Monday, November 17, 2008

First ultra in India.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” - Kahlil Gibran
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” - Edmund Hillary
“You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.” - Edmund Hillary
"Courage has never been known to be a matter of muscle; it is a matter of the heart. The toughest muscle has been known to tremble before an imaginary fear. It was the heart that set the muscle trembling." - Gandhi

In different ways the above quotes mean the same to me. This post is my experience and a report on my first ultra marathon attempt after I moved back to India.

Why Running?

A couple of years back I wrote a post about what running means to me. Its been an education for me. I believe it has taught me a lot of things in life and can be quite transformational to a lot more folks. Moreover, the soul of these efforts is to fund raise for the underprivileged. This motivation has kept me going for the last 5 years now.

Why Ultra?

There is no easy answer for this. Many folks think its an 'ego trip' or something 'whacky'. Its quite the contrary - when a 'normal' person does it, I think running and the desire to attain one's physical or mental limits becomes normal. The intent is to take away the 'super human' aspect away from the idea of running! You don't need to be fit and thin to run. If you run and develop a passion for it, you will be what you want to be :) Nowadays, I would rather not talk a lot about it to people who most probably won't get it - because I tend to get expert medical advice on how I would die soon, if I carry on with this - some of the rather funny ones include - "My brain would shake a lot within my skull as I keep running and eventually, I will loose my brain cells and god knows what..", "By running on pavement, hard surface etc. etc. one day my knee caps would just pop out and I won't be able to walk", "I would be exercising my heart too much that I could die very young". So, my reply would be "Thanks! I would keep that in mind when I run next time."

Why fund raise for Asha?
This is an easy one. But, I still get social experts who leave me speechless with some rather sad quotes. For e.g. "The poor in India are poor because they are lazy.", "Discrimination was in the past. There is no caste or gender discrimination in India", "Our culture and way of life keeps us ahead of so many nations
", "The sensex is booming, the GDP is high. Talk about poverty etc. is only a crib and the work of pessimists". Now, I have written enough in this blog about how all the above statements are blind to reality. I have also written about how Asha works at the grassroots levels in various areas towards empowerment of the underprivileged and creating a systemic change. The many visits to various efforts have only convinced me and created hope to help make the change in a small way. Feel free to contact me if you have any doubts. Here are some of my recent visits.

The 24 hr run - until D-day
Ironically, after all the expert medical advice I get to quit running, the person who inspired me and came up with the goal to run for 24 hrs at the Bangalore Ultra was a Running doctor. Dr. Rajat had a crazy dream to do 200kms in 24 hrs. It got me excited immediately, but I was worried that 200km in 24 hrs was not my cup of tea. I decided to run all 24 hrs after I start with him. We trained together with night runs in an army campus (thanks to doc's friends!). We did a couple of 30k+ runs and a 50K in the night. We then ran real early in the morning, with dogs chasing, doc flying etc. for a 60k+ run. Followed that with a 42K marathon run in a couple of days. Then, both of us fell pretty sick around Diwali time. While, I recovered from the food poisoning in a week's time, Doc was not as lucky and couldn't recover in time from the viral fever, congestion and cold. So, even on Nov 15, as he came down to support us he was sick. He had dropped the plan for the 200K or 24 hr run. But, he was there to make it happen for me! We had planned quite well for this run - a tent, food, volunteers, pacing etc. - thanks to experience from Austin, my parents and wonderful friends.

So, before we started the run - we had food (chappathi rolls, puliyogare, curd rice, vegetable rice, fruits, biscuits, noodles, soups etc.), water (we filled water in our own drums), a small stove, our own running gear, lights for the tent and a dedicated set of volunteers! We set things up by 5:30 p.m as Doc and Anita reached the race location. We realized that the race starts at 6:30 A.M, so we relaxed for sometime and went to the start/finish line for our run at 6:30 P.M.

