There was excitement in the air; we could barely sleep on Friday night. It was our first Half Marathon of the running season, 3 months of training (of which I missed 1 month in traveling) sweating it out week after week, weekends spent running in the hot blazing sun, pushing hard to shave off seconds from personal best’s. Finally the day to put all the hard work to test had come. Here is how the journey came about from the START to the FINISH line!
Day 1 Saturday - Journey to the destination with some fun times in the evening!
We set off on our journey early morning on Saturday 9th Feb at 5 am. RH had organised the entire travel and stay so the jing-bang was travelling together like always!!
The bus was full of life even in the early hours of the day, some were chatting, cracking jokes, a few runners had taken upon themselves to entertain all aboard with singing/rapping and dancing all at one time in the moving bus! A few like me were oblivious to all this and were (pretending to be) fast a asleep :) to avoid the singing / dancing.
The peaceful journey came to a sudden halt with a thud against the Volvo glass. Without some twist n turns no journey is complete or memorable, this is what happened.
|A gravel stone hit our bus which cracked the side glass – the Volvo bus team is busy working on damage control. No injuries occurred and we were all safe to run!|
|Meanwhile a few wanted to relive their childhood days by desperately trying to pluck some tamarinds. Not very sure if they were successful!|
|A fellow runner gifted these sweet smelling roses to his fiance as a Pre -Valentine gift! How sweet is that!|
After approximately 9 hours in the bus with a few stops on the way, we finally reached Auroville to collect our bibs! That quaint little town was really hot, the walk to the bib collection center seemed verryyyyyyyyy longggggg especially since we were soo hungry and just wanted to some food.
As we dragged our feet to the bib center, the peace and simplicity of the town caught our attention and we were soon immersed in its beauty!
|On the way to collect our bibs, its like this throughout, covered with tress|
|I love these stone buildings|
|Some nick-knacks being sold|
|Next time I want to see Matri Mandir from inside.|
|Wind chime in the tree!! So lovely!|
|Most of the RH gang after we collected our bibs|
By the time we collected our bibs, we were famished, we all made it to the hotels as quickly as possible, even before we could check in we dashed to the restaurant. By the time we placed our order, the meals were almost over, it was 3 -30 pm! We somehow managed to get some roti’s and rice to get us going till the evening! Phew.. the scene was really hilarious 50+ hungry runners all marching towards the restaurant with one word in many languages – ‘khana’ / ‘saapad’ /'oota'/ ‘food’ / kuch to khane ko do J
With full stomach we went back to the room by 4 pm for a small nap, which never happened. I really wanted to see a bit of Pondicherry so we set off for some sightseeing.
|A park as we started out journey towards the beach|
|A french style home with overflowing bouganvilla just took my breath away|
|We were not too far away and soon reached the deep blue sea|
|Another highlight of this trip - met an old school friend from Pune who had come for the HM. We never got around meeting in Pune, but made it happen in Pondicherry!!|
|View from Le Cafe|
The evening was really relaxing, walking along the beach, chatting with my friend Manjiri, reliving some of the good old days. I just dint realise how time flew by. It was getting dark, we had to have an early dinner and get a good night sleep for the Race next day. We bid good bye's only to meet each other at the start line the next day and headed straight for dinner where we hogged this (pic below)
|Sarvana Bhavan Paper Roast never ending Dosa.. burp!|
After cabo-loading we headed for the hotel, kept our next day gear ready and fell asleep in no time.
End of Part ONE
I am leaving for Pune in some time to attend a wedding, plan to complete Part TWO in
Pune and post it asap!
Have a great Valentine's Day you all, see you all soon!!