Monday, June 11, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated August 16, 2007, Madhu

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(This was the temporary site used for advanced information but no longer maintained)


What is this event?
It is an endurance event, the 1st of its kind for Bangalore. It is called an Ultra as compared to a regular marathon because some of the distances involved (50K and 80K) are greater than that of a marathon which is 42K.

When and where is this event being planned?
December 16th 2007, Sunday, 0630, Bangalore, India.
Currently the choice is area around what was Lake Heseragatta. Click on following link to view directions to this place from Bangalore on Google Earth . We have arranged with a resort to cater to the event as well to facilitate staying there the nights before and after the run for enjoyment and convenience of runners. ONV will be the hub for the event.

What is the plan for the course?
We are holding the event on the outskirts of Bangalore away from the traffic and pollution yet within an hours drive from Bangalore. We have found a Hotel which will serve as the Race start and Finish and a mostly flat trail around the place ~12.5K distance. The 50K will compose of 4x12.5K, the 80K as 6x10K (plus some change) and the 25K as 2x12.5K. The resort will offer rooms for runners and their families who may want to stay there before and or after race for convenience and relaxation. We realize that the best course for an ultra is an out and back and running loops is difficult-However, this being our first and so to make it easy to organize, and second, the near impossibility of finding a long enough and clean trail close to Bangalore, we chose the loop approach. We have chosen a very scenic place for your running enjoyment and maximized the loop length. Click here for the Google Earth file for the course.
Click here for the elevation vs distance of the course.

How many aid stations and what will they carry?
We are planning on a total of 4 aid stations: One at the start/finish and rest spaced roughly 3K apart. The aid stations are planned to carry: Water, electrolyte/energy drink, de-fizzed coke, ice, fruits (banana, orange, melons), Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, boiled potatoes (with salt), chips, Idly pieces (definitely a first in any ultra), pain killer and electrolyte (endurolyte) tablets, jujubes, peanuts, etc. We will not provide energy gels and bars-these need to supplied by individuals if needed.

The categories will be male and female. Within each there will be divisions based on age. It is planned to give awards to the top 3 within each division.
All finishers will get an award within their distance categories (yet to be decided, could be a nice T-shirt with race logo, etc.)

What kind of people would participate in this event?
There are 3 kinds of people we would like to see participate (This includes all :-)
  1. Serious champion runners who usually place at the top of their divisions.
  2. Serious runners not necessarily champions but nevertheless intent on improving their time.
  3. Beginners or 1st timers who want to venture into endurance events. Of course beginners does not mean that proper training has not been undertaken to complete the distance.
How will this be different from a regular Half/Full marathon type races held in India?
  1. This is not a race on paved roads. The intent is to get away from pavement and from noise, traffic, and pollution typical of Indian races.
  2. We are volunteers who want to show the Indian sports people how much fun such events can be.
  3. Well organized: The date is fixed 1y in advance for your planning. The aid stations will be thoughtfully and plentifully stocked.
  4. The course will be open for a full 11 hours (0630 to 1730 dictated by available daylight)! This means cut-off times even for 25K and 50K will be a full 11h! Athletes desiring longer time can start earlier provided they carry sufficient illumination.
  5. Walkers are most welcome! Assuming a slow walker does 5K/hour she can do even a 50K well under the cut-off time of 11h.
  6. We will have friendly and noisy volunteers in charge of aid stations to administer to your needs and provide encouragement. (We are looking for such volunteers actually, if interested please contact the race director)
  7. Family and friends can relax at the aid stations and cheer the racers and or pace the racers. This is very big! There will be music (taped or live TBD) to help the mood.
  8. There is planned a post race meal open between 1100 to 1700. Content and style is TBD.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Training Tips and schedules: some links
You can input your race type and date and it works backwards and gives you the schedule. See also
Here is a fantastic all encompassing site for ultra runners

Schedules differ from person to person in detail but what is common are long runs back-back on the weekends and at least one 4h+ run about 4w before the event.
Don't let the schedules and the term Ultra scare you. This 50K is no tougher than a marathon. In fact it is easier since you can walk the whole damn thing if needed. I once got injured in a 50K race after 20K and walked the rest of the 30K to still finish in about 7.5h!
In Bangalore we will schedule training runs to help you (and us) prepare for the Bangalore Ultra.
Here are some nice words by Karl King-I can relate only to the first three statements...
"When my longest run was 13 miles, a marathon seemed nearly impossible.
When my longest run was 26 miles, 50 miles seemed nearly impossible.
When my longest run was 50 miles, 100 miles seemed nearly impossible.
When my longest run was 100 miles, 50 miles seemed like a nice, long training run."

Don't let the distance scare you; run from aid station to aid station and the distance will take care of itself.

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Inspired by: poetry (Keats, Aurobindo), philosophy (Spinoza, Voltaire, Carl Sagan, Aurobindo, Ayn Rand), Long distance running (Scott Jurec, Ann Trason), Tennis (Roger Federer, Pete Sampras), Music, Sculpture (Michelangelo, Praxiteles), Art (Classicism, Renaissance), Ballet (La Bayadere, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Angel Corella, Michael Flately, Grupo Corpo), Literature (Shakespeare, Wodehouse, Hugo, Eco, Ayn Rand)