I crossed the finish line mat, pretty drained, but satisfied that I completed it within 7 hours. The photographer across a small bund signalled me to collect the medal and pose for a shot. Crossing the small bund (barely 12 inches tall) seemed too much effort. I took the longer route, collected my medal, kicked off my shoes and sat for a while before grabbing lunch.
Malnad Ultra 2018 was an hot and humid, and quite different from the first two editions. The first was the best in terms of climate, second probably more challenging than the first because of ground conditions being slushy. Each one of these runs taught me different things:
Malnad Ultra 2016 was also my first ultra distance and taught me the importance of downhill running. Malnad Ultra 2017 made me realise the importance of power walking and walking in a focussed manner. Training for downhill and power walking helped me this year to complete 50k in under 7 hours – about 20+ minutes better than my previous best. Off course, being familiar with the route also helped in the execution.
Course Records shattered
Inspite of heat and humidity the 50k and 80k course records were shattered by a large margin. Hayden Hawks finished 50k in 4:19 and Tim Hewitt finished 80k in 7:59. Closely following him was Joanna Meek who finished in 8:15. She was first among 80k women and second overall. In fact the first two 50k runners and first four 80k runners broke the course record for the respective distances.
DNFs around 50%
2018 Malnad Ultra saw registrations crossing the 1000 mark, not sure how many turned up at the start line as it did not seem like 1000 plus runners at Lalbaug (start/finish point). The DNFs (Did Not Finish) continued to hover around the 50% mark. Notice the increase in DNFs over the last 3 years – I believe that most of it is attributed to lack of preparation by participants. Of course there is a small percentage which is due to reasons such as injury etc.
I would strongly urge all those who are planning to do Malnad next year to train well, if you want to truly enjoy this run. I am not saying there won’t be pain with better training but you will have a finisher medal.
Group Challenge – Quads of Fury
I thought group challenge was a good way to bring runners together as well as get more participants. I liked the idea and created “Quads of Fury” – the numbers in the group waxed
and waned and finally settled down to 14 members of which one dropped out. Of the 13 runners we had 2 DNFs due to injury and rest finished successfully. Aakriti Verma was placed 2nd among women in the 80k event. Still waiting for our group photos but here is our mascot. Thanks to all members of the Quad of Fury for sticking together inspite of all the poaching activities by some other groups.
Our group was scattered over 4 locations; Z-point, Joes, Kadur and Rangers Camp. Five of us were at Rangers Camp. We had a pretty good time by the poolside having our packed pre-race dinner and chatting the evening before the race.
Thank you team Malnad Ultra
Organising stay and logistics in Ballavara (place where we stayed the night before) is a challenge in itself – expect basic amenities and you will be happy and if there is something particular you need then do remember carry it.
Thanks to the Race Director, Anand and his team for making this a successful event. Here is his report
Last but not the least thanks to PaceMakers and more specifically Pani Sir for his guidance and to Devi Shetty who provided the right treatment for a injury that I had for a long time.
A picture story: Crossing the finish line.
Pictures : shared by members of Quads of Fury and one by Race Director, Anand