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Published: January 15th 2018
The day of marathon has arrived. I am still not confident that I will make it, but there is never a question of turning back. After 4 days of relaxing, I am feeling strong. We started at 5:30 in the morning in taxi to get to our starting point. There were quite a lot of people, more than I expected. Many groups from Delhi, Pune etc. We did our usual pre-race preparation, bib, sunscreen. Then after seeing many groups warming up, I decided to join one of them to warm up. Then it was off on the course. Starting strong, I soon overtook quite a few people. Usually it is a sign that I am running too fast at an unsustainable pace. But I was feeling fine, so I carried on. Once slightly out of town, the views got better and better. I had to stop and take pictures. Dalai Lama's house also came into view. There were some small hills in the beginning that I ran-walked, but then I could see a long downhill stretch as the course went around a mountain. Downhills were good. I was able to get upto 12km without breaking a sweat. At this point I knew that I have enough energy left to complete this, so it was time to start dreaming about the medal!
After the downhill stretch there is a flat out and back. I usually not a fan of such out and backs and this one proved to be longer than I had expected. Still being flat, it was manageable. Strangely I started to feel hungry, like stomach growling hungry. This has never happened to me before in a run, thankfully I had a energy gel packet with me. I met one older person from Delhi running club, he was at his constant run-walk pace, very inspiring. Though I noticed that many people around me were walking and there were many people behind me. Usually in Europe I am among the last few. Here people were more into having fun, listening to music and ok walking it off. Soon it was 16km mark from where the 4km uphill starts. It did not look that bad at all and I was able to run it up. Last 1 km was usual struggle. Though this time I had no energy for the final 100m sprint. I was happy to just be able to finish it. And the medal size did not disappoint 😊 Time to eat something and head back.
For lunch we decided to eat Pizza at a place called "La Pizzerita" - expensive and not recommended. Dinner was at our favourite homely place.
Monday Sep 11th
Day of long journey back. Leh being a military airport has many restrictions like not being able to carry handbag. Otherwise flight was good.
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