05 June 2007

Rock'n Roll Marathon

The flag of Chennai Runners was hoisted on June 3rd in the San Diego Rock'n' Roll marathon.

It was a cloudy day, with the temperature of 15 degrees or so. Perfect weather for running. I was better prepared this time. I had done a few half marathons for practice and had also done a 30km once. I wanted to hunt this marathon down in 4.5hrs. The previous day, when I had gone to collect the running bib, I had enlisted for being a pacer for the 4.5hrs team. The pacer team was either sponsored, or was composed of people from Southwest Airlines.

When the race started, my body was responding beautifully. The strides were smooth, and yes, I was looking forward to complete the run in 4.5hrs. I stayed as close as possible to the lead pacer. I even managed a toilet break in the nearby bushes and still managed to catch up with my pacer team.

At around the first hour mark, we had completed 6 miles which was perfect pace. At the 7th mile, the current lead pacer, with whom I had got myself introduced the earlier day, started having some problems with his legs and he asked me to take over. And I did. Till the 12th mile or so I was running nicely. The legs were falling in place quite well. I was not panting. Since the weather was quite cool, there was no sweating too.

Once I reached 12.5 mile, I sped up a bit ahead of other. I sensed that my bowels were about to give away and I had to empty them. If I had to empty them and still pace others, I needed a head start. Once I reached the mobile restrooms, I saw that there was a fairly long queue. I did see a Carl's Jr outlet a few meters ahead of me and I decided to use that.

And then disaster struck. Just as I turned back to join the race, one of the runners who was coming to join the race collided against me. We both went sprawling, luckily, on the grass. I fell down completely and my right leg twisted at the ankle and struck a stone. The pain was bad. I was initially thinking that it does not look all that bad that I have to abandon my run. I trotted gently to Carl's Jr and emptied my bowels. After I came out was when all the fun started. Every step was becoming a pain. I decided to mix walking and running, and if necessary, crawling, to get to the finishing line. After all, I had traveled to San Diego all the way from Monterrey and there was no way I was going back without the finishers medal.

And so after a laborious 3.5 hours after my fall, I pulled myself to the finishing line. The finishers medal never felt so good around my neck as it did that day.



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:18 AM


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