Amol Pednekar- Be The Change


This young boy from Sawantwadi was one of three siblings born to Middle Class working parents. Amol’s father worked in the Health Department while his mother was a teacher.   A happy childhood spent in the beautiful Konkan region with the major focus being on studies and scholarship for the bookish roly-poly young lad. Amol went on to do B.E. from the Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli followed by MBA at the MET Institute in Mumbai. Whilst enjoying his Hostel and Bachelor life with not enough home cooked meals the kilos continued to pile on 😑.

Once settled in his job he married Dr. Prachi, a Doctor who works in the ICU at Bhaktivedant Hospital. Soon they were blessed with a beautiful little girl, Sara. As work and home responsibilities increased, his health continued to be neglected until finally realization dawned on Amol as the weighing scale showed that he had almost hit triple digits in 2014 😱. Too embarrassed to enroll in a Gym, he immediately bought a Treadmill and started using it diligently walking for 20 minutes on alternate days. Slowly his efforts started paying off as the kilos slowly started to melt away 🤗.

Amol enrolled for his very first Running Event at ICT where he completed 7K in 50 minutes. That’s when he had a major shift in mindset and felt free for the very first time. Watching other older Runners passing him by as he too overtook other slower runners gave him that special Runners High 😊. He ended up doing back to back 10K at the Khushi Awetism Run as well as the Mira-Bhayander Run.

Catching sight of several Runners in the lovely green Mumbai Road Runners t-shirts, he found out about this wonderful group on Facebook. Soon it was time for this solo Runner to join this lively Running Community. During 2014-2015 Amol diligently started going for the monthly MRR Run. He would join from Dadar and run all the way to NCPA covering a distance of about 15K. In fact his very first HM was also at the monthly Bandra-NCPA Run 😃. The best part was the social interaction with other Runners getting much needed inputs and information. In fact, it was through MRR FB posts that he realized he just might be suffering from an ITB injury approaching a Physiotherapist at the correct time. That’s when he understood the importance of Strength Training to support Running.


In November 2015, Amol connected with Prashant Pankaj and Niyat Anjaria on the Net. These likeminded local Solo Runners got together and the Mira Bhayander Runners (MBR) group was born. The motley group of 3 grew to 200 within a year, further growing to 600 within 2 years. MBR has grown quickly into one of the biggest groups within a very short time span 🤗.


The monthly picturesque Mira-Bhayander Long Run has soon become one coveted monthly event. MBR Gang also conduct Boot Camps, Awareness Camps, Kids Events etc so as to encourage all kinds of physical activity and not just restrict it to Runners.


The goal is to inspire more and more people to be healthy and happy as well as increasing Running Awareness in the MBR Area 🙂. MBR also sponsors several underprivileged speedsters in a bid to empower and enrich their lives. Currently, all these initiatives are completely managed on the basis of Individual Contribution by the members. Goes to show that when your heart is in the right place, everything does have a tendency to fall in place for you to make a difference 🤗.

Amol did his first official HM at IDBI Federal Life Insurance Mumbai Half Marathon in 2016 finishing in 2:50. He quickly followed that with participation in about 8-9 more events that year. With regular training Amol got his PB of 2:14 at the SCMM in 2017. Unfortunately he ended up getting a Ligament tear due to Overtraining 😥. Deciding to take the Conservative route, he rested for about 6 months despite being advised for 3-4 months break by the Doctor.  During this period, he chose to volunteer and help others pursue their individual goals instead 😎.


Amol completed his Marathon Training Course from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and became a certified Marathon Coach in order to further their goal. He has founded Xponential Fitness, an endurance training academy to create awareness and help Runners and Beginners. Through this new initiative he has started taking sessions on Fitness, Running & Marathon preparation at Running Summits and different Corporate Sessions as well training Kids and Marathon Runners.



He usually follows a 3-days Run and 2-days Strength training schedule with 1-2 days of Uncompromised Rest Days. However, while training for an event he runs 4 times a week including Speed Interval or Hill Run, Tempo Run, Short Run and Long Run. Of course all this takes a backseat in case of any Injury and all focus is totally on Rehabilitation ensuring sufficient Rest and Recovery.

Amol ends on a note advising Newbies- “Don’t pursue running with Legs & Lungs but pursue it with your Heart & Soul. If you do so, I promise you- it will lead you to places you could never dream of. It will take you on a journey to discover the deepest part of your life, the parts that you never knew ever existed.”



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Dombivali Pride Run 10K, March 2018- Hop On My Bus Baby


Sometime after the MRR Bash, Vijit Shetty and Vishwanathan Iyer messaged me asking if I would be interested in pacing at their event on 4th March. I laughed and told them I’m a lousy pacer based on my previous track record 😂. However they insisted and I did end up agreeing to pace once Buddy Sachin Gupta agreed to join me to Dombivali. I was going to be pacing the 60 minutes Bus this time along with Santosh Nadar. Once logistics were in place I borrowed Salaj’s garmin and made sure I did a practice run with it. Yup, I’m definitely learning from previous experiences 😄. The Runburn Team were constantly updating us and also did a Race recce and informing us Pacers to keep a margin of 100m whilst pacing.


On D-day morning, Sachin was kind enough to pick me from Powai and fellow pacer Bijay Nair from Mulund and made sure we reached KDMC ground by 6. After all he did have to make sure that his Bus with the esteemed passengers reached on time 😁. We were greeted warmly by the Runburn Gang, who practically treated us like Royalty escorting us and handing us our Bibs and Pacer Flags 🤗.


After a short warm up while the Zumba session was on in full swing, we moved towards the Starting line-up. I joked around with Deepak Pai, the 55 minute pacer asking him if like me he was the cheerleader of their team 😉. Laughing and chatting pulling each other’s legs we gathered around at the Starting Line-up. Precisely at 6:30 we were off and running out through the gates running up the slight slope and speed breaker right at the start.

I ran with Santosh and our self-appointed DJ Tejas Rane who was running along carrying his speaker 😎. On the descent I ended up speeding a bit as Santosh called out to me to slow down just as I saw I was running at a pace of 5:42. Slowing down slightly, I ran a little ahead as Santosh and Tejas were left behind. The next Kilometer I was back on track as I ran at my pre-decided pace of about 5:50 or so considering the extra 100m.

Moving on, I chatted with passenger Amitesh Shah from Kalyan who was trying to do a Sub 60 in a bid for his PB having done 10K in 67 minutes at the recent Navi Mumbai Half Marathon. Cautioning him to slow down if required I ran alongside chatting as we went. Further ahead, was joined by another youngster Aditya from Dombivali. He too had an earlier PB of 67 minutes, though his was at the Navy Marathon couple of months back.

