The BMF Ultra HM – Cherish the Nandi trails to hone your strength gaining skills.

When in Bangalore, you are really left aghast looking for the long trails that can quench your thirst for your unbounded love for trail running. The Karnataka trek booking website is good to book your treks well in advance but the chaos of the crowd on these trails can turn you off if you are looking to clock your trails but these can definitely be a cool down or a recovery hike or for that matter a dose of strength training that can do wonders for your road running. I can personally vouch for this. Options that you are left with? The one and only Bangalore Mountain Festival by Festival Adventures.

Event website
With Vagamon making me do a 60km instead of heartfully willing 33km, jumping into a long distance category run too soon was a NO for me. The running calendar was devised most interestedly towards a few UTMB runs and focus on mileage and most importantly strength and mobility was all time high. I am looking forward to inculcate the consistency in those testing time in near future.
The bib collection ritual done well with Kireet and Reza, accompanied by an in-house talent Vinayak, a familiar face at major trail races on global platform.

Nandi being over 70kms outside Bangalore, the travel to the event destination could be tiresome for a few. The organisers did their bit arranging the transport from the city center – Kanteerva to the event location and back. We chose to stay near the foothills of Nandi to catch up with the much needed sleep the night before the race than having to cut short the sleep to begin your journey in the wee hours towards Nandi. This would have been an hour or more travel to the start point. Stays near Nandi could get expensive over the weekend too, hence booking it in advance when you have 2-3 runners who could accompany you to make expenses reasonable. 
We halted at Mango Ville
, a new property 18kms away from the start point which could take around 20-30 mins to travel to the venue. 

The start time of the race was 7am , the reporting time was post 6am. To our surprise, the travel time via Nandi foothills increased due to massive traffic jams of people driving into Nandi. We were caught in the opposite direction and had to helter and skelter to pass through the chaos. With all this, we made it to the start point in time with only 3 mins left for the race to begin.

The short distance does trigger your instincts at time to get over it in the least possible time and such adrenaline rush from time to time for an ultra runner seems necessary to up the pace game and see where you stand in terms of strength and conditioning that is required for such quickies :).
And the result was:-

Pretty humbled with the result as the intention on this trail was to not halt and keep running the inclines and declines too in controlled fashion. 

The elevation profile did not deter the efforts much but definitely was technically in certain patches and the only challenge I faced was to pass by the 5k and 10k category runners in the second loop and all I could hear myself saying was – Give way please, sorry and thankyou!

The sun wasn’t out much either at 7am and the love for the cozy surroundings of this Nandi trail doubled in no time. Your goals got more ambitious and I could see myself pushing for more pace effortlessly. 
This was a 10km virgin loop , to be run twice to complete the 21km category. The first loop gives you a very good idea of what is expected in terms of strategy and the only key performance indicators were concentrated around the technical and elevated path in the entire route. These goals of overcoming these minot challenges were set as short goals and were battered down one by one. This made it easy to cover kilometre after kilometre without having to worry of the finish line time. These shorter goals advocacy ensured that the outcome was met in the best way possible. 
With around 300 elevation gain, this is a runnable trail and the route comprised of approximately 2km of tar road and majorly towards the finish line. One accute incline was a part of this tar section around the 5km mark. 

The path had many turns, not making it any more boring like the long straight route. This gives you the happiness of crossing the short miles at every turn and presents you with yet another short goal till the next turn. 
Do this one time and repeat the same strategy the second time can be little tricky. Tricky in the sense how much effort has been put during the first loop and not burning out entirely leaving you grasping for more energy could be a possibility. Guess this is when your gels and electrolytes consumption tend to increase which is okies provided you limit the quantity your have, choose to sip at frequent intervals from the start of the race than gulping it down at once when you have already crossed the fatigue threshold. This is act adversely at time when you have to run with the same pace again with a tummy full. 

The second loop was majorily a dodge through all the 5km and 10km category runners and abrupt stops at technical trails were bound to happen. This had to be managed by calling out for space to pass alongside without having to puddle much in the narrow trails. The last 1-2 kms on tar does give you the feeling that the finish is near and guess it works on your mind in races too. This stretch just marked the dash towards the end and you knew that you could whatever that was left in you to get over the finish line and so did I finish with no injury yet again and have always been mindful to take utmost care while pushing the limits.

At the finish line

Kireet, Reza and Ultrarunner baba in a frame.

I had Madan’s company while on the route to the finish, guess we kept pushing each other.. this was his first trail run. 

First toughest trail for Reza too. You did well!

Meeting Sumit after our Bison Ultra meet

Meeting Rohit after the frozen lake marathon expedition 

Thankyou Arpita for the fan moment. 

Celebration time:-

Are we signing for the next event already, hell yeah 😄!!!

Food for thought:-
Besides these tangible physical benefits, running has profound psychological effects as well. Most notably, many runners experience intense exhilaration and euphoria, commonly known as the “runner’s high”.