Posts for ultra marathon

5 mistakes newbie runners make

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - May 17, 2017

This article has ben written by me and first published on The Hindu on 15th May 2017.

What to avoid, how to pace yourself and when to simply push on

When you first start running it’s quite like falling in love. With yourself. You discover a little more about yourself on each run: “I can’t believe I ran five kilometres without a single break!”, “I never thought I could be so strong!” You might discover that you enjoy running on your own, either just being with yourself or the state of zero that you go into when the rhythm of the run takes over. There are many reasons to get addicted to running. And enough studies have proven that running can be one of the most addictive sports. Continue Reading

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Running Jargons (Part 1)

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 19, 2016

Stepping out of your house, your cubicles or perhaps your routine is all it takes to get started and acquainted with the sport of Running. So, it comes as no surprise that the running scene in India gets denser with every passing day. Well, c’mon who are we kidding, the sport is one of the most beautiful as it is meditative. So here I am, rambling and listing to maybe help those virgin runners with some running lingo.

What you’ll read below comes from my own experiences in running, those that I’ve used loud and proud and the ones I’ve heard and nodded to like i knew what it meant.

Now a days we have thousands of people who run a ‘Marathon’, I have run quite a few, and also run a 5km race, 10km race and a Half-Marathon. Point being, a Marathon is 42.24Km race, nothing more or less.

Ultra-Marathons – Done quite a few of these too, distances more than the Marathon. Like La Ultra, Bhatti Lakes Ultra, Bangalore Ultra etc.

Now that this is clear lets move on to the terms.

DNF – The most crushed one could get is when the results read as DID NOT FINISH a race, as I did at the La Ultra back in 2014. It is an experience that every runner dreads, might as well call it a Runner’s Nightmare!

Bandit Runner – Unlike you and I, these buggers will come join you running without being registered in race, without a bib slapped on their clothing. Rebels, I tell you, gets you questioning your loyalty.

Bloody Nipples – I have never experienced these, Amen! Seen, or rather heard a lot of fellow runners enduring this swell and I am happy I have stayed clear of these. Tip would be to use a t-shirt that fits well and make sure the material is run – friendly to avoid getting chaffed nipples. Ouch!

Body Glide – It’s a lubricating product used to prevent chaffed nipples or chaffing in general, again lucky I have not yet needed to use this.

Bonk– Stalling in the middle of the run due to low glycogen levels in the body.

Carb-Loading – A runners favorite pre-race dinner, consumption of food high in carbs the night before a race. Although I feel one should do this during the week leading up to the race. Especially for distances longer than 21km or if someone is running for 2 hrs and more.

Cool down – After a run its best to slow down at a gradual pace instead of an abrupt halt.

CR (Course Record) – The fastest known time on a particular course. Of course you knew this, who doesn’t walk into the race course without the hopes of breaking the course record, well some record at least!

Cross Training – An important aspect of training, where one is indulge’s in activities other than running, to help engage muscles that are not directly strained while running thereby relaxing the running specific muscles.

DNS – Like DNF, but worse, in my opinion. You are right it does expand as Did Not Start, enough said.

Fartlek – It’s a Swedish term, its when one runs a particular distance at various pace, more of a mix of slow and fast running.

Hitting the wall – A sudden bonk, which cause you to come to an abrupt halt and normally one may or may not get back to running.

Stitch – A slight but conniving pinch one feels just below their ribs. It is usually caused due to excessive water consumption, running too fast etc. Slowing down and breathing long and slow will help release the stitch.

Cramping – Mostly cramping occurs due to less water consumption or electrolyte consumption. Calves, abdomen etc cramps withholding one from running well or running completely.

That being the last, the “gyan” I had hoped to impart through this blog post ends here,however, the terms don’t. There are still a lot more of the runner’s jargons out there, pertaining to running community exclusively. I say, add these and those to your vocabulary so that the next time you’re out on a race track, you know who’s gonna make his/her fellow runner’s remember to google “that particular term he/she used” during the conversation.  And part 2 coming out soon 🙂

Kieren is one of the best true ultra runners in India. He has completed CCC, Bangalore Ultra , La Ultra and will be the first Indian to participate in historic Spartathlon. His PB for half marathon is 1:19! In his own words, “Besides wilderness and a healthy meal(s) what keeps me satisfied and about is running. If I’m not running, I’m either planning or enjoying an outdoor adventure sport. And since I’m 23, I’m also figuring my way through with a lot of “should or shouldn’t I(s)” while reading, writing and traveling.”