We ran ahead steadily enjoying the patches of greenery as we went. It was quite hot and humid and we made sure to keep sipping and pouring water on our heads. Had fun cheering the speedy Runners across the street as they took the U-turn at the 3.5K mark. Catching sight of a train on the tracks, tried to figure out if it was the Deccan Express as I ran in the opposite direction soon spotting a Local train as well. Pacer Santosh and DJ Tejas were running right behind with plenty of other Runners on the bus as they ran to the tune of the beats 😊. Shouting out and Cheering each other we all ran keeping our spirits high.

I kept shouting out pointing right before all the Hydration points placed at every kilometer. My passengers were kind enough to share their water with me as I ran with the pacer flag in my hand 🤗. After the Halfway mark, people started struggling a bit what with the weather starting to take a toll as well.

After the 7K mark, I told Aditya to move ahead if he was feeling strong. Unfortunately Amitesh and some others had already fallen behind by then 😑. As Aditya moved on, I was joined by Santosh and Tejas along with Runner Deepak. Encouraging him to move ahead after the 8K mark we ran together enjoying the varied songs from Lakshya, Lagaan, Mission Kashmir etc that Tejas was playing full blast. Mentioned to Santosh that shouting out actual Kilometers can be deterrent and sometimes vaguely knowing you are just a short distance from the finish line serves well.


We ran steadily with Deepak just ahead thanking the Volunteers and Police as we passed by. We were all smiles as we saw Photographer Pankaj Patil at the 8.5K mark. Soon we crossed the 9K mark and moved ahead shouting and encouraging everyone to finish strong. Tejas had moved on as Santosh and I continued steadily to finish together bringing our 60 minute Bus back arriving well on time in 59:44 😎.



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Nashik Police Marathon 21K, February 2018- Fun Run Fiesta

Some time back in December, Reshma Salian asked me if I would like to join for the Nashik Police Marathon on 18th February. Aatul Sangamnerkar was going to take a Gang of Mumbai Runners for the same. I immediately agreed since we would get to enjoy our picnic to beautiful Nashik along with the Run. As I jokingly told Reshma, “Why not, time mila to bhaag bhi lenge.” 😂  After all, what better way to let your hair down and celebrate after the Mumbai Marathon?

After some back and forth, Aatul finalized on all the logistics and our merry band of Runners was all set. We decided to get a head start and leave early Saturday morning. Piled up in two cars we took off, stopping briefly for Chai and Vada before reaching the famous Sadhana Misal for Brunch 😊. We were floored by the place and yummy Nashik Special Misal-Pav which they served along with tarri, dahi and poha papad.  We also tasted the special Paans and Chuli-varche Ice cream. This one was on the lines of Chokhi Dhani with some animals and birds in cages, bullock cart and camel ride etc. It seems, there are tons of such joints in Nashik and all of them are invariably flooded on weekends. After all what better way to start your day with family and friends? 🤗

All satiated, we visited the close by Balaji Temple taking Darshan. However, we ended up rushing out as one fellow glared at us as all of us burst out in loud peals of laughter at one of Aatul’s entertaining anecdotes. Suitably chastened, we wisely left before we were thrown out. 😁

Then it was time to visit the Rachana Sports and Cultural Academy; Aatul being one of its Trustees. The campus was lovely with some Tennis courts as well as a Boarding School for underprivileged girls along with the famous Badminton courts that’s home to several National players. 😎 Despite visiting in the afternoon, we got to meet one of the Coaches Dr. Amit Deshpande who was coaching two young girls.

Bidding them adieu, we collected our Bibs at the Golf Club Ground and finally went to Aatul’s Hotel Manorath where we settled for some much needed rest. The evening was spent exploring the running spaces of Nashik. The highlight was the fabulous dinner of Prawns, Fried Surmai, Fish Curry and Rice prepared lovingly by Archana, Aatul’s wife. Talk about living to adage, “Atithi Devo Bhava.”

Sunday morning; Pooja, Neha, Reshma, Rodman, Jaj, Aatul and I walked down to the venue chatting and joking wishing the Policemen Good Morning as we went. It was good to see all the Nashikkers out in full form and also meeting a few familiar faces like Aniruddha Athani 😃.

After a short warm up whilst the Zumba was on in full swing, we moved towards the starting line. A slight delay of two minutes and we were off and running. Neha, Jaj and I ran together as speedsters Rodman and Pooja took off. I was pleasantly surprised to see Namrata Patil as she called out to me. Waving and shouting back we moved ahead promising to meet after the Race. Neha joked about both of us being Jaj’s bodyguards as we ran on either side 😂.

We ran together thanking the kids who were all assembled to cheer us. Every half kilometer or so there were children in groups either cheering, doing Lezim, playing the Dhols or playing in a Band 😊. Some 5-year-olds were all decked up in finery and traditional wear. Without a doubt, it felt amazing as they cheered us all on and sooner than we knew it we passed the 4K mark.

After a bit of the uphill section, I ended up racing down and didn’t realize when I left Neha and Jaj behind. Amazed at the display of Rope Malkhamb by some young girls ahead I cheered and clapped as I moved on meeting Inspector Bhujbal from Bhusaval. I overhead another guy ahead saying that he had come directly from Night Duty to Run 😐. At about 7K I met and ran along with Mahesh Patil. He had just done his first HM at the Shirdi Marathon the previous Sunday and was hoping to get a PB here targeting 2:05.

Moving further we met Dr. Sagar Patil who was having a blast with his friend joking and cheering us as we ran together. Just then we were passed by a group of young girls in white shirts and black shorts with long plaits. It was a pleasure watching them run together in perfect synchrony 🤗.

Further ahead, I shouted and cheered as the 10K Elite guys passed by on the other side of the road along with the lead vehicle. A bit further; I was stunned to see one guy jump across the line and head back skipping the mandatory U-turn, a classic case of Cheating 😠. Glad to see the timing mat at the U-turn though.

We moved on enjoying running on the fantastic wide roads as the Volunteers and Cops did a fine job of managing the traffic at signals and crossings. Thanking them profusely I ran on enjoying the open spaces. Soon enough, caught sight of the HM Elite Runners following the Lead Vehicle. I ran on cheering fellow runners as they returned after the U-turn. It was good to see and exchange Hi-fives with Rodman as he ran strong. A little further I cheered Pooja and moved ahead. The U-turn was after the 12k mark and we were greeted by the sight of the glorious Sunrise as soon as we turned 🤗.

