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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Successful completion of Great Tibetan Marathon 2007

I was not able to post yesterday after the marathon, due to poor connectivity in Leh.
I am now back in Bombay after a super 10day eventful trip.

I successfully completed the Great Tibetan marathon 2007 on Saturday July 21, 2007. I did the 26mile run with a official time of 5hr 36min (it should have ideally been 5hr 20mins, if I had not done the last 2km twice, due to lack of adequate directions at one point, but am not complaining). To give some context, the best time was 3hr 24min by a danish runner & most were about 45mins off their personal bests. The run was truly out of the world, especially the last 7kms, which was a run across sand, streams, meadows, pebbles over a mud track, ..... and all through there were mountains all around you (and a amazing mix of barren landscape and the greenery along the Indus river).

This was the race where my mental toughness was at its very best and I could not have had it any better. There were so many variables which made things difficult (high altitude between 3800-3400mts), mind fever (guess it was more out of anxiety, as did not feel a thing during the run), hard desert sun (first time in my life I had to wear a sunscreen, to protect myself from getting burnt), extremely dry desert climate & my nagging inner thigh injury which flared up after the 22km mark.

The three things that make this marathon truly memorable is the amazing never ending beauty of the barren ladhakhi landscape, the super mind over body effort (the marathon felt quite easy..... and I thought it was one of the ten most difficult marathons in the world!!) and interaction with some amazing human beings (people who truly epitomize mind over matter phenomenon).

Will be writing more on the trip in the coming days.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad you are back, safe and sound. I was checking everyday to see how it went and figured we would hear after you get back.

Congratulations on successfully completing the marathon1! Hope you have taken pics that you can share so we get to see the scenic beauty you so well described - you have a way with words! :)
Looking forward to reading more posts about the run, the place and people you met. Cheers!
-GM

sandhu said...

Congrats Girish!!
Sounds like one great trip.
Await the story of the run and the pics..also a little elaboration of mind over body effect-how it made the run easy?

Girish said...

Thanks you both. I am still yet to recover fully. Will be posting more as soon as I find time, need to catch up on work now.

Sandhu it was mainly a mind over body run for me, as my preparation was not adequate for the marathon due to the thigh injury. So I would have had a problem even at sea level, the altitude and climate just made things even more interesting. It just goes to prove that you can do almost anything with your mind. I hope to now do a ultramarathon (80km) in Bangalore in December, as that will be a pure mind effort.

Had I been able to prepare well for the marathon, I would have recovered immediately after the marathon, but its taken me sometime to recover after this one. So, yes its a mind over body effort, but better your physical preparation, the easier is the recovery.

beanz said...

welcome back!
well done on completing and epic event.

Mandeep said...

Congrats for the effort and hop u keep going strong.
Mandeep

sandhu said...

80 k !!

You sure know how to raise the bar.But it will be something to complete.
Keeping an eye on yr preparation ;)

Girish said...

Thanks Mandeep and Beanz. More coming up on the experience...

Indira said...

Yeipieeeee.I could open the bolg to the latest date of entry.All this while i ended up with the Jan. entry u c.
So i had sent u a congratulatory card. Hope u got that?
Wow and a double wow! U could have been a potential winner if u had not had to do the repetetion towards the end.
I wonder what bigge things u have in mind now? Can we have a note on that?
By ze by the pics r lovely.Ur descriptions read better and better now...leaving us wanting to know more n more!!!! The visious circle of writing never ends u c!
Ironman i wish i was there to cheer u.I am looking forward to some pics on Leh and the folk who live there.Any close encounters to speak of...a stray dog a thief ..he he he...sowwy couldnt resist that.Bye and regards. IPM.

Girish said...

It just a function of meeting more interesting people and getting inspired to take up more challenging targets... its going to be one hell of a 11-12hr run, with lotsa walking & running. And its the first step for my ultimate aim of doing this - http://www.darbaroud.com/index_uk.php
Check it out....

Girish said...

Thanks IPM. do check out the previous post with the link of darbaroud, that is the big thing!! Am a long way off from it, atleast about 2 years, maybe more...
Thanks for the nice words...

beanz said...

oh the dreaded MdS - now that is a really crazy thing - I think I prefer nepal

too hot for me

I do know someone who's done it though - and he is seriously ultra crazy

Girish said...

You bet its crazy. Need to figure out the 55degree C temp and the 10odd kg backpack. The Bangalore ultra will be a test for me to check on my mental toughness for the long distances.

Logically I should have a minor advantage given the tropical weather in Bombay, compared to Europeans.

Brits seem to be really love MDS.

Indira said...

Man ur one crazy guy.MDS!Checked the page..and..it is too much to take in.But as far as ur concerned..i am sure ur crazy enuff to do it and successfully.Yeah i will go thru ur previous posts...i am sure i would find abt LEh.All the best.ipm.

Girish said...

MDS is a 2-5year plan, lot of preparation is required before I can plan for something like MDS!! 80k ultra marathon in Blore will be the starting point.....

satish mandalika said...

I am planning to participate in the full marathon this year. I was wondering if you can share some experiences. What to expect, altitude challenges etc.

thanks

Satish