What am I doing these day?

Well that is, besides writing a lot of posts covering various international marathons. The fact is, I have been trying to keep up with my running as well. This month of fasting gone by was one of the best running and fasting months I had. I hardly missed a run the entire month, and instead of running in the mornings, it was running in the evenings, either before breaking the fast, or after.

The thing which I realized is that without water and after fasting for the whole day, doing the longer runs does get difficult, and you tend to tire out quickly, which for me happened around 9-10KM mark. I guess this long run would probably be equal to a regular 15KM run in effort.

What next, well just about one month to go for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (Nov 1st). 35 days to be precise. I am training for it well, and hope to get my personal best at the distance. I am looking forward to do a sub 2 hours run, but how far below 2 hours will I go will depend on how much focus I am able to maintain on my running in the days ahead. Lets say I will be delighted with a 1:55.

Nov 1st will also be a special day because that’s when the registrations for the novice runners for Comrades Marathon 2010 start. So, if all goes well on Nov 1st morning, by evening, I should be registered for Comrades as well. And I know I will need all the motivation in the world to keep my date with this 89KM event, scheduled for May 30th, 2010.

I have already registered for the Mumbai Marathon (Jan 2010), so after getting through with the Delhi Half, the next focus would be to get a decent time at Mumbai marathon, since that would also be my qualifier marathon for Comrades. Though qualification can be achieved with a sub-5 hours marathon, but I can’t just target a 5 hour finish and hope things go just as planned, not with Mumbai. So, my target would probably be in the range of 4:40 at Mumbai.

December would also see a couple of marathons in the NCR, the first being the Nov 6th Running and Living Gurgaon Marathon, and the second should hopefully be the Mawana Sugars Indian Open Marathon. I would probably do these as training runs rather than with any time goals, just nice and easy.

So, that’s what keeping me going these days. Mostly. We also organized a couple of group training runs for our running group Delhi Runners. These were organized as Half Marathon runs at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, probably the best location for running in Delhi. The first event on Aug 29th had about 35 runners, the 2nd one on Sep 20th had 84 runners, and though I did not run, it was a great feeling getting people together, and meeting such passionate folks from around.


Missed registering for Mumbai Marathon 2010?

Missed registering in time? Not to worry, lets take a look at what alternatives you have got now which can make up for your lost cause. Mumbai marathon registrations opened on July 9th, and though they were supposed to continue till Aug 18th, but the number of running places available ran out fast, leaving a lot of runners high and dry. In fact, the entire registration process lasted just over two weeks to fill the quota of runners for the all the 3 key events, the Marathon, Half marathon and the 6KM Dream run. The quota for the 2010 event was as folllows:

  • Marathon 3,000
  • Half Marathon 11,000

So, in case you are one of the unlucky ones, here are some of the options left for you to try.

  1. Run using BIB number of someone else, who might have registered in time, but later decides to skip the event. This is actually not acceptable to the organizers, but if you are desperate, and do not mind seeing someone else’s name in the result sheet with your timings, go ahead at your own risk (and don’t say I told you). How to find runners who may be willing to withdraw? Check out some of the online discussion forums for various running groups in India.
  2. For runners from the Indian subcontinent, there are a couple of marathons to explore further if you want to run an international quality marathon around the same time.

    Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon – Dec 6th, 2009
    Registrations are open (Jul 16th – Oct 7th). Register here.

    Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon – Jan 22nd, 2010
    Registrations are open (till Dec 31st). Register here.

    Both of the above events are very well organized events, very doable for folks here in India. Good connectivity too with various flight options, including the low cost carrier Tiger Airways which operates flights from Bangalore and Chennai for Singapore.

    Both Dubai and Singapore marathons have a multi-phase registration process, where the registrations are kept open for a long time, in which the registration amount goes up in phases, so people have the option to register even late, though at a higher price. I think Mumbai should also introduce a similar system which can give opportunity to people to register for an extended period of time.

  3. If you do not want to run outside India, and want to try out some marathons in India, which though may not be organized at the same standards as Mumbai, Dubai, or Singapore marathons, but are great events by themselves, at a smaller scale and well organized, take a look at the India Marathon Calendar below. There are some great runs which you might just like.