It was good to see Neha and Jaj as I ran back thinking they would catch up with me soon. Enjoying the fabulous cool weather I moved on looking around at the greenery. It was fun waving and cheering Namrata, Reshma and Aatul amongst others as I ran back. A little ahead I caught a glimpse of some of the earlier cheering kids performing a play on the stage. If that wasn’t enough, there were some Muslim guys who were handing out Roses to us Runners. Talk about being treated like Royalty 😄.

Running back confidently, I picked up my pace to the beats of the strategically placed Drums being played by the Band with just 3K to go. Quickly I moved forward crossing the 20K Mark. The last left turn, and a bit further I caught sight of the timing clock at the Finish Line. All smiles I ran faster in a bid to finish strong. Unfortunately; in the last few meters I faltered, misunderstanding that the people ahead were telling me to move towards the side behind them. I ended up clambering behind and then coming out again crossing the Finish Line 😑. Turns out they were gesturing to some 5K Walkers behind me🙄.

Nevertheless I managed to finish in 1:56:04 getting my PB in the process 😊. In fact our entire gang had a terrific run with some PBs and Pooja even managing to bag a Podium standing Third in her Age Category 😃. We celebrated in full style dancing to the Punjabi Dhols on the Ground as well as out on the Dhols played by the Nashik Women all dressed in traditional finery near the finish line.

Followed it up by the quintessential trip to Sula. Also visited another fabulous farmhouse called Utopia 😊. One last yummy late lunch at Maharashtra Darbar and it was time to head back home back to Reality wishing Aatul “Annadaata Sukhi Bhava.” 😊 IMG-20180219-WA0078

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Rahul Agrawal- Flab to Fab

A Logistics Businessman, originally from Indore, Rahul moved to Mumbai in 2001. What with the move, a bulk of his time went in setting up his new business and settling down in the Thane Suburb. The long hours of work, untimely meals leading to poor eating habits as well as total lack of exercise led to a major weight gain. Reality hit badly in 2006 when Rahul woke up to the fact that he had bloated up to 100kg with a 42” waist 😨. That was the much needed wake up call.

In 2006, when the Agrawals moved to their new home in Hiranandani Meadows at Thane, Rahul started going to the Gym regularly. Henceforth, he decided to exercise regularly in the Gym including running on the Treadmill and Weight training. With this regular regimen of Gym and mindful eating he reduced his weight to 73kg within the year 😎.

In November 2007, there was an advertisement by the local Talwalkar Gym. They were offering a 10 week Training program by which Beginners were assured entry for Registration at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in January. Rahul enrolled for the same and that’s when he met his future Mentor K Haridasan Nair 🤗. He went on to finish his first HM in 2:15 at the SCMM in 2008.

Rahul and other friends formed a small group named Masthane and continued the same training regime for the next 2-3 years. Rahul fondly remembers those days when Marathon was a very new sport and unlike today there were hardly any events. Running season use to start 3 to 4 months before SCMM and used to end with SCMM. In fact, it was only in 2011 that Rahul did his first outstation Marathon at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM).

Then onwards, Rahul started training for his first Full Marathon at the SCMM in 2012. He finished his first FM in 5:08 in 2012 and went on from strength to strength achieving a PB of 4:12 in FM later at SCMM in 2016. Meanwhile, he continued doing several HM’s in the interim achieving his HM PB of 1:53 in the process at Hiranandani Thane Half Marathon organised by HERWA in December 2015 😊.

In 2012, Rahul was introduced to the Mumbai Road Runners by Bijay Nair. He liked the idea of all the Mumbai Runners coming together once a month to run and have fun. Also, the yearly MRR Awards Night post the Mumbai Marathon was one big Dhamaal event that he looks forward to eagerly. Today MRR is one of the biggest Running community of India helping so many runners realize their dreams 🤗.


In 2013 besides running in several more events, Rahul did his first 50K Ultra Midnight Run from 12 am-6 am along with Hari Sir. Under his able guidance, Rahul did 73K in his first 12-hour event at the Shivaji Park Mumbai Ultra in 2014. He considers Hari Bhai as his Friend, Philosopher and Guide and was the first student when Haridasan Nair formed his own running group “Runtastics Dilse” in 2014.

Although Rahul shies away from calling himself as an Ultra runner, he has done some serious distances. He has done Shivaji Park 12 hour Ultra in 2014, 2015 and 2016 running distances of 73K, 77K and 80K respectively. This was followed 100K at the Bangalore Ultra in 2015 and 24 hours Bangalore Ultra in 2016. He has also done 12 Hour IDBI Fed Life 12 hours Stadium run in 2016 and 24 hours Stadium run in 2017 where he clocked 131K. He still considers the 54K Ultra marathon done in Silvassa in 2016 as his toughest run due to extreme heat and steep inclines 😱.

Rahul also enjoyed playing the role of pacer for the very first time at Pinkathon in 2015. One which Rahul relished and went on to pace at several more events like Satara, HTHM, Indore, IDBI Fed Life Half marathon etc.

The best part was when the entire family joined in the fun and started to run 🤗. Radha, his Nutritionist wife and biggest supporter joined him in running in 2011 SCMM. Though now she is more into cycling rather than running; she has run all the editions of Mumbai marathon since then. Their daughter Urvi did her first 10K at Pinkathon Thane followed by her first HM at Tarblazer in 2017 while their son Pranjal has done couple of 4K Runs at HTHM.

Rahul trains with the Runtastics under K Haridasan Nair Sir following 5-days a week schedule. It’s a mix of Strength training as well as Stretching on two days and speed intervals as well as hill training on two days followed by Sunday long run. Rahul says that more than the run it’s the group and meeting with friends he looks forward to every morning. What better way to start the day 😄?

It has been more than 10 years that Rahul has been running Marathons regularly. Even today, he feels that as Recreational Runners, we should not focus too much on timings. He advises Newbies to enjoy this beautiful sport. According to him apart from running equal importance should be given to Strengthening and Core exercises. One should increase the mileage gradually and choose events wisely whilst giving a good amount of time to recover.

He says Running for him is like Nirvana that gives him opportunity to be with himself. It’s the most wonderful gift he has got from life which he will cherish forever 😃.




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Gaga Over The Moon

As a child, like most kids I was fascinated by the Sky. I could spend hours in the balcony just gazing up at the starry skies humming to myself. Some of the best times were those spent chatting with friends whilst up on the building terrace. I especially loved sleepovers with my cousins when we slept in the balcony as well as sleeping on our building terrace with my family during the hot summer days.

