I Was possessed - The Ghost of Romeo Boy
(Matheran Endurathon – 25 Kms)
Romeo Boy had entered me and I wanted him to stay back in me for ever …..hope I don’t have to leave this one off streak of a strong run at Matheran . I was Possessed for those 2hrs and 57 Minutes .
Disclaimer : I am a slow runner and this narration is of my one off fast run . No animal or human has been harmed in this blog . )))))
As I listened interestingly to conversation of Mahadev , the care taker of Hotel Royal at Matheran . He enlightened us with some ghostly story about a horse named Romeo boy . According to him it was one of the horse in his owners stable and would run at a lightening speed , according to him the ravines and the route of matheran still has his presence .
Matheran endurathon was always on my bucket list , so when event was announced , thanks to all the motivation and cajoling from Rahul and Coach Bobby , I decided to go for a 50 Kms . It was 50kms till Mala and Shloka decided to join for a weekend vacation . Requested Yash to change my category to 25kms , thanks to him it did happen (Coach had given a mouthful for this ) .
I am attempting a crazy challenge of Running for 100 days , many who knows me and follow my running advised me against this challenge with a reasoning very valid that the body will give answer . But I was determined to do this . As I pen this blog I am at 74thday with a mileage of 589 Kms . I strongly believe that unless you are fit don’t try this . But to me this was the best thing happened . I am feeling super strong .
We reached Matheran on 08th August well in time , Reji , Linta and Osky . Me , Mala and Shloka . We settled and went on to collect bibs and it was a carnival at the bib collection location. Met many friends who are connected on running groups . Rest of the day went in roaming around and some street eating . As we were about to retire for the day I reviewed my TomTom distance and noticed that we had walked 11 Kms that day and in addition I had ran a 26..50 mins 5kms that morning .
Alarm buzzed and soon I was at the start line cheering for the 50kms runners . Must tell you there were some strong trail runners from across the nation . Sooner , the host announced the starting of 25kms and with zumba and warm up we were off to a would be memorable run .
From the Zeroth metre , it was stones and trail , practically no roads (that’s how trail runs are supposed to be ) . First 3kms was steep and down hill , however since there was a convergence of runners at narrow places running was becoming difficult . I was telling my fellow runners , bhai log side pe hato I am going for a PB and Including me everyone made a joke of the statement.
As I crossed the periphery of Ravines , I felt a zeal in me . A super strong being entering me . Was it Romeo Boy – the horse whose soul would be seen roaming in the ravines . Never in my previous race I felt so strong . Kranti and Gaurav from Aurangabad met me at 5th Km and boy what runners they are . Kranti was pacing gaurav and in turn was also pacing me . He clicked all the beautiful pics which I had posted over .
By now 50K runners were on their return loop and they were running strong , must tell you it requires hell lot of training to attempt a 50k in this trail and terrain .
At 8th Km I was running with Dr Shashank from Nagpur , previous day he had informed me that he has published a paper on Runners heart , he being a cardiologist . Together we were running good and pushing each other . Met Bobby who was running good and was cheerful and as if was telling “saalo tumhari le loonga “ since we had ditched him by converting to 25kms . When I saw my watch , I realized I had done a good first half i.e a close to 12.5 Kms in 1.32 . I knew if I don’t pull up any muscle I am in for a good run . Memories took me back to Delhi FM in Feb , where I was running so strong and at 25th Km had a ITB pull and had to walk 17 kms still managing to complete in 5.04 , had I not cramped I wud have done a gud race .
I was treading carefully at the same time was galloping at most of the up slope . Strategy was reverse to run strong on up slope using upper cut and run even at down slope . Kms passed on and I knew it was a special run . Body was super strong , probably my 70 continous days mileage was working on me . Am I in for a Sub 3 - 25kms this thought passed my mind but soon came back to present . As per my watch I crossed 21kms at 2.26 and it was a damn good time . The next 4kms was the toughest and practically it was walking only route , with steep inclines and elevation .
At 22nd Km met Reji , unfortunately he cramped at that km and he asked me to move ahead. Now , I had my mind playing a Sub 3 and the next incline I ran like a beast – the Romeo Boy. It was 23rd Km and the next incline was a bloody steeper one and had to walk the climb. My watch read 2.59 and distance 24.10 . I could hear the cheers at the finish line .
A 50kms runner who was on his return leg informed , that the finish is close by and the next incline I climbed at a good pace . Met Gaurav and now could see the finish line . I put on my Oakley and as always wanted to finish in style . I could see Mala and Shloka cheering for me at the finish line and I crossed my watch reading 3.00. 32 seconds and distance reading 24.30 kms .
Sometimes , GPS shows more and sometimes less so accepted the official timing from the organsiers a whopping 2.56.52 , a personal best by 30 mins . That too a negative split in this terrain .
Romeo Boy had entered me and I wanted him to stay back in me for ever …..hope I don’t have to leave this one off streak of a strong run at Matheran .
I was Possessed for those 2hrs and 57 Minutes ..