- I have always been able to write experience about half or full or ultra-marathon in past, finally, it’s time for me to sit and reflect on what went right, what went wrong and how I can help other runners with my first ever experience of running 12-hour stadium run in Mumbai. The event 5th Edition of Mumbai Stadium Run in February 2021 hosted at Wings Sports Centre, Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai.
Hope it helps!
What are eligibility criteria to participate in a 12-hour stadium run?
One of the eligibilities to participate in 12-hour stadium run was to finish either full marathon 42 km under 6 hrs or run ultra marathon >= 50 km earlier in past 12 months. Luckily, I had completed my TATA Ultra Marathon 50 km in 2019 (just before COVID19 times) started which helped me to register for this event.
What is meaning of stadium run?
Stadium Runs are specially curated for seasoned runners and fitness enthusiasts. It’s a 400-meter track provided for runners who are looking at bettering their mileage and timing. Stadium Runs also offer such as Team Relays for Corporates and Running Groups who make this a part of their training and fitness plans, in a way to encourage and motivate their runners. Stadium Runs are fully supported by the Organizers with respect to hydration, refreshments, apparels, finisher medals and certificates.
There were two slots to participate, first from Saturday evening from 5 pm to Sunday at 5 am and another one Sunday 5 am to 5 pm. I choose second one so that my friends and family can come and cheer me up in last few hours on Sunday. I thought this was the best move I took until I found the temperature during the day run was so hot (around 32 degree) and it became more challenging to keep yourself energetic and less dehydration. Take your decision based on what you want – either less heat or more cheer during the daytime.
Before I start talking on this point, sincere thanks to my friend HEMANT JAIN who supported fully during my practice run and staying from beginning till the end from morning 3 AM till 6 PM (which includes wakeup time till we reach to home).
I was able to complete 67 KM with 167 laps of stadium and I am happy about it.
Short and sweet take away from my first ever experience:
1. THERE IS NO FINISH LINE: This I had read earlier as well and now I am one hundred per cent sure; this is true. Tell your mind that this run doesn’t have any finish line hence it’s much more important for you to stay on the track and enjoy your walk/run as much as possible.
2. MONITOR YOUR PEE: It differs from person to person as per your own practice and the food, drinks which you consume during the run. On top of all hydration and food, you consume, I would advise monitoring your pee! If you are urinating almost every hour or second hour, then your hydration is generally okay. I would advise sticking to your normal food and energy consumption which you follow during your other longs runs, rather than trying and planning too much for this specific event. So, stick to it.
3. MUSIC AND OTHER EQUIPMENT: Most of the ground itself has D.J and music which keeps running throughout the race, so there is no necessity to carry headphones or music. People say that music helps them get over rough patches, so when you know the hours you are going to feel low, then you can start listening to your own playlist. This way you are prepared for these rough patches in advance. I would prefer tempo tracks (high energetic songs) which can bring you back with energy and mood.
4. STAY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ON TRACK: If you want to log the maximum mileage, aim to spend as much time as possible on the tracks. Taking minimum breaks is the key. If you want to eat or drink, do it while jogging or walking around the track. Every step adds up to the mileage. If you are tired, then slow down and continue again after you feel well. But sleeping or resting around the track is a no-no!
Video: Proud moment to see mom, wife and daughter providing refreshment during run. First time they ll came to see me live.
5. KEEPS CHANGING YOUR STRATEGY AS DEMANDS: Now running around a track (400 m loop) is quite boring. No doubts about it! There is no change in scenery and no change in elevation, no changes in people. So, strategies and plan how you want to run the laps. People do a lot of different stuff. Like run for 15 minutes and walk for 5-10 minutes or run 4–5 laps and walk 1 lap. So, it’s up to you how you want to do it. Also, don’t worry, your own strategy will also keep changing as time progress. And the most underrated or overlooked aspect is WALKING. As I mentioned earlier you will have to stay on track which means you will have to keep moving with WALKING once you are tired. You will able to cover lots of milages even with tiredness.
6. GET YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY: It’s always a proud moment when your dear ones are cheering you on every single instance when I am passing by. I can not express in words. You need to experience it.
Video courtesy: Cheer during my last lap 12th Hour. This video will speak everything how much it matters to have your family and friends during your run.
I will sum up the entire experience: “First live event after one year and able to complete 67 km stadium 🏟️ run in with 167 laps in 12 hrs.
One of the best things learnt in this stadium run is “There is no finish line and you have to conquer the time and distance on the track.” #12hourstaduimrun #event hosted by NEB Sports in Wings Sports Centre ground.”
Stay Fit and Stay Safe #Fit4Life