Later, Hubby and I would always make it a point to stop on the way during our Mumbai-Pune journey just to gaze up at the beautiful starry skies away from the city lights 😊. Of course, caught up in day to day life with a child and other responsibilities these moments dwindled away. In fact, I would now enjoy star and moon watching whilst running in the early hours rather than during the night 😁.

Over the last few days, there were constant updates and news about the upcoming Super Blue Blood Moon. Yes, three fantastic celestial events were to take place simultaneously on 31st January. After all it’s only once in a Blue moon that we get to see another Super Moon this month when the Moon would appear much bigger than the usual Full moon due to its proximity to the earth 🤗. Also; thanks to the Lunar Eclipse, we would get to see the Reddish Orange tinged Blood moon as well 😊. Naturally, we were all looking forward to watching this amazing rare phenomenon particularly as we would get to see it all with the naked eye 😎.

Hubby told me that morning that he would try to come home early so that we could all watch the Moon together. I had already decided to make sure that Kiddo and I witnessed it especially since it was happening that evening between 6-9 pm as per the Newspaper. True to his word at about 6 pm Hubby called to say he was on his way home. After waiting for some time, I sent my disgruntled kid down to play with her friends till Hubby returned.

As soon as Hubby entered, he rushed to the window a little disheartened since yet again the Moon was invisible thanks to the pollution and haze 😔. He even checked the position with some Star tracker App on my phone, smirking and making some inane remark about it being positioned in my Star sign so lord knows what would happen 🙄. Obviously, I just rolled my eyes and did not even bother to respond.

I thanked my lucky stars that I had the good sense to send my girl down to play earlier or there just might have been another fiery show right there and then 😂. As Hubby got back to working on his laptop, I went back to reading my book whilst getting up every now and then doing other stuff before dinner. After some time when Hubby told me to look out from the window to check if anything were visible. Keeping my book down, I went to look out expecting to be greeted by darkness. Suddenly I caught sight of a slight reddish circular glow in the dark sky. Needless to say; I was thrilled, literally shouting at Hubby that I could see it 😁.

Hubby climbed up on the platform and immediately got into his photographer mode while I just stood there bending and peering in order to find the best possible position to catch sight of the Blood Moon. After a few moments of gazing in silence, I tried calling the Security person on the Intercom to tell him to send our daughter home. Unfortunately, it just wouldn’t work and I frantically went down in the lift and yelled at her to come home.

Turns out, the Baccha party had also been discussing about the same wondering if they would get to see it. Looking up, I realized that it was not visible from downstairs and we quickly made our way up to our flat. We were just in time to see the slight sliver of light making way for a crescent.

After a few moments of gazing and constant chatter, the other kid bid us goodnight and made his way back home. That’s when Hubby decided to make his way to the Terrace with his trusty Camera and Tripod with kiddo in tow. I settled down in a chair at the window to enjoy the show whilst singing all possible moon related songs that I could think of 😅. Unbelievably the first one I thought of was “Chand phir nikla, magar Tum na aaye” followed by “Adha hai Chandrama, Raat Adhi” and several others including one of my favourite Marathi “Chanda Rani, ka ga distes thaklya vaani.” Looks like all those years of playing Antakshari a.k.a Bhendya with my parents, family and friends rubbed off big time 😁.

Kiddo suddenly came back to pick up some instruction guide and ran back smiling at me in amusement as she suddenly heard me burst into song. Eventually I ended up having my dinner right there sitting by the window. Kiddo followed back soon after and finally Hubby dearest. I went off to bed once I realized Hubby was settling down with his camera. True to form, I did end up enjoying the beauty of the glorious Super Moon whilst Running in the wee hours of the morning 😊.

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TMM FM, Jan 2018- Mingle All The Way

The New Year for us Runners seems to begin only after the prestigious Mumbai Marathon 😂. We continue to talk about this being our last Race for the year despite it being on the third Sunday of January of the following year. As D-day approached, there were loads of jokes and weather predictions as we enjoyed the cool weather of January. This was followed by plenty of Motivational posts, Queries, Inputs and Advice as everyone waited with bated breath for the much awaited TMM.


This time unlike the previous years, Bib Collection was immediately before TMM and even the Race Route was declared last moment probably due to delay in permissions as well the Metro work. Needless to say; that Saturday must have seen the maximum footfalls at the Expo as maximum Runners, local as well as outstation visited to collect their bibs. Luckily, had managed to collect Bib on Thursday so as to get maximum rest on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, I got a ride with NTPC Runners- Jitendra Soni, Shish Pundir, Praveen Sharma and Aditya Subba. We left at 3:30 to avoid barricades and get as close to the Holding Area as possible. Reaching well within time we met others who were staying at Hotel Fortune near Metro Cinema. Freshening up we made our way to the Holding Area at Azad Maidan by 5 AM.

It was good to meet and joke around with several other Runner friends, clicking pictures and having fun as we waited for others to join.   Catching sight of the 4:30 pacer Parul I called out and met her wanting to go along with her Bus. I made my way forward as she met others on her way. It was good to catch up with Roshni Rai and a nice surprise to meet Delhiite Chander Khandpal, who ran with me from Haji Ali in SCMM 2017 😊.

We made our way chatting and laughing recalling our fun run together as we waited in our Line up area. Soon we made our way ahead and precisely at 5:40 took off with shouts of All the Best waving and cheering as we went. Chander ran with me for a bit and wished me luck as he was going to take it easy thanks to an injury 😒.

I moved on steadily and was joined by my FB friend Dharminder Sharma from Chandigarh. Though he was initially targeting joining the 4:15 Bus; he decided to go slower with me, just having recovered from a Running injury as well as chest infection. We ran together comfortably chatting as he told me all about a Marathon at Chandigarh held in April. We moved on cheering Jayanthi Sampathkumar, the Sari runner who was running to better her Guiness Record 😎. Chatting a bit with her pacer, Divakar Pingle we ran ahead.

Soon we were joined by Borivali Runner Aniket Save as we moved towards Marine Drive. It was good to see Parul on the other side and we ran on expecting her to catch up with us soon. Enjoying the beauty of the sea as well as the musicians playing their drums we ran on jabbering away to glory. A little further ahead, Satish Gujaran overtook us as he introduced us to his fellow runner from Isha Vidya who was swiftly running barefoot alongside.

It was good to meet Manohar, Rodman, Dipesh, Venkat and Dylan as we ran on and I wondered how we were coming across so many fast runners. Though catching sight of Bijay Nair and Saurabh Chang Golam further ahead was reassuring. As Venkat said, probably the fast runners were taking it easy that day 😁.

