HennurBambooUltra 50kms Trail, 9 Oct 2022. Clearing the Covid event backlogs #belike

This was unexpected offcourse, not seeing the elite runners around leads to such erratic wins I suppose.
Nevertheless, the job has to be done and this was one of the pre-covid runs that had to be done in 100km category before I could head to LAULTRA 111kms. 
Since this run was postponed by a onther year or so, coming back to it and doing a 100km now was out of question. Obvious reasons being the daunting loop of 10kms in the midst of a bamboo forest trail. Hence, I used the past registration fee to sign up for a 50km run which lead to running the loop 5 times and it did hit me quite hard this time mentally.
Having done the Khardungla Challenge and the Ladakh Half Marathon, I did not really put in those practice miles before Hennu Bamboo Ultra. However, the weight and strength training continued mildly. 
The run literally turned in to a wake up call for all those dormant muscles. 
The routine BIB pickup a day before the run lead to some anxiety of pulling off the 50km run without warming up the legs. The feeling of attending a academic test without studying is exactly what went through my mind. I still get jitters at every Ultra runs as I seek the inevitable due to uncertainties of my back. This is where the entire game of strengthening comes to life. 

The day past with last minute preps and was quite uncertain on carrying the hydration bag on my back for the run. The reason it being a 10kms loop and aid stations were at every 2.5kms. Nevertheless, it did accompany me to the start point where I decided to put it on just like any other Ultra. Guess, it found my comfort zone. Nothing much this time around, just a couple more gels, electrolytes as usual, some aerated sugar and a energy drink is all that made to the kitty.
Waited calmly at the start point for the count down to begin. A glance over the number of runners participating does put you in a comfort zone owing to less number of clashes on the narrow trails of the bamboo forest. Yes, this can happen. The uneven grounds and slush here and there can lead you to bump into another runner if you don’t see down and ahead at the same time. 
So that party had begun and the first loop got me sorted for the rest of the four loops. Sort ined in a way that made me struggle the entire journey. Yes, that’s right, a topple at 4.5kms over a root just shook the hell out of me when I was knocked down on my left knee and a roll over just to minimise the impact of the fall is all I could think off during the fall.
So this happened! I was trying to open the gel in one hand and peeking into fellow runners behind me for a split second had me entangled the one and only root that was laid on the route. The fall was a nasty one indeed. In not time, I was up and started moving again. Found myself limping on my left leg as I slowly started to increase the pace. I felt this to be and will be a game changer for me for the rest of the 45kms. 
Gathered myself from the fall and kept with the pace that I wished to by ignoring the impact my body may have gone through from the fall. The only worry now was to finish the run. The loops continued, the hydration continued, the hunger continued too and had to taken care of at regular intervals. 
The sunrise did pose the humidity factor and the water supplies at the aid stations come in handy and at your rescue. I took those opportunities to pour a glass or two and make yourself feel good and cooled down. 

The 30km mark, and the after party begins. This after party meant pain and test of endurance while trying to maintain the pace. The initial goal of anything below six hours for a 50km run was a humble target. So, the run continued. From counting loops to counting half a loop to counting every checkpoint to those shorter goals of 1km, yes, that’s how the journey of pain was for me till the last km of the run. 
The other run categories had begun too. The runners of 30,10 kms made way on the path and being considerate when the route started narrowing down for a while due to the increased number of participants. This has to be done to avoid any unforeseen incidents in the route. 
With another 10 to go, the fatigue had now started to kick in. A brisk walk here and there to recover accompanied the aerobic run. By now, I was leading second and was so post the 15km mark. The last loop is when I realised that I had lost my car keys and was very obvious to have happened during the first fall. Now, the search for the key began and the restlessness to reach the point of fall and not finding the key there made matters worse. 
A short halt at 4.5kms to and fro just to glance through the grassy trail to see if I could find the keys ended in vain. The only hope now remained is the finish line waiting for me with the key. And so it happened. A dear fellow runner had returned the lost key to the organisers. I am deeply thankful to whoever it was. I was now glad to have finished my run bagging the 1st runner up position. 
The finish

Garmin Stats

In Pic – Sushil and Ankur Bhasin.

In Pic – Satish – The winner and Gowri Shankar, 2nd runner up.