It was 2:30 AM, And I was on the streets, no not sleep walking this time but running for my Marathon! I was welcomed by a band of drummers that increased my curiosity and enthusiasm.

Drummers that seemed to be motivational at 02:30AM near to Kumar resort in Lonavala

This is probably the most scenic race route I ever ran! You will experience the sunrise over the hills and sleepy villages, just waking up, during your run! It’s probably the most beautiful sunrise you may see during a race!

I ran for a special cause this time. “Distal Muscular Dystrophy (DD)”  is a group of rare diseases that affect your muscles (genetic myopathies). DD causes weakness that starts in the lower arms and legs (the distal muscles). It then may gradually spread to affect other parts of your body.

There is no cure for DD. But supportive care can help you keep your strength and flexibility. “Running for a cause is a stupendous force,” It transforms a sport that is individual in nature into a phenomenon with a wide-reaching, positive effect on the society. I am now in this journey of creating this awareness, telling and educating people on thevarious illnesses and diseases and I will continue doing so.

Ultra runners sought to complete longer, tougher, less accessible ‘ultramarathons’. Technically, any race longer than marathon distance is worthy of the ‘ultra’ prefix. The eye-popping distance of an ultra, however, belies one simple fact: most runners are capable of completing one. It was one of the tough Ultra route, demanding an elevated back posture that is too difficult to sustain. The toughest kms for me out of the 50 were 43rd,45th,48th,49th and won’t forget to include the cherry on top for the highest elevation in the last 10kms.

I finished first 40km in 5 hrs and the last 10km in 1hr39 mins. You can imagine the route for last 10km.

It was too tough but the “running for a purpose” has saved me lot of disappointments. I must say I was driven by this force that did not allow me to give up, thinking about the pain of the people and how they don’t give up and still strive to defeat death!

The humongus motivation – Runners are ready with HeadLamps

This kind of marathon gives you lot of takeaways in life :

It’s a mental game

“Most ultrarunners will face rough patches in the middle of something, and it can be tough to stick with it until you feel good again,”. But getting through the rough patches in ultras or in any marathon is what makes the journey so fulfilling.

When motivation is there, the mental challenge becomes much more manageable and you’re more capable of working through hard moments – Dylan Bowman

The tshirt that makes me proud!

The route is challenging. Some inclines and declines, and that’s pretty much the entire run route, are so steep ‘everybody’ ends up walking them. Some declines are at more than 45 degrees slope! Again, running there is an inviting injury…and the body posture going down these slopes are hard to maintain, not to mention your toes pushing into the front of your shoes! A recipe for black toe-nails at the end of the race!

Some part of the race route, after about 30km, is actually trail! That part is uneven with lots of stones, gravel and potholes there. If you are crossing this part in the dark be very careful! You don’t want twisted ankle or a bruised knee! This Ultra run will test your endurance and also is a qualifying race for the famous Comrades Marathon which happens in South Africa of 89km.  It is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race!

The support is phenomenal. (The race is organized by Striders, and most of the support stations are manned by Striders runners! They know what they are doing!) And so are the post-race facilities. They had local village people, giving away the medals! It was a proud moment to receive the medal of my success.

The best time of the day – Finishing 50km in 6hrs 39 mins

The tough time In the journey was soon over and I was left with only memories. And for which, I would wholeheartedly like to thank Striders and TATA group and my friend Soodesh Zhawer for making this happen and creating this opportunity for people to try and motivating and pushing to run one of the toughest Hill Ultramarathon. Also thanks for the steepest roads where walking is the only option (unless you are an “elite” runner!). This run has enriched me and I have achieved one of the biggest milestones of my life.

With Soodesh Zhawer, He is a long distance runner who motivated me a lot during this ultra run.

And once again I repeat the same “I really believe that anyone can run a half or even a full marathon. It just requires practice, practice and practice.  However, once you master this, you are unstoppable.”