Aniket and I ran together chatting away whilst cheering the superfast HM runners from Babulnath itself. We kept picking, sipping water and pouring it on our heads to cool down. It was nice to see many more familiar faces as we moved on as loads of our friends doing their HM ran on the opposite side. Enjoying the beautiful sight of the serene Haji Ali we ran on rejuvenated by the refreshing breeze 🤗.

It was amazing to watch hordes of runners ahead what with even the FM Runners going up to 7000 this year. There was a constant Sea of Runners moving along particularly all the way across the fabulous Bandra-Worli Sea link. It was wonderful listening to the Navy band as someone commented was playing the same song as last year; talk about memory recall 😎. Catching sight of Nitin Khamamkar and the Runbuddies at Worli, shouted and waved as we ran ahead towards the Sea link.

Aniket and I ran together enjoying the wonderful sights of the serene sea, flocks of birds, flying jets and particularly enjoying the huge orange ball in the sky as we witnessed the sunrise 😊.  Aniket shouted out to Dino who was clicking pictures just ahead of us. The Goan was sweet enough to oblige and click our picture too 😄. Thanking him we moved ahead as he got busy clicking with his friends.

Waving to the cheering Toll guys we ran on looking out at the quaint, brightly coloured shanties on our left. Picking up some jaggery and salt from a lady, we crossed Shibani Gharat who was struggling as she ran despite being down having taken heavy dose of Antibiotics L. Moving to the rhythm of the Lezim we moved down further for the halfway mark. We were greeted by the sight of Hubby dearest all ready and waiting with his Camera 🤗. Hugging and clicking pictures with my kiddo we waved and moved on.

Feeling good, we enjoyed running as we hi-fived the small kids out in full force to cheer us 😃. The Mumbaikars were there constantly cheering and supporting us. Water, Enerzal, Rock Salt, Bananas, Oranges, Biscuits, Sweets, Chocolates, Coke, even Boiled Potatoes they had it all 😎. Talk about being pampered to the hilt. No wonder practically every Indian Runner wants to come down and run in Amchi Mumbai 🤗.

Crossing Shivaji Park we ran on thanking everyone and shouting out to friends who were out cheering us. Further ahead, met Manohar and teased him about having a massage at the Birla Kerala Ayurveda Centre across 😂. Bowing down at Siddhivinayak shouting Ganpatti Morya we ran on comfortably encouraging others as we ran ahead.

Soon, we turned towards Worli making our way back discussing that we would soon catch sight of the Elites. Sure enough, the lead vehicle and volunteers soon crossed us shouting at us to keep to the left. It was a pleasure watching the Elites as they ran past us striding strongly.

Feeling strong we ran further shouting out and cheering other faster runners on the opposite side. Soon we too reached the U-turn and headed towards the Sea-face once more. I heard someone shout out to Aniket to click his picture as I moved ahead and lost him. Enjoying the serene sea view I ran on comfortably passing a few runners on the way. I kept meeting and chatting with other FB friends as I moved along comfortably soon reaching the Mela junction where Milind Soman’s mom and Sharmila Munj stood cheering us with zeal.

I ran further moving towards Haji Ali and was greeted by loud shouts and cheers from the Runburn KDR gang who were volunteering there. A little further, I was joined by Amit who had run with me at VVMM for a bit. I ran alongside chatting with him and his friends Mahesh and Anand as we crossed the Cooling Zone. I decided to forego walking through it preferring to pour water on my head instead. Didn’t realize when I left the trio behind and moved strongly towards Peddar Road looking forward to seeing the MRR gang.

Catching sight of the enthusiastic bunch I ran on hi-fiving Ankit with the biggest grin on my face. I quickly ran up thinking the faster I go up, the sooner I’d be running down. Waving to Priyadarshini Patil and the Aurangabad Black Bucks I ran further on to be greeted by the sight of Pranav Subramanyam and Pradeep Chaubey. Declining their offer of Pepsi I ran on energized knowing it was just a little bit more to go.

Reaching the Babulnath junction, I crossed Satish Gujaran who was pacing someone. A little ahead I caught sight of Cheryl Mascarenhas and the JNM gang who cheered me on enthusiastically. I ran on only to be greeted by Michael Dsouza who was perfectly positioned to click me 😎. It was good to see so many Mumbaiites standing out there cheering us on.

Soon I was greeted by the sight of the Dream Run Guys who were out in full force. There were different groups with various messages. I caught sight of some with slogans about Awetism Awareness, Mens Rights etc. Finally reaching the left turn near Not Just Jazz by the Bay I turned quickly assuring myself I was almost done.

Just ahead near Stadium Restaurant, the other MRR cheering squad was a sight for sore eyes immediately making me feel upbeat. I waved and shouted out as they clapped and cheered me on as I ran past. Luckily Shweta Dholakia joined and paced me for a short distance giving me that much needed final boost 🤗.

Taking the last turn for the final kilometer I ran strong feeling good as I overtook some more runners. Catching sight of the Finish Line I ran smiling and waving sprinting the last bit. Yup I had done it, managed to finish in style in 4:23:53 even getting my PB 😊.


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Swetha Amit- Snakes and Ladders

A chubby little girl who enjoyed good food, Swetha was more of a Bookworm in her School and College Days. Venturing out to play Hide and seek and Lock and key with her friends was as far as she went in Sports. Incessant teasing about being fat led her to find solace in food as she further retreated into books due to her confidence taking a severe beating. Being diagnosed with PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder) with hormones playing havoc in her Teens didn’t help matters either. 😔

In 2008 post marriage, Swetha got hooked on to gymning courtesy her Marathoner husband, Amit. Weight training sessions alternated with Cardio and some diet changes brought a miraculous transformation in her physique giving her a new found Confidence. Despite Amit’s best efforts, Swetha was not inclined to Road Running. After all, that would mean giving up her enjoyable Saturday night parties and ushering in Early morning Sunday long runs 😕. Marathons were better left to Amit while she managed just fine with her convenient 20- minute Treadmill Run.

However, Fate had something else in Store. In December 2010, Swetha was hospitalized after severe bouts of vomiting and high fever having consumed something dodgy at a wedding. She was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, lost a lot of blood and was very weak. Hitting Rock bottom, she regained her strength and even overcame the loss of several friends who drifted apart during this phase.

The fighter in her rose as she decided to build back her strength through Running. Swetha decided to run 21k at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in 2012. She also quit her job as Counselor to take a break and find her true calling. Hubby Amit as well as her Trainers provided her with the much needed support throughout. She went on to effortlessly finish her very first HM in 2:03 and the Runner was truly born. 2012 turned out to be truly special as she even found her calling as a journalist. 😎

Swetha went on to do many more running events that year. Eventually she even did her first Full Marathon, again at the SCMM in 2013 finishing in 4:59, realizing the FM was more mental game rather than physical strain.

