Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2010 – Race Report

My 2010 ADHM was totally in contrast to all my previous DHMs. (Hutch, Vodafone, or Airtel runs). The first one way back in 2005 was one with the most training and the least expectations, and I managed a 2:12 then. Since then, I have been unfortunate to have something go wrong precisely before the event. 2-3 years it was my health, couple of times it was getting an injury trying to overdo things. 2:12 remained my best for 5 years.

This year, I did not train at all for ADHM. Thats right, no running for the last six months. Well, that actually made sure I was not going to be injured at least ๐Ÿ™‚ Just joking, but yes, it did not ensure I was fully fit too (with some cardio coming from playing Badminton regularly).

I started with no training and a target of bettering my 2:12 run from 2005 (funny, I know). A next level goal was to better a 6/km pace, i.e. 2:06 finish (funnier), and the funniest goal was to go for a sub-2, with which I started the run. Doing in the range of 5:30 to 5:45/km for most of the first half, I still found myself at 58 mins for the 10KM point, which surely meant I was out of the sub-2. By 15KM, I was finding it really difficult to move well, but that 2:06 goal kept me moving. I finally finished in about 2:07.

Some Observations:
1. Start line queue was a mess as always, for God’s sake, why wait till 7:00 am to open the gates. 8000 folks are never going to make it inside in 20 damn minutes. I had reached early so had no issues with this. Crossed starting line within 30 seconds of starting.
2. Hydration was the best I have ever seen in Delhi or Mumbai Marathons. Well stocked, well placed, and for the first time serving Lucozade instead of the dreaded ‘ghol’.
3. Finish line experience was good for me, simply because I finished ahead of the 6K runners. Medal at the finish was great to have rather than queuing it up inside (I believe this is also the norm internationally). But then, having the 6K finish at the same point as the half was a killer, and now we all know what happened with folks who finished in about 2:30 or so.

Overall, great experience, and I hope I will be starting with some real training under my belt for Mumbai Marathon. I may be possible to get through Delhi with little training, Mumbai will kill you if you are not well prepared. Who’s coming along?

Official Finish Time: 2:07:41 (net)

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