The first day of the Great Run of Punjab is done. I do not have the energy for a long post, so here is the short version. (That sounds ironic. Nothing short about the run)

I decided to do 70k and run at a 5:15 pace with a short walk every 5k. However, I felt so good early morning that I went a bit faster. Who knows if it counted against me later in the race? It may have.

It was cold for about an hour, but I soon took off my gloves and extra top. Two runners went out faster. One guy overtook me after about 5k, so I ran 4th. We carried lights, but the street lights in Amritsar was good enough, and soon the sun came up. I felt light on my feet and ran most kilometers around 5:05 or 5:10 until about 15k.

At that time I caught up with the guy who overtook me, and we ran together for a while. We turned off onto a road that was terrible to run on. Full of rocks. (Like what they do before they tar the road) A half marathon was done in 1 hour 50 minutes.

I got away from my co-runner shortly after that and saw only the support staff every 5 to 7k until mid-thirties. Still feeling pretty good I saw a glimpse of two runners up ahead. Balbir is fast, and when he saw me coming, he took off and became small ahead of me. I overhauled the other guy soon enough.

At the 40k aid station, I saw Balbir again as he started running after what must have been a good rest. I took only a minute to fill my bottles before running again, but he again disappeared ahead of me.  Not for long though. He was walking, and I caught up with him. We then ran together for a while. He had a sore knee, and the rocky road sapped his energy. We crossed a full marathon together at 3:49.

At this stage, my energy also started getting less, and I started slowing down. The heat usually does that to me. Balbir found my pace too slow for him and set off again. I saw him again at 50k where lunch was served. I did my usual routine of just stopping as long as necessary to eat lunch (that involved a bit of rice and some cucumber slices for me). Then I left while Balbir was still there. I saw him again only at the 70k mark while I was already done for the day. He also finished there. The last 10k included a 7k stint on the highway which was hot and polluted. However, we also crossed the Beas river which was a magnificent sight.

My time for the 70k was 7 hours and 10 minutes which was a bit slower than I had hoped but my position was a surprise. We waited for an hour before one of the 80k runners came past. Around 1.5 hours after I finished we have not seen any other 200k runners. That’s when the support crew took us to the hotel where we will sleep tonight.

I have a 14 minute lead on Balbir. Tomorrow is another day. Let’s hope I can sleep and that somehow my reset button gets pressed so that I can do it all over tomorrow.


This guy drove his bike next to me for probably about 7k, all the time asking me questions in Hindi.
Had to wait for this train to pass. Luckily not too long.


A scene at the finish line for today

Keep running (Seriously)