Thereafter in 2013 Swetha and Amit decided to start a family. Once again, the tides turned when she was diagnosed with Ulcers yet again in her 8th month of pregnancy 😒. Fortunately; despite loss of blood and strength, due to timely medication she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Samara in April 2014 🤗. In fact, she even went back to running within a month and did a 10K in June 2014 😮.

It was another new beginning for the new mother as she struggled to juggle her responsibilities at home and work whilst trying to stay fit, what with a demanding newborn to take care of. After an unsuccessful stint trying to make things work with a couple of nannies, they finally asked their parents for support. Of course, this was a major shift from the Nuclear to Joint family Set up. There were obvious clashes at the beginning between the two generations though they did manage to resolve their differences eventually. Thankfully Amit, proved to be Swetha’s staunchest supporter yet again. 😊

From 2015 Swetha went on to do several events and even won podiums in a few of them. She was introduced to the Mumbai Road Runners (MRR) community by Ajit Singh in April 2015 when she did her first Bandra-NCPA Run with them. Here she met some like-minded people and the MRR monthly runs brought back some sanity into her otherwise chaotic life. 🙂 MRR got her to leave her cosy corner in Colaba and explore greener pastures in places like Aarey, BNP and salt pans of Mulund giving her a whole new perspective towards her beloved Mumbai City.

Bagging the role as one of the ambassadors for Puma and the IDBI Federal Life insurance Mumbai half marathon 2017 was the icing on her cake. With her daughter growing up and support from family, things finally became smoother until another challenge cropped up.

During this period, Amit was looking for a break in his career to realign his goals and gain more clarity in his career pathway. It came as a bolt from the blue when he got admission at the Stanford Business School. After discussing, they decided to take this opportunity and go to California for the year. Of course it was an exciting prospect but at the same time daunting, in terms of settling down in an alien country along with their 3-year-old with no help or support.

An Open mind helped Swetha take advantage of this golden opportunity. She decided to make the most of the time there and enrolled for some writing courses in Stanford in order to further sharpen her journalistic skills 😊.

Signing up for varied types of Races, exploring different terrains, indulging in outdoor Cycling, and even getting into Open water swimming; Swetha made sure she enjoyed all the things that she didn’t get to do in India. She even managed to do her very first open water sprint triathlon there in 2017. 😎

Initially being an avid gymner helped Swetha while training for Half Marathons. Her training schedule included thrice weekly Runs- Speed Intervals, Tempo and Long Runs alternated with Strength training and Cross training. As Running increased, Swetha neglected strength training and paid the price with her left ankle injury 😓. During Full Marathon training this was rectified as she focused on Boot camp training including plyometrics and loads of core strengthening.

Currently in the US her focus being Triathlons, her fitness regime is even more intense. It consists of 3 days of swimming, 3 days of cycling, 3 days running- speed intervals, tempo and long runs as well as upper and lower body strengthening. 😌

Swetha advises Newbies to make sure they enjoy their fitness regime be it Zumba, cross training, sports, running; whatever makes them feel good. She states Consistency is the Key for getting successful results. Increasing the intensity slowly is the key to avoid hitting that wall. Whilst training for Marathons, take it slow instead of going out too far too fast. She equates strength training to Karna’s kavach-kundal that helps prevent injury 😎.

Swetha also vouches for investing in a good shoe after getting gait analysis done as well as ensuring you replace worn out shoes which could cause injury. Lastly, she advises that one should always listen to your body. Rest is as important as workouts if not more. Avoid workouts during Ill-health instead of trying to be a Hero. Another lesson that she learnt the hard way when she landed up in Hospital due to self-neglect. 😫

Life seems to have come a full Circle as Swetha has once more learnt to run her Races purely for enjoyment with no time pressure whatsoever. Furthermore, some of her detractors have even come around to asking her for fitness tips 😁. Soon enough it will be time for them to fly back home to their beloved Mumbai. When life gives you lemons, Make Lemonade; after all it’s all in the attitude dontcha think? 😊

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Kranti Salvi- Second Innings

Born in a Regular Middle class family in Dhule, Maharashtra, Kranti grew up in a safe, secure, protected environment. Along with being a bright Scholarship student, she was also good in Sports and participated in Athletics in school at Sanjivan Vidyalaya, Panchgani.

Invariably; Sports took a back seat, once she enrolled into her Engineering Degree Course. She completed B.E. in Electronics and Telecommunications followed by Masters in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and now is a Director at the Alfa Group of Companies.

Chirag, her 6-year-old boisterous son was advised to enroll in some Physical Activity by School in 2011. Kranti took him to Priyadarshini Park (PDP) for training in Athletics. Obviously, like most mothers, she would wait there itself till he was done. Approaching his Coach, she asked if she too could start track training under him instead of just killing time. He readily agreed and the inborn Athlete rose once more 🤗.

In 2011, Kranti ran her first 5-Kilometer Race at PDP and won the Silver medal completing in less than 25 minutes. Next, she participated for the 6K Valentine Run from Police Gymkhana to NCPA organized by Nike Run Club when she got a Nike T-shirt as a prize and set the ball well and truly rolling.

In 2012, Kranti participated in her first Half Marathon at SCMM. Unexpectedly, she stood 5th in her Age Category finishing in 2:01 despite running Easy and even taking a Loo break 😯. Till then her only real training had been running on the PDP Track as per Chirag’s practice sessions whilst juggling Household Chores, Office and diligently climbing 15 floors to her home daily.

In 2013, Kranti was to do her very first Full Marathon, again at SCMM. Chirag, her son, was selected to participate in the State Level Long Jump Event at Aurangabad on the very same day. Chirag left along with some other friends and their parents on Friday Evening. That Sunday turned out to be super eventful for Kranti as she stood Second in Women and 1st in Indian Women in her Age Category finishing in a brilliant 4:12 🤗. They ended up rushing straight to the Airport after the race to pick up Chirag.

Thereafter, Kranti has gone on to win podiums at practically every Race that she has participated in India. She manages to balance her family, work and training with Elan. The Athletic Salvi family enjoys participating in running events together. They even plan a yearly Runcation abroad every July and have run in Mauritius, Philippines and the Gold Coast Marathons. In fact, Kranti stood 4th in Mauritius. Besides Olympian Lalitha Babar, she is the only other Indian woman in top 10 overall rankers of an AIMS certified Marathon. She got her PB of 3:47 at Gold Coast and went on to complete the prestigious Boston Marathon in 3:51 in 2017 and plans to do it again in 2018 😎.

