To Run or Not To Run My First 100km

My decision is clouded as of now!

My decision is clouded as of now!

I am so in trouble. I have reached my folks home with a terrible viral and my first ultra – Bhatti Lakes 100k is in a week’s time. Bad timing? To run or not to run, that is the question!

In fact, everything at home is topsy turvy. My mother got discharged from hospital – she is too weak to move around, my father also is suffering from viral fever and yours truly is of course, too down with it. I brought this fever from Bagdogra itself, before I even boarded the train. But it was not so severe that time. I was okay. I mean check out these shots I took.






The night I reached home, I was burning with high fever. My morale was in boots. I thought that 6 months of practice and sacrifice is going to go waste just for this damn viral. It’s VIRAL, after all!

I then posted this question on this website, which is a community for ultra runners.

Last 2 days I am having a terrible viral fever. My first 100k race is due on 3rd Oct. Is it advisable to run it? I mean I have a week to get alright but have done little to no running in last week and also the coming week because I will be still recovering. I am bit skeptical but I have trained for this race for last 6 months. Don’t want the effort to go waste. Please advise. PS : One gentleman, my pacer, told me today though that you should be alright to run. Doctors have a habit of staying on the safe side, that’s why they will discourage you from participating.

Within an hour or so, the community of ultra runners poured down with their suggestions.

you have already paid your entry fee, right? so just go see what happens. you can have a great race when you least expect it. or a terrible race when you thought everything was perfect. if you stay home, you know what you will get… nothing. laz
Not a doctor, but I would run it. Your conditioning won’t desert you in 2 weeks of minimal running. You may toe the line feeling fully rested and ready to go. Fred in CT (too cheap to dns)
The story of “showing up to your first 100K on the tail end of a virus” is a much better story, regardless of outcome, than the story of “all that preparation and I decided to stay home.” Good luck!
I would see how you feel once you are recovered, and really want to make sure that you are completely recovered. I ran a marathon with a fairly high fever (which I didn’t realise until afterwards), and really wasn’t back to full strength for about three months after that.

I would agree that you shouldn’t be too concerned about losing too much of the effect of your training. Just be aware that you may fatigue sooner than you would expect to, and you may well end up walking more than you planned.

it could very well be that you have been pushing the training envelope a tad….rest until the race….give the body time to…don’t be afraid of putting on some weight….your body might need it….take a walk perhaps here and there but nothing hard until the race… toe the line see how you feel…as someone else said you might surprise yourself… Carl
i cant forget the total surprise a couple of 100s ago. i had come down with tick fever (ehrlichiosis) and had been sick as a dog…. i was marginally well by race time, and took my last dose of tetracycline right before the start. i basically was unable to eat during the race (at least not without an indoor toilet immediately accessible) except for the sickness that immediately followed every attempt at eating, i had a great race. like rich says, you have to be aware you might be forced to retire early.

but there is a better chance of having a decent race than having to drop…. the only guaranteed result is the one you get by sitting on your ass at home.


I came down with a terrible migraine two nights before the start of the 2007 Badwater Solo. (That was one of the years when we were allowed to do a group start, and was had 14 people running.) During the night, I alternated violent vomiting with lying in the bed moaning. The next day–the day before the start–I couldn’t even get out of bed. By evening, I was finally able to stand up again, so I dragged myself to the pre-race dinner to meet everyone. Then I crawled back into bed feeling like I wanted to die. I figured my run wasn’t going to happen, and I was too sick to care. Oddly enough, I woke up at 5:00 AM, ready to run.

I still think of that run as the best run of my life. You really just don’t know how you’re going to feel on race day. No one does! Rest and let your body recover. This close to the race, you won’t lose much of your conditioning. Lots of recovery can happen in a week. Just rest and don’t sweat it. On race day, just go and see what you’ve got. Who knows? It might even be the best run of your life.


I kind of split the difference here. I definitely agree that the enforced rest period caused by your illness could be beneficial. I also agree that you should start the race. The caveat here is that you mentally commit to starting the race and to dropping out early if things don’t go well. Over 35+ years and 450+ ultramarathons I have used this approach maybe 10 times for both health and injuries. The outcome has been more finishes than dnf’s. In fact my Marathon pr was set in these circumstances.

Just go out there and run the thing aid station to aid station. In my experience you will either drop in under 20 miles or finish the race.

Drop in under 20 miles or finish the race? That’s some motivation, huh? Well, I thank these guys and gals to help me out and give me a kick in my ass to at least to go there and toe the start line.

Well, I am writing this line when I have now already run the race. And my mother died on 29th September due to dengue. It was unfortunate but I ran the race in her memory as she too was excited for this event. It was a huge decision to continue with my plan but my father, wife, family members and friends supported me and encouraged me to run it.

The race report and a short video on the race course is coming up soon.

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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