty at SCMM! That had me going and 37.5K at Ultra – 2010 was now a step in that direction.

The excitement was high as I was going for my first experience of traveling overnight for a run.

The night was rough with anxiety creeping in as I had done 31km once and a few less than 25k before and these I knew were not sufficient. So, as advised by Ram, I decided to take one step at a time.

3AM sharp, all 5 guys (Ram, Bijay, Kavin, Vivek & myself- we were sharing the apartment) were awake and all equally excited. The full Mumbai gang (Gen, Madhu, Roshni, Dan, Sripad, Amit & Vineet apart from the roomies) reached the start point, collected the bibs, deposited our bags and were now READY TO RUN. There we were joined by Giles, Qureshi, Srinivas, Rohit.

Arvind from RFL further pumped us with his special cheers to Mumbaikars!!

We were ready; trumpets were blown @ 6AM sharp and off everyone ran to conquer their milestones.

I started with my ONE STEP at a time. The trail was totally new, unexpected, something for which I was not prepared. The weather to start was pleasant. About 500 mts from starting point we hit the first aid station and from here onwards there were fields. It was scenic, something where the likes of woodsworth & Frost could add to their list of poetic greatness. It was tempting to look up, but the trail was rough so I continued on the task at hand -to run. The route was open field for roughly 4.25K with 2 more aid stations in between. Thereafter there was a tree covered area where a trail narrowed to the extent that only person could cross at a time. And the last 0.5k of 6.25k was gravel road with the final aid station at turning point.

First loop was comfortable and I was feeling good to do 3. Mid of second loop saw sunrise, which was again very beautiful but then reminded me that running now will not be easy. The sun was blazing in the return leg of second loop and I developed cramps in stomach. I am not sure what I ate, but it could be the wafers or peanuts that had been consumed at one of the aid stations. Completed 2nd loop with the cramp – 25k done; now the point was shall I go back for the 3rd. 10 min of contemplating and I was back on the trail. The sun was now out in full blaze but I still had “miles to go before I sleep”.

Only one goal in front of me – Complete 37.5K.

Reaching the turnaround point was fine, thereafter the grind started…first the mild climb-up the gravel which now seemed like a steep mountain and back on the trail amongst trees. For the first time, I was speaking to myself aloud – “Don’t stop!! just keep going!!!!”. Applied some ice from aid station on thighs, calves & arms and off to reach the final destination. It was hot, the sun was now piercing through the skin as I ran in the open field with no tree cover. The target was next KM marking and kept running to that ”ONE STEP AT A TIME” 32.5, 33.5, 34.5, 35.5, 36.5…this is when I realized that I have enough juice left to complete….Bijay came for the last 100 mts making me run harder to the finish line… 37.5K conquered…SCMM 2011 next J

Congratulations to all my friends for completing their respective distances.

Thank you Dan, Ashok & Raj for all the guidance to be running right.

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Comment by Ashish Goyal on November 17, 2010 at 18:03
@ Ram - Thanks. Yeah, it was not so bad in the end. But, the following day legs were cramped up.
@ Roshni - Look forward to many more runs & marathons along. Thank you
@ Bijay - In Goa, beers are on...CHEERS!!
@ Madhu - Yeah, the journey has just begun. The guts comes coz of loads of support from fellow runners like yourself.
@ Dan - You have made runners out of many...Thank you for being such great support & guidance.
Comment by zico on November 17, 2010 at 9:38
You've got the longest run behind you now and on to the next milestone - the full monty. Congrats on pushing yourself - you made it in the end and thats what counts.
Comment by Madhumita Dasgupta on November 17, 2010 at 4:57
MAny more miles to go before I sleep...indeed it is. Your journey has just begun and with guts and safe training, you will do well at SCMM. Take care and all the best. Enjoyed the moments.
Comment by Bijay Nair on November 16, 2010 at 19:17
hey Ashsish congrats buddy - U r a Ultra man now . Next year should be 50 . Nice knowing u and hope to run future races. Will rock Goa ................... full tu beer party................
Comment by Roshni Rai on November 16, 2010 at 18:29
Hey Aashish, congrats for ultra. You did it. Wonderful write up. Wish you a many more marathons.
Comment by Ram on November 16, 2010 at 14:34
Congrats Ashish on your Ultra finish and your longest run ever. You were looking good at the end.

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