Kranti has a Holistic approach to Fitness thanks to learning Yoga. She tries to make sure her Core is engaged even whilst doing chores- be it making Chappatis, mopping the floor or scrubbing clothes 😎. Consuming self-cooked home food helps her ensure fixing the Menu as per the Workout plans. Fresh vegetables, fruits, poultry and sea food are all part of the regular diet. On Long Run Days; Carbohydrates are increased while on Strength Training Days; the Protein is boosted. She trains from Monday to Saturday in the evening at PDP along with her son, Chirag. Workouts consist of Strength, Core, Circuit, Plyometrics, Speed and Easy long runs so as to avoid Monotony.

Essentially training on the Synthetic tracks, Kranti looks forward to her Long runs on the Road. Though Interaction with MRR is mostly restricted to Facebook, she joins in the Monthly MRR runs enroute at Marine Drive every chance she gets. The whole atmosphere of high spirits, harmony and joy as well as post Run gathering and meeting Runner buddies whilst exchanging ideas and thoughts at NCPA is something that she enjoys thoroughly 😊.

Kranti advises Beginners to take it easy, gradually increase time and intensity of load while seeking Expert guidance for specific goals. She states that Patience is required for long term benefits of Running or any kind of sport. Rest and Recovery are equally important; Sleep especially cannot be ignored since that’s when our Body Recovers. Kranti says desired performance can be achieved only when the body, mind, soul and external forces all work harmoniously towards it. Furthermore, keeping log of Runs helps in monitoring progress and staying motivated. Last but not the least, never compare your performance with others as each one is different.

Kranti has been a Brand Ambassador for TomTom, Puma as well as the Face of several Running Events. Now, she regularly endorses and promotes Running in Schools, Institutes and various Organizations in different Cities in Maharashtra. From that quiet, petite, young girl she has blossomed into one Powerhouse Inspiring so many 😃.

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VVMM Full Marathon, December 2017- Hazy Dazy Run

This year after the Runbuddies- Great Monsoon Marathon Challenge, Salaj and I were all geared up for the Western Ghats Ultra 50K on 24th December.  In fact I registered for the Mumbai Marathon FM only because it would be all tapering after the Ultra 😉.  However, the Ultra was postponed, a classic case of Runner proposing and Runbuddies disposing 😂.  Fortunately I was informed about the change by Kalyani Tokekar, a runner friend from Pune.

Having put in some serious mileage, I was in no mood to switch gear and allow all that training to just lapse.  Tweaking our training schedule a bit, we decided to do the FM at Vasai Virar despite having heard that it’s not exactly the best in terms of Support.  After all, if nothing else, it would serve as a practice run for the TMM in January.  Later, Pradeep who was originally planning to do the HM joined us for the FM.  Talk about Peer pressure 😂.

Sunday morning, Salaj picked me and Paddy at around 4 am.  Turns, out we had to go via Thane and pick up Shweta Kapadia; Salaj’s trekker friend doing her HM, who was stranded due to her travel buddy backing out.  We quickly picked her and rushed to Virar cutting it real fine.  Luckily; thanks to decent roads and sparse traffic, we managed to reach well within time by 5:30 am.

It was good to meet many other Runner buddies at the Starting line-up.  Bang on at 6 am we were off and running making our way ahead through the crowd.  Running for a bit alongside Comrades Runner Satish Gujaran listening to his latest multicity run was wonderful.

The weather was muggy and hazy making us all sweat profusely right from the very first kilometer courtesy Cyclone Ockhi 😥.  Soon, Salaj and I were plodding along together keeping our eyes constantly peeled for water and enerzal.   We made sure we were sipping and pouring water on our heads right from the beginning.

The locals and even school children were all out in full force even in the wee hours cheering and clapping making us feel like stars.  Thanking them we ran ahead soaking in the joyous atmosphere.  At around the 7-8k Mark, saw a youngster in Black fumbling while running.  He seemed to be disoriented, probably due to dehydration.  Helped the lady volunteer catch hold of him handing over my bottle of water and moved on as he was duly taken care of.

Further on we met Lalit Periwal who was running comfortably whilst playing music.  He advised us to breathe deeply through the nose and keep eating and drinking to sustain our energy throughout.

A little ahead, we crossed the flyover cheering other faster FM Runners across as we reached the U-turn.  Soon, we crossed the 11K mark where we saw several of the super-fast finishers in the Category finishing in style amongst applause and announcements.  Further on, we saw the Half Marathoners on the other side as well.  Had a blast greeting and cheering them as we ran in opposite directions.  Good to see so many familiar faces; some focused while others were having a ball.  After all it’s not every day that you get to run to the sound of live Dhol beats, peppy music blaring from strategically placed loudspeakers, various school kids with placards cheering and giving us high fives and the locals handing out water throughout the Route.  The Vasai Virar Half Marathon is one amazing experience 🤗.

Running steadily we made sure we stayed hydrated constantly drinking water, even turning back to stop and drink Enerzal from the cups on offer.  Quickly we covered ground and passed the halfway mark thanks to our Chitchat session 😁.  That’s when Salaj told me to go ahead as he had cut his foot due to chaffing of his Sandal strap. Spotting an Ambulance just ahead I told him to get a bandage as I moved on.

Accepting some Rock Salt from Lalit Periwal I ran ahead.  Ajay Ghose joined me for a bit but I moved on running quickly whilst giving high fives to the little kids on the side 😃.  Feeling good, I picked up pace after the 25k Mark overtaking Shibani Gharat and Suresh Pillai.  Just ahead, a man was doling out Glucon-D from a huge pack.  Gratefully accepting and thanking him I walked for a bit licking the white powder.

I was pleasantly surprised when a grinning Salaj rejoined me after bandaging his foot at about the 26k Mark.   We ran together jumping up on to the pavement as a bus transporting the 11k runners to the Venue took a sharp U-turn.   Just ahead at one of the water stations, we picked a bottle of Enerzal that the volunteers had filled and ran on.  However; at about the 29k mark the dressing slipped off again, and Salaj urged me to go ahead whilst he went easy.

I ran on confidently overtaking a few runners as I went.  I was surprised to overtake speedster Shweta Soral at the 32k Mark.  Poor girl had a bad case of cramps and was really struggling 😔.  Encouraging her, I moved on spotting Neha Lodha and ran quickly to catch up with her.  Somehow I didn’t see her and moved towards the flyover as I saw Chitu Shetty running up on to the other side.

