It was raining when I got up. It was raining rather heavily. It already was about 2:20 AM when I finished brushing my teeth. I analyzed my ankle. It had of course not healed fully. But I decided it was good enough to go ahead with.
I needed a cycle to reach the toll plaza on ECR. Should be 5-6 kilometers from insti– I assumed. A freshie in the wing who hadn’t yet crashed gladly lent me his cycle.
The 30 Kilometers East Cost Run was supposed to begin at 4 in the morning. I put on a raincoat (jacket) and wrapped a polythene cover around my head. At about 3:10 I left my room, withdrew hundred bucks from ATM and placed both the ATM card and the fresh note inside the jacket’s pocket.
It was nice to cycle in a dark rainy night. I didn’t like traveling alone. I wished someone had come to give me company, at least on a cycle. I had asked couple of my friends to come along, but I guess it was too much to ask for. If I had to run, I had to run alone. And that’s what I was about to do.
The toll-gate turned out to be about ten kilometers from the insti (what a gross miscalculation from my side). I didn’t have a watch with me and therefore I didn’t know since how long I had been cycling. All I knew was that when I finally reached the toll gate, I couldn’t find anyone at all. Absolutely, no one.
Did they cancel the run due to rains? Or did they already leave? I found out the time from the toll-collector. It was 4:30. Shit!
I decided to keep cycling, find them, and then keep cycling all the way to Mahabs, and finally return.
I had cycled another two kilometers, when I saw a bunch of folks in shorts. They were not running. They were standing, and talking to each other, standing in front of MGM Dizzee world.
Will you guys be running? I asked them. Yes, they were going to. I had spotted the Chennai Runners gang! They chatted with me for sometime. I shook hands with couple of them. It had stopped raining, it was the time to run. Soon, the 23 of us took off. By the way, I was at disadvantage in two ways:
1. the same old ankle story
2. shoes and socks were drenched (that meant running with extra weight of foot)
It is awesome to run on the ECR; totally fabulous! As the sun rises slowly, and you get view of the sea from time to time, you feel as if you are a part of the nature around you. The experience is totally movie-ish, dream-ish and sexy to the core.
Till a long time I kept running at seventh position. Vatsap?, called someone from behind (I was wearing the www.Vatsap.com tee). I said hi to him and soon he left me behind along with two more. I guess I had covered eight kilometers by then. Only two more guys left me behind after that.
The aim was to keep running for 15 kilometers till all of us reached the Dolphin Park, then turn back and return to MGM. My aim was slightly different. I planned to run only 15 kilometers.
I ran 15 kilometers, till I reached the Dolphin park. In the process, I encountered three dead frogs, two dead dragon-flies and a dead lizard. Accidents do happen on National Highways! 😛
Anupama offered drinking water from time to time, as she and another volunteer kept moving in a car. I appreciate their efforts!
I ran for another kilometer on the way back after having reached the Dolphin park. After that I decided to walk (feet were aching). I found a 50+ guy to give me company. He was the country-head of Polaris. He had run as much as I had. We walked together for about five kilometers, and he gave me a lot of gyaan on life, relationships, running etc. Now, this is what I call learning.
Even walking was proving to be painful. The two of us covered the last ten kilometers back to MGM on a bus. The bus ride was too good with cold breeze hitting our faces. It was lovely.
By the time we reached back, two other runners had also reached; running! Studd!
In about half an hour, majority of the runners were back. Most of them had run 20-24k. Only selected few had covered full 30K. We hit the beach, and let the sea water drain away all the strains from our tired bodies. The feeling was total kickass!
MGM resort offered an awesome buffet; lovely breakfast with a sexy beach-sea view. It was slightly costly, but what the heck, I enjoyed thulping it along with all the other runners. I ate and ate and drank lots of glasses of water melon juice. So did others! 🙂 It was fun to hear to all the “running conversations” happening during the breakfast; the talks on marathon in Dublin, the stretching techniques, the importance of carbohydrates over proteins for runners and what not!
While cycling back, Suresh gave me company. Though it was almost 12 when we left the resort, the weather was extremely good and cold and sun-less and sexy. Suresh, who has been running since age ten, also had many running-fundays to offer. After a lot of cycling together and chatting alongside, I finally had to say him goodbye as he turned towards Adyar. I had a hot bath immediately after coming back, and when I was done, these words came out automatically, ‘mazaa aa gaya‘. 😀