Race Report – Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013

Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013This post is from my old blog but I thought of sharing this as race reports stay relevant for a year atleast.

So, finally the party of 25 August 2013 on the roads of Hyderabad is over. I had the hangover, as I got up the next morning, in form of some aches here and there. It was my 2nd participation in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon. I ran a full marathon last year and ran a half this time. In these two years the standard of the conduct of race has improved manifolds. So, here goes my race report of Hyderabad Marathon 2013 which I ran in full “Nawabi’ style.

I reached the People’s Plaza at Necklace Road at 0500 hours. Full marathon had started at just that moment. The roads were alive with tremendous exuberance of the runners and their supporters under the watchful eyes of the organisers and police. I could see an odd sniffer dog sniffing about and doing its job.

An hour to kill, I wandered about the start line. It was a full on party with loud music, laser light flashing in the air and lone Buddha standing in the middle of Hussain Sagar lake. Guys and gals of all age groups were moving about and doing warm up, getting photographs clicked or sitting on the footpath waiting like me for an opportune time to start the warm up. At 5 minutes to 0600 hours I was at the starting line alongwith with hundreds of people bursting with joy and enthusiasm. The MC was trying hard to electrify the atmosphere with their incessant urges to clap or to raise hands in the air but was getting damp responses because runners were getting mentally ready to tackle 21.1 km. A VIP came, I don’t know who, and flagged off the race. People high fived and smiled in acknowledgment to each other and to themselves.

Route Map - Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013

Route Map of Half Marathon

Hyderabad Marathon is said to be the toughest city marathon in India because of the elevation profile. The

Elevation Profile - Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013

Elevation Profile

terrain here is kind of hilly because it is based on Deccan Plateau. The race started at sharp 0600 hours. Due to large number of runners, after flag off we had to walk till the starting line. The half marathon route starts with Khairatabad flyover at 400 metres from the start. While crossing a traffic light junction where the vehicles were stopped to let the runners cross, a moron jumped out of his car and started shouting that why you guys have to stop the traffic to run. Go and run somewhere else. He got the choicest of abuses from all the runners there.

The second flyover came at 4km. Panjagutta flyover climb is longish but gradual. It was cloudy, humid and a cool breeze was blowing. I was feeling quite good and was just settling in the rhythm. But I also thought of hydrating myself continuously because of the clammy weather.This time I had more or less driven on the route. Last year I fared pretty badly because I did not expect the route to be full of uphills and downhills. I was mentally prepared and was running half the distance from last year. On the flyover I caught up with the 2:15 pacer and crossed him.

By 10 km my quads were shot because of the rolling hills and had hot spots developing on the big toes of both the legs. Yikees, not again, I thought. I stopped at a Aid Station to bandage the toes to prevent forming of blisters but realised later that the bandages did worse than doing any good. I picked up pace after around 12 km.

I saw this old couple at one of the turnings, cheering the runners. They had made a placard saying “ALL THE BEST RUNNERS”. Last year they drove all along the route and shouting encouragement to all.

At around 16 km, we hit Hitec city. Here the traffic was also moving along with us. The temperature had risen suddenly due to the pollution. The volunteers were trying their best to keep us safe by controlling the traffic. A couple of places I also noticed few people stopped at traffic junctions misbehaving with the volunteers. A sad picture but I kept pushing down the road.

The 1 km long downhill from Raheja IT Park Circle trashed the quads further. But the pain of quads and blisters was enjoyable. That’s the fun of running, isn’t it. By the way, I had, till this point, developed nipple burn as I forgot taping them before the run. The last flyover came at around 18 km mark. The Gachibowli flyover overlooks the beautiful Nehru ORR. I was eyeing for an sub 2:15 finish and was on schedule. The pollution by now was making matters worse as it further made the weather warm and breathing difficult. The volunteers really did a wonderful job. A special mention here to the Waste Warriors who had meticulously tried to keep the litter off the road and made it the cleanest marathon in the country.
Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013
The last km inside the GMC Balayogi Stadium Complex was awesome because of the electrifying atmosphere. I sprinted the last 100 metre on the synthetic track of the stadium and felt an extra bounce in my legs. The atmosphere inside the stadium proper was even more amazing. I smiled(I thought I smiled) and gave a victory sign while crossing the finish line and was a satisfied man with a 2:12:42 time.
Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013
Observations

1. Organisers need to work on the traffic management system though it was much better than the last time.

2. Provision of more number of toilets at the Start Point is required as men were forming a mile long line at the two toilets and many more found dark corners to relieve themselves. Ladies were also left high and dry with only two toilets.

3. The medals this time were designed well. It was quite impressive.

Medals - Race Report - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013

4. I saw less number of photographers this time.

5. The T – Shirt was designed well unlike last time. However the quality of the cloth was better last time.

6. Overall a superbly conducted event. Kudos to Hyderabad Runners and associates for making it a success.

After finishing I got the medal from one of the volunteers and had water and the brunch packet(the food items were good). I hanged around the stadium for a bit and absorbed the positive energy from the people. I also saw Maj DP Singh finishing his run and was awestruck. What a man!

I reached home by 0900 hours. My wife was impressed and congratulated me with a kiss. I did few stretching exercises and slept for an hour. I got up at around 1000 hours and congratulated myself with a chilled beer.

Hope you guys liked my race report of Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2013. Hope to see you all next year. Till then stay fit and keep running.

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Author: Neel

I am Neel and the creator of borN. I am an ultra marathoner, scuba diver, adventurer, writer and father of an extremely active child.

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