If I ( BIB no F0803, name is insignificant) need to sum up AHM in one sentence it will be like “ if you want to look up in life run AHM because of it’s never ending elevation will never allow you look down”. Someone might ask why “summery’ before commencement it’s quite simple the world has came full reverse circle while kids are burning midnight oil to study thousands of people like me are burning midnight cell to run. Thousands of energies runners were in attendance in the brinks of Hussain sagar to prove their worth with different purposes (social media is one of the major reason). Everyone (including myself) was flaunting something, starting from new apparels to newly acquired stretching style to half baked knowledge of long distance run. Everyone was displaying their Full marathon BIB with sense of pride, might be I was the only person with a raincoat ( as per weather report it was suppose to be raining) who sometime believes in “save for the rainy day” phrase.
After a long stint in East and short stint in Chennai we had moved to Hyderabad in the month of May beautiful rock line, lovely infra, serpentine roller coaster roads made us fall in love at first sight ( I read somewhere love at first sight very often is deceptive) with the city. When we (including my wife BIB no H1973 ) joined Peerancheruvu ( PCR) running group in our society, we were completely mesmerized. Being an amateur individual runner completely zapped with Google running calendar, strava group, MAF running, different diet for different running days and never ending motivating messages in whatsapp group. We were thanking our starts to be part of this group. Those beautiful weekend movie tower /botanical garden practice run, weekdays Himayat Sagar/ Nursinghi flyover/ grey hound beautiful stretch run was completely enthralled us. Being from east running in unadorned surface was my birth right, hill run was something I used to hate and try to skip as much as possible with some pretext. Although I had run couple of FM and many HM but re- starting running after one and half years was quite a challenge. My fellow runners/ friends always encourage me by saying don’t worry your “muscle memory” will pull you till the finishing line. You need to enjoy your journey than the destination. Those heritage runs, 12 hrs stadium relay run or ICRISAT run followed by lovely breakfast was witness to it and my belief ( never thought it was just a trailer “ picture tau abhi baki hai mere dost” ) was getting more established day by day.
In that lazy (temp was around 22 C) Sunday it seems weather God was quite pleased with us. He would have felt pity looking at me. Quite fascinated looking at the arrangement, run starts at 5 o’clock around necklace road beautiful weather with lovely view of Hussain sagar was making it more thrilling. I was trying to draw courage/ inspiration / may be strength from the national flag which was flying with pride. With little bit of drizzling running was more pleasurable Life was quite easy ( was with 4 hr pacer BUS ) going till the time I cross first magnetic strip, nearby station digital clock was showing 6 AM. First glimpse of toughness of AHM demonstrated when I hit the khaairtabad flyover and being a firm believer of “this will also pass” crossed it with a smile. With those cheering crowd, live band beside the road, well equipped hydrate station running was quite a fun till I hit never ending Panchhaguta flyover complimented by KBR park stretches by that time I was pacing with 4.30 hrs bus and my glycogens was in full form helping me to run at almost 6mnt pace. Crossing ( for me it was climbing) two flyovers was quite an achievement for me . Near cyber tower complete stretch was painted in sky blue with AHM T shirt color when we convene with 10km runners. From body language It was quite distinguishable between 10 kM and FM/FM runners. Some Sets of runners with smile in their face enjoying every bit of the run and there is small group of runners pulling themselves with all seriousness in their face. When I thought the worst is over Gachiwali flyover was staring at me with a smirk in his face. AHM route was displaying it’s toughness with full vigor. My senses started giving up, they were dawdling, all the cheers seems to be unheard, music turns out to be noise those hydrate station seems to be quite far. Someone told this is the last one to conquer; it was music to my ear. Finally I conquered it with a price. My chronic back pain was back with full vengeance. I missed the LAST 5.30 pacer BUS (I hope it was a real one) after the flyover. IIIT junction made you feel elite when you segregated from others runners. It reminds you of your exclusivity while you are gulping couple of watermelon, orange pieces (exclusive for FM runners). By the time I hit Wipro circle suddenly Alzheimer hit my muscles not only my muscles lost its memory but also almost lost its physical strength. I was looking for those friends who advised me my ‘muscles memory” will help me to reach the pinnacle. Suddenly all these beautiful rock lines turned out to be ROCK monsters, these serpentine roads started appearing as real serpent with hissing sound ( very rare phenomenon beauty turning into beast). Even the volin spray was shying away looking at my pain. Every time I cross the magnetic strip the beep sound was reminding I am still alive, it was appearing my heart and beep of magnetic strip has been synchronized. Hyderabad University 4 km stretch was blessing in disguise. It was reminding me of my goal which is round the corner. For me AHM turn out to be true to his reputation as the toughest city marathon in India. Last one KM run inside the stadium campus was never ending. With all the obstacles when you achieve your goal there is mix feeling of joy/ happiness/ sadness. Finally while crossing the line only one word I uttered “ah” I am yet to fig out this is expression of accomplishment or relief……… and it was time for photo ops to prove the world yes I CAN and I HAVE.
Let me thanks to all those volunteers, policeman, school kids, emergency team who worked selflessly to ensure we finish our run without any hiccups. Organizers did a splendid job with flawless execution.
Sangram k jena