 To follow Kieren and his running journey on Facebook, click here














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How I met Jonty Rhodes

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - March 14, 2016

Last evening I was invited to a small get together to celebrate the success of The Outdoor Journal (all things outdoor, adventure and active lifestyle since it’s launch in 2012). I was apprehensive as I didn’t know anyone except the founder of the magazine, and that too I had met him only once. Or may be apprehensive is not the right word, I was intimidated. I was expecting to meet snowboarders, mountaineers, extreme skiers and the maximum I have done in the name of adventure is attempt a 50km run on an active volcano (Mt Pinatubo) in Philippines and called it quits at 35km! (And no I don’t consider my Bhati 50km and full marathons adventurous enough).

In any case, I decided to face my fears and go. I’m so glad that I did. 15 minutes into the conversation with new people, someone asked if I wanted to meet Jonty Rhodes and I thought he was pulling a fast one on me. I couldn’t believe my luck. I walked up to him, introduced myself as a blogger and had a 15-20 minute conversation. The gentleman that he is, he naturally steered the conversation towards running the moment he heard momontherun! He is working closely with South African Tourism and mentioned how there is an impressive increase in the number of Indians participating in Comrades (89km), even though personally he would like to see more people participate in the Two Oceans Marathon (56km) – a distance more fathomable and a very scenic route. He was curious about why SCMM is bigger than any other marathon in the country as Mumbai doesn’t seem very conducive to running and why very few women opt for full marathons in India. He also mentioned that he can’t and doesn’t want to go beyond 5km which I was very surprised about given his fitness levels. We discussed about a few more things but what struck me was how humble he is and how easy it was to talk to him. I had felt similar after meeting the ultra marathon running legend Scott Jurek. What makes them so humble about their talent, hard work and achievements? Is it the sport which does this to them? Or is it that you need to be grounded to channel your talent the right way? Oh, and not to mention, he is still as hot as he is charming and he is a surfer too.

I met a few very interesting women too and hoping to write about them at the soonest.


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An Ironman is much more than Gold, Silver and Bronze

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - July 22, 2015

Disclaimer – This is meant to be a congratulatory note as well. I’m just wondering aloud about how so much misinformation is floating around. When Scoopwhoop and Firstpost can get it right, why not others?

I have utmost respect for Milind Soman for not only preparing and completing Ironman triathlon in the first attempt but for being such an evolved human being. A super model in his younger days to using his celebrity status positively to get women to start taking their health seriously. And coming up with a beautiful (and much needed) concept of Pinkathon where thousands of women proudly walk/run their first 5 and 10 kms. Yesterday, when an acquaintance walked up to me and said this year I definitely want to run 10km in Pinkathon and needs my help in training, I was like “wow, this is it”.

But then I heard a popular RJ on 98.3 FM say “Milind Soman world ka sabsey tough Ironman race jeet ke aaye hai” and Indian Express headline read “At 50, model-actor Milind Soman wins Ironman title in ‘‘toughest’ triathlon in Zurich”, I was beyond amazed. Now, most of us in running/cycling communities are aware that even attempting, being at the start line of a full Ironman, irrespective of your age, in itself is a huge achievement. It involves 3.8 km of ocean swim, 180km of biking and then running 42.2 km back to back within a stipulated cut off time. No wonder it’s called “Ironman”, even though a lot of women also participate and complete it (that’s a debate I will keep for later). 10609650_1530320693869937_1244388974474336706_n

But what about the rest who have no clue about how marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons function, which is also the majority of community listening to the radio and reading the paper. Completing it is one thing, winning such a title is a different game altogether. Elite athletes win these titles after putting in years and years of hard work. And then there are a lot of other Indians who participate and complete such events internationally. Case in point, there were 4 more Indians who did complete along with Milind Soman in the Zurich triathlon, one of them finishing his 12th such event.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking away anything from MS’s achievement. I hold him in very high regard. I think he’s one of the coolest celebrities that there is and still gush like a little girl when I get clicked with him.

It’s just that I have a tendency to believe when the “facts” are stated on better radio channels and newspapers. This is something I was aware of so I didn’t have to research to get my facts right. But what about all that I don’t know about. Is everything on media done to generate traction? What part of information I’m consuming is true and what is not?10565099_1530321033869903_8900765744755411717_n



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Bhatti 50

Marathons - Ankit Chatterjee - April 2, 2014

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”


The Bhatti Ultra organized by The Globe Racers every year, is held in Faridabad, at the Asola-Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. The trail is at once beautiful, brutal and demanding. It’s race categories are truly ultra – 50K, 80K, 100K, 160K, 220K and 24 hrs run – making it a multi-day event.