    India Marathon Calendar 2009 / 2010


Updates on 10th CRY Cadence Corporate Challenge

Latest updates from the organizers of the 10th CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge. CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge, corporate Olympic tournament is a unique event that combines sport and corporate citizenship. It brings the action of multiple sports like cricket, soccer, table tennis, badminton, basketball and a mini-marathon, with participation from corporates, who’ll all come together over a weekend, in Delhi.

Website: http://www.cry.org/5cMicroSite/105c/
Tentative dates: One weekend in Oct-Nov timeframe
Events: 5K Run, Cricket, Badminton, Table Tennis, Football, Basketball
Location: Delhi NCR


5C logo CRY CadenceRegistration for the 10th CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge is now open. Enroll your company to participate in this mega sports event where 50 employees get to compete in 6 sports over 2 days on a weekend.

It’s your chance to lift the Corporate Champions Trophy and support CRY in its movement for children’s right to free and equal education.

View 9th 5Cs photos Photo Gallery

To Register & know more, write to Ruchi Mohanty at ruchi.mohanty@crymail.org


10th CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge announced

2009 will see the 10th edition of this multi-sport corporate challenge. Last year’s event was great fun. The event this year is scheduled for the Oct-Nov timeframe. Would your company be interested in taking part? Registrations are open, and you can contact the organizers directly here. Below are the details of the event from the event organizers.

Event website: cry.org
Dates: One weekend in Oct-Nov 2009 timeframe (to be finalized)
Location: Delhi

CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge, corporate Olympic tournament is a unique event that combines sport and corporate citizenship. It brings the action of multiple sports like cricket, soccer, table tennis, badminton, basketball and a mini-marathon, with participation from corporates, who’ll all come together over a weekend, in Delhi.

What also makes 5Cs unique in the area of corporate NGO partnerships is that it is not just about handing over a cheque or merely playing on the sports field. But of corporates partnering and engaging with CRY, which has been working with children for 30 years, because they realize they can play a role not just in bettering the lives of underprivileged children in the country but also of creating awareness and sensitizing people to child rights in India.

Since its inception, 5Cs has raised over 2.7 crore to support CRY’s movement for child rights.


First day experience with Garmin Forerunner 305

After having spent the last 3 years with my Polar RS200sd Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Red)
with footpod and HRM (currently USD 195), it was time to move on. I never turned into a person who gave a damn about how his heart beat, though I do give a big damn of how my heart ‘thinks’, and that’s enough to keeps me running. Plus, the Polar with its footpod was never consistent enough with the pacing and distance, and that was a big turn off for me, even though its HRM technology is considered the best out there.

Its no surprise that I ordered the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor (USD 162). It is the most popular device in the world in its category, and has consistently been in the Amazon Bestsellers in Electronics list, currently at #13 there. I got it over Amazon, had it delivered to a contact’s address in US, and had my friend pick it up for me while on a trip. Delivery happened in a couple of days of order placement, cool.

So, the day I got my watch, I was back from work early to play with it. Installed the latest version of the training software, Garmin Training Center. Also, got the firmware upgraded to the latest, greatest and just released version 2.90 while the watch was shipped with the previous version 2.80. Charging happened over the USB over computer, and it did get hold of a few satellites from my apartment balcony.

Next day morning, I was out with my toy, trying to test out its accuracy. I am hugely sensitive to having distances measured accurately, whether it is someone organizing a 5K, 10K or a marathon, or whether I am doing my leisurely daily jog. So, this park near my place has a Google pedometer / mapmyrun / dailymile measured perimeter of 1.44 KM. I ran three rounds of it and got readings of 1.42, 1.43 and 1.43, and that was good enough for me. Bang for my bucks.

There’s lot more to play, and all of that will take time. There’s a virtual partner you can setup with a fixed pace or completion time, and then the watch will help you to keep up with him. There are workouts you can setup on your computer and ‘schedule’ to your watch to be run on specified days. Looking forward to learning all that and more.

More updates: Over the next several weeks, I have run multiple 10K runs over the same 1.43K route, and have got very precise distance measurements. Most laps are 1.43, and an occasional 1.42 or 1.44, so this is as good as I can expect it to be. I now have a lot of confidence that the pace I am seeing on the watch is the true pace, something I never got to believe with the Polar one.

I guess I will just put my Polar at 50% rate on eBay and see how it goes. The footpod may not be that accurate for me, and maybe someone will buy it just for its HRM capabilities (Update June 9: Sold).

Interested? Check out these two devices at Amazon store: