Here is my story – starting the day before at the EXPO or lack of it at the WTC on 14th Jan 2012. The fanfare of 2010 was lacking but was soon made up when friends got to meet each other. I saw Parom, Ravish, Srinivas V, Deepak and of course Doc (Rajat). There were other familiar faces from Bangalore too.
In the Q for the bib, I made friends with a 56 year old watch man (security guard) who trains 2 hours a day and was waiting in the que for his HM bib.
8 out 10 times I have the innate ability to crash systems by just being present at the head of any service queue – be it at the bank, ticket counter, checkin counter and this time it was no different – the BIB server crashed but did come back quickly and the wait was not painful thanks to my newly found friend who kept me entertained in chaste hindi. Armed with BIB #334 I was on my way back.
Slept early, Z..z..z..z…z, slept well.
3:00 AM 15th Jan
Got up early, Ravi made some great coffee, I followed it up with a small oatmeal breakfast. Got dropped off at Santa-Cruz station. Sat on the bench, at platform 2 waiting for 4:10 local for Churchgate, which came on platform 6 – rushed along with a co-passenger to 6 and we got talking to each other. The co-passenger, Samir Singh, casually inquired about my Vibrams and how long it lasted. His questions and interest indicated he was a runner and later turned out to be a runner whose personal best was 2:58 and was gunning for the first place in the open category. The guy was simply amazing – he trained 6 days a week and always ran S’Cruz to Churchgate and return!
Samir and I walked to Gate 4 the entrance to SCMM 2012 – soon met a friends and it was time to head for the start point.
It was a cool morning, I guess around 19 deg-C, and hoped it remained that way for long…Srini and I started to trot at an easy pace, I lost him some where at 3k…. I reminded myself about my race strategy – a simple strategy, 70 min per quarter of a marathons, keep it slow and steady, walk the hill and if I was over the Kemps corner hill within 4 hours – plan was to give it my best shot.
Walked the uphill and what a relief hit the 36k mark at 3:58, was elated that a sub-5 was now a reality, at the same time did not want to spoil that by changing pace on the downhill – resisted any increase in pace, just relaxed going down hill and kept the pace easy upto 38k…in 4:13
4.2k to go, 4:45 finish looked feasible and doable, even if took 30min for the balance distance. I kept the pace steady, taking every ICE station/sponge station as an opportunity to cool the legs a bit….that helped…soon the 40k mark approached me at 4:28, I knew I was home, but was patient and now wanted the sub 4:45 and went for it…… soon the I see “1K to go” board and it felt great then a bit later saw 500m to go, then 300m, then 200m and then 100m was elated and very please to finish 4:43:30