I heard about this run from my Runbugs buddies during our weekend long runs. At that time, I was training for my first Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. A friend told me he would be running in the 100 km category and checked if I wanted to do “the shorter” 50 km one. Considering that I was training for a HM in Dec and this 50K trail run was only 6 weeks away – it was an outrageous proposition. But then again, I wanted to redeem myself after the 50K DNF at Mt. Pinatubo several years ago (Read Here). Frankly, for me, this entire redemption angle is always very seductive. Tired of my mind and heart being at war for over a week, I signed up for the race. I took help from friends who know and train better than me to chalk out a training plan to increase my weekly mileage. It included running 10K on alternate week days and a long run on weekends. I was just targeting to finish the run within the official cut off of 8 hours.Of course, the plan was all good on paper, but tough to pull off. To keep running every alternate day in the sultry weather wasn’t easy. Tougher still was to wake up at 3:30 am to do the long runs on weekends, especially during the Diwali season. It was funny to see people wrapping up their Friday night’s cards party as we started our Saturday morning long run. Also, given my love for teen patti, I felt miserable each time I heard my friends discuss variations and spins, losses and wins. But I had to stay focused as I didn’t have the luxury to stray from my plan for even one day. On the brighter side, I met a lot of runners who were also training for Bhatti and got some invaluable advise on how to train injury free, what to eat during the training phase and on race day as well.A few days before the race, I picked up my race kit. At the venue I did get some “are-you-really-doing-a-50K” stares from other runners (mostly men). I tried to sleep early before the race day but was sleepless in bed, thanks to the Diwali party in our society. Every now and then Yo Yo Honey Singh warned “Party Yuhin Chaalegi”, and rightly so. But after over an hour Bolly pollution, I found sleep.
Next morning, I reached the Bhatti trail about 30 mins before the start time. It was pitch dark except a few lit up tents at the start line. The race director pulled me out for not carrying a head lamp. Given the number of injuries leading to DNFs from the previous two days, I understood that her stand was absolutely fair. Thankfully, one of the crew members let me borrow a pocket torchlight and I was allowed to run.As we started off, I made friends with two army doctors who let me run with them along the narrow trail. It is with the aid of their headlamps that I was able to negotiate the treacherous trail. The borrowed torch I had was no match to the trail’s darkness. As we ran in a single file, I thought we were four of us – the two docs, a third guy and myself. Staying true to my nature, I started talking to them as we ran. I noticed the doctors were very quite and figured they were conserving their energy, and only this other runner behind me responded in mono syllables (“hmm”, “haan”) and grunts once in a while. However, at about the 5K mark, even he went quiet. As we ran further ahead from the aid station at 5K, I suddenly realized that there was no “this other runner” behind me. Had he just dropped off from the race so early? But in that case, why would he drop off so silently? Nobody does that! Was he even there to begin with? Or did my confused, over-excited, nervous state of mind just cook him up? I guess I’ll never know. Unreal!!Still totally dark, when I reached the turn around point at 10K, I realized how tough the trail was. It was slippery, rocky, uneven, and grainy. It was no wonder that quite a few runners had had some nasty falls. Nevertheless, I ran another 10K back to the start line. With 20K done, I still felt strong. I was fairly hydrated and well fed. I was trying to enjoy the run but started feeling exhausted and spent by the time I finished 30K. I could not do much to keep myself going or to distract myself and started walking. My legs felt heavy, making me unsteady and I twisted my ankle more than once. I started scolding myself for getting myself in this mess, for straying away from my HM training and taking this up, for letting people talk me into this. “Why am I putting myself through this? What am I really going to get out of this? What will I really achieve at the finish line?” were just some of the many questions on mind, which I had no answers for.
This Q & no A session brought me back to the finish line, marking 40K for me. With another 10K to go, I think I was mildly delirious and was making much noise about how I cannot go on and how ready I am to throw in the towel. That’s when this angel appeared and said “do you want me to pace the last 10K with you?” I had barely said yes and we sped off. Abhishek, I gathered, is a solid distance runner. In fact, just a few hours before he had started pacing me he had finished his own 24 hrs run, completing a whooping 115K!! The fact of it was staggering and humbling that I couldn’t help but run along with him, despite my broken self.I finally reached the finish line in 6 hours 57mins – over an hour ahead of my original targeted finish time.
I was at once exhausted and exhilarated. I felt famished, yet strong. Injured but victorious.
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