Guest post by – Anand Adkoli
Long-distance running has surely caught the imagination of runners in India. Today, there are an estimated 100,000 regular Marathoners across the large metros of India. There seem to be so many runs happening in our cities that it is getting cliched for most of us. Jostling along with thousands of other runners can provide a high, but it can also wear you down after a while. At the end of the day, running on the city streets in a marathon is an experience that is pretty much the same; regardless of whether you are running in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad or Bangalore. Seasoned runners are now looking for different experiences with each run. Many are choosing to move into longer distances, aka Ultras. That seems like a logical progression considering that most runners are non-competitive and just looking to have a good time.
What is an Ultra Marathon?
Obviously, it must be a race that is longer than 42.195 kms. Then again, it must offer more. The best-known Ultras around the world have built an image for themselves. Stories from runs such as The Leadville Ultra and Badwater are now part of running folklore. India is trying to get into the Ultra scene. The Bangalore Ultra is probably the oldest and bestknown Ultra in India. Having run that a few times, the efforts put in by the organisers and the energy around it is commendable. But as a runner, it leaves me a tad unsatisfied. It does get boring to run loops after a while. The scenery and the terrain don’t change that much either. On the other hand, there are Ultras like the Run of Kutch and the La Ultra which seem to be a little extreme for the average runner. I know many runners who travel abroad to experience an Ultra. There seems to be just a little bit of space for an Ultra that can provide a good mix of challenge and experience for such runners.
The Malnad Ultra Run
This run is designed to provide a good mix of challenge and expereicne. The Malnad Ultra is an Ultra Marathon in the beautiful Malnad Region of Karnataka in the heart of the Western Ghats. The inaugural edition is slated for October 8-9, 2016 and will offer three categories over 50, 80 and 110 Km. Majority of the courses are laid out through privately-held coffee plantations that are over a 100 years old. The course is laid out on Jeep roads and trails through these estates. Imagine running through miles and miles of coffee amongst gigantic jungle trees. Imagine running through terrain that provides you constant challenges and ever-changing vistas. Imagine running in an area that is home to over 300 species of birds and small animals! A quick caution! The Malnad Ultra is not a race. It is designed as a run in the spirit of an Ultra timing and winning is not really that important as finishing. We expect that runners will take time to stop and smell the fresh air, soak in the beauty and hear the sounds of birds and other small animals around. We expect that it will provide them with an experience that they will not forget and also add many stories to their lives.
Come! We invite you to The Malnad Ultra. Details and registration are available at www.malnadultra.com
Anand Adkoli | E: firstname.lastname@example.org