Taking the U-turn I ran on to the Flyover making my way up steadily.  Soon I reached the top and waving at the Volunteers controlling traffic, made my way running down quickly.  By then I was prepared to switch to Self-supported Run mode based on the past feedback.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to get Oranges with Salt as well as Enerzal even at about 35k.  Volunteers as well as Police were doing their best clapping, cheering and managing traffic as the roads opened.

Further on, I picked up Glucose biscuits from a Volunteer and walked a bit while eating and drinking water.  Refreshed, I ran on enjoying the beauty around the Virar village roads.  Passing by the pond I met Amit; a Borivali resident working at Glenmark, who was doing his very first FM 😎.  At the 38K mark he told me to move ahead as he walked for a bit.  Encouraging him to finish strong I ran ahead steadily.

Feeling good; I kept going, determined not to walk now.  The HM sign boards didn’t make it any easier as I kept reading them calculating the distance ahead.  Overtaking a few more runners I ran on finally reaching the 40k mark.  Urging myself on, I ran thinking I had to just take the next right to the Finish Line.  Obviously we had to go a little further to finish our FM.  Running past Milan Rai and Ishu Budhrani who had another bad case of cramps, I saw the Runner ahead scream loudly.  Asking if he was ok I ran and took the final U-turn.  Heading back towards the final turn to the Finish line, the earlier runner told me he too had cramps 😑.

Encouraging him that it was just about the last kilometer, I moved towards the final turn.  Catching sight of the 4:30 pacer walking ahead I felt I had a chance to get my PB.  I picked up my pace as I saw the Clock waving to Arjun Virdi.  With a last burst of speed I crossed the Finish Line all smiles as Photographer Michael Dsouza captured the moment perfectly 😊.  Yes, I had managed to get my PB of 4:27:28; marginal though it was, finishing 5th in Women.  Definitely, an event I will do again; totally Value for Money, of course with plenty of scope for improvement.



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Tiger’s Point Hill Challenge HM, December 2017- And The Wind Blows

Last year we skipped the First Edition of this Lonavala Event as it was just after Pune Ultra.  This time, once Registrations opened for 2017, Salaj and I pretty much registered for it immediately.  We convinced Anupma Diddi, Pradeep Rajalingappa and Sachin Gupta to join us for the Picnic.  It had been too long since all of us had an outing together after all 😅.  Salaj’s and Pradeep’s wives- Sunita and Shalini also joined us in the fun along with MSCI Colleague, Sujit.

Sunday morning, our motley group along with KC Kiran piled in and took off in two cars at 4 am for Lonavala.  Had a blast chatting and laughing as we drove enjoying the beauty of the Glorious Full Moon.  Reaching Hotel Manik Moti comfortably by 5:30 we collected our Bibs and freshened up.  It was wonderful meeting so many other Runner Buddies; some after a long time 🤗.

It was quite chilly that morning with a gusty wind blowing.  We decided to go for some hot chai at the Stall across the street.  Warming up, we were back just in time for Yogesh Namjoshi’s beautiful Rendition of “Morya Morya.”  What a fantastic way to get us all upbeat and ready for the Race 😎.

All of us HM Runners then moved towards the Starting Line-up.  Soon after some quick photos we were off and running at precisely 6:15.  Just as we took off we encountered a car immediately thanks to the Blind turn though we managed to bypass and move ahead quickly.

Salaj and I ran together comfortably.  We had already decided to take it easy and walk uphill wherever required just as in Satara.  The route was a tough one and definitely not one for PB.  We moved ahead steadily picking up water and drinking Enerzal as we went.  The weather was fabulous though the strong  gusty winds didn’t make it exactly easy for us.  Soon Mufaddal overtook us exclaiming about enjoying running in his Coldest Race yet.

A little further, we encountered a group in Orange that had been running earlier.  I quickly joined them and found out that they were the gang from MIG Bandra doing their long run of 56K+ there 😌.  Wishing them Luck as they ran back and forth from CCD to Amby Valley we went ahead.

Further on, we crossed the Lion Point where we stopped with Salaj pointing out the Lion’s face as well as Tiger point view several times as we moved ahead.  We were soon greeted by Samir Kulkarni cheering “Come On Manasi, Come on” loudly at the next water station.  Quickly ran to him and asked “Ab Bolo, kahaan jaana hai.” 😂

We ran on enjoying the fabulous Scenery around catching sight of the beautiful Orange Sun at one point.  Salaj made sure that we walked-ran in tangents throughout.  As we ran past the Fantasy Resort we came across Manoj Rane sprinting away to glory.  Teasing him about having run 50K, we proceeded and soon saw several of our faster Runner Buddies as they ran back 😃.

Cheering everyone we ran ahead and finally reached the U-turn making our way back downhill.  At one point, I quickly stopped and bowed to Deepak Ingawale as he whipped out his Camera 😀.  Bit further, thought I spotted a Swan in the pond of one of the Resorts as we ran listening to their sounds 😮.  We moved on making our way cautiously as some Bombastic Harley Bikers zoomed off over the Rolling Hill Route.    We kept hydrated drinking and pouring water on our heads.  Water Stations practically every 2K with enthusiastic volunteers and well placed Photographers made sure we were well taken care of 😄.

As we ran back, I followed steadily trying to keep pace with Salaj who was a little ahead.  With about 5k or so to go, a Car with some Idiots suddenly stopped and slowed down shouting in a bid to get my attention.  Finally realizing it was futile they moved ahead spraying Air Freshner as they went 😠.  Quickly catching up with Salaj I told him not to go too far ahead.  All the while he’d thought it was a Volunteer Car.

Running together comfortably we reached the water station at the last 2.5K mark.  Suddenly I realized that Vaijayanthi Ingawale who had been following us steadily was right next to me.  Electrified, I just took off from that point on sprinting all the way with the Easy Run plan going for a toss 😂.

Crossing the last water station I urged myself to just keep going till the end.  I quickly ran on as I glimpsed Anupma climbing some Rock.  Elated to finally see the End in sight, I turned and entered the Ground crossing the Finish Line all Smiles amongst loud Cheering 🤗.  Finished in an unexpected 2:02:14 standing Second in Women’s Open Category while Anupma stood Third in 10K in Veteran Women’s Category 😊.

Had a wonderful time singing and dancing to the Yogesh Namjoshi’s melodious songs.  Indeed a fantastic End to a fantastic Event.  The Eggs at breakfast and Chotu Vaseline in the Goody bag were a wonderful touch by the thoughtful Runburn Organizers 😁.  Icing on the cake was kidding around post Race as well as having our buddies Sachin Singh and Vijay Kamath join us for our Lunch.  Yaari, Dosti, Masti- Majjaani Life 😎.



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