It was early March when I was unable to run even a few hundred meters and guess what it was an IT Band injury, the last thing a runner would ever want to experience. There after it was all about rehab and recovery until I came across “PACHISI” organized by the best running club of Mumbai “The Bombay Running Crew”.
And I decided to do it without giving up. Cause I knew what Quitting feels like even when the mind pushed but the body resisted.
Fast forward to end of May where I shifted to Mumbai just for the purpose of Training with the entire crew for Pachisi. By far this was the best decision during such tough times.
The Training plan was very much structured and every aspect that one would need to successfully complete the entire stretch of 140kms all the way from Bombay to Pune was simulated into it.
However it was very challenging as training progressed and mileage increased. There were days where you run for long, on the hills and repeat the same with more and more efforts day in and day out. Both interms of physical and mental exhaustion due to my shift timings of work this entire training was something I couldn’t have done if the team had not supported and pushed me on every mile. The 4 AM alarm and a travel of 20kms was mandate to run with the group and back home I was totally dead. On my night shift days sleep was only a necessity which could only be possible after 9 hours of work and post my training.
But glad I could make it through the training.
22nd July, 4 PM: We rolled the dice and started our respective runs. As the entire stretch was to be covered only and only on the roll of the dice, hence it was only LUCK that would decide your runs and the final results.
We had a good line up as we picked our sequence cards and managed to take a lead right from start but we made sure to put constant efforts to maintain a safe gap as we knew the terrain of the Lonavala Ghats would turn the tables around. It was almost mid night when 3 of the members gave their all to conquer the ghats with high paces and even higher Heart Rate. As a team this was all one could ask for and be grateful for. You only need to run this part to exactly feel what elevations can put you through.
Early dawn we managed to get a good gap from the trailing teams who were going neck to neck among themselves. But we still put in our efforts where everyone of us were running as if it was our last and gave it all.
Exactly at 06:04 we reached the finish point and everyone were screaming(I even had a teary eye hugging my Capt.) their heart out until the Game Changer was announced. This time we were lucky enough to get the dice rolled in our favour.
As a note of Thank you, my words will fall short but runner don’t give up so I am giving a shot to this as well:
- Deepak sir: The only person one needs to go to when in DOUBT. I assure you will come back with a smiling face after his wise words.
- Priyanca: Always with a calm and composed attitude with a smiling face, managing everything to its best.
- Gaurav(Captain): A much disciplined and organised soul putting his all in whatever he is into. Always caring and understanding. There were days when I had to miss my training and re-schedule it and he was always there to guide me through. His words “I am taking Santosh.” still echoes within me.
- Nidhi: PACER for Life. In a sport like endurance running where no individual is the same, I am happy to find her. We Paced, we Raced and lived most of training runs to the fullest. We had our backs only to make sure to complete what we started together. The Malabar Hills, Bandra Intervals were surely because of you.
- Adi: Every Sunday was no less than a long drive with some music and our energies roaring high. I would have hardly made it to the start point on time without you.
- Abhay: Though we trained less together but your practical thinking and experience was something I would take along with me.
- Riddhi: That never giving up attitude was amazing. Pulling of crazy distances was one hell of a task after 12 hours into the run.
- Arnav: You have a long way to go. The way you pulled the ghats would never have been matched. Each step you took was a symbol of pride for the Team and we all are proud of you.
- Vishwa: Take a bow to your energy levels, be it on flats or the ghats. You were always pumped up with adrenaline.
Finally, I got my home away from home. Its, BR for Life…