Loop1 - Time: 1hr 35mins, Break: 15mins

The initial plan was to go with a preset run/walk interval - this was designed for a really flat course. But, I didn't want to take a chance, and thought of the first lap as a survey lap to figure out strategy for the rest of the run. As Shumit, Doc and I started at 6:30 PM on Nov 15th, we had 5 cameras clicking at the same time - so for a moment under the flashlights it felt like we had a million folks cheering us :) - there were about 15 ppl (a good part was the crew) wishing us the best and a RFL race organizer announcing where bibs can be collected for the race next day :). The weather was chilly and nice. We figured in the first lap that there was quite a bit of bumps (about 3) along the way and lots of open area - we feared that we would all be roasted peanuts the next day! Though it was supposed to be a survey lap, we ended up being too fast (one of the fastest laps!)

Shumit, is one of the recent Team Asha runners. Its amazing how he decided to do a 100K with us. He had not done a marathon distance in a year and here he was! Doc and I suggested that he take it easy and look at things one lap at a time. I have not seen anything like this - but, I surely wouldn't recommend it to anyone! I hope the ultra bug gets him and he trains well next time around :)

Loop2 - Time : 1hr 36mins, Break: 12mins

We had a sumptuous dinner after the first loop. For all the folks who are not used to the 'Team Asha' ultra way of life :) - the elaborate dinner was a bit surprising - but, trust me whatever you do, your body needs what its used to. You can't just survive on candy bars, gel shots and sports drinks to do an ultra run. I have almost weaned off all the so called designed-for-running foods. I get the salts I need with some salt capsules (high concentration of minerals in a capsule), take plain water and eat normal home food, fruits etc. Second loop we stuck to the walk breaks at bumps as planned, yet we finished with a faster time again!

Gaurav had volunteered to bike with us as support all night through! He got his bike and came out with us every loop, making sure we didn't take any wrong turns or did anything funny. After his biking ultra marathon through the night, he went on to do a 50K run of his own!

Loop3 - Time: 1hr 36mins, Break: 14mins
We did an even loop again with the same walk breaks and amazingly did the same time as the last loop! I had a couple of Bananas and some oranges. I requested for some lime juice in my next stop. Folks at the tent were getting tired a bit. My mom had gone to the room to get some sleep, while my dad dozed in his chair. During the run, we discussed a lot of stuff - about sensitivity of races and courses to the runner community, what running means to each of us etc.

Balu is another Team Asha runner who trained for the ultra with us and would be doing the Auroville marathon as well. He was up all night supporting us and by the first few loops knew exactly what needs to be done. He was awesome as crew support! After all this, he came out and ran his race in the morning as well!

Loop 4 - Time: 1hr 46mins, Break: 9mins
By the 4th lap, it was kind of obvious that we were hitting a low. Halfway into the lap, all of us were feeling a bit groggy and tired. This was around mid night and probably past our usual sleep times. There was also a slight drizzle and thankfully it was not a downpour. Around this time, I had some serious concerns. I was getting an urge to urinate, but every time I did, there was a burning sensation and this kept happening too frequently. This distracted me and got me worried - had not happened to me before. Meanwhile, Doc had his issues and was looking pretty bad too.

Sudhir is another good friend who jumped up to volunteer with this effort. The plan was for him to bike with us all along like Gaurav. Unfortunately, his bike broke down and he pushed quite a long way to the race location. He was up all night and supported all of us. He also went out to run in the morning!

Loop 5 - Time: 1hr 51mins, Break: 17mins
The 5th lap was slow. Doc dropped out of this one. He felt like throwing up and just lay on the sleeping bag and he said he will take a loop's break. Shumit was not doing all that great, but still was in high spirits! So we set out and did our thing like always - walk the bumps and run the rest. By the end of the loop, Shumit wanted to walk most of the way back and I jogged to the tent. This was one of the slowest loops. Obviously, this was the most crucial stage in the night and we were fatigued. I had a shot of hot black coffee to wake me up.

Anita was an angel at the Asha tent. She patiently listened to what we needed and made sure we got it whenever we wanted it. She took a few sleeping breaks and with a rather sleepless night still finished her 25K run in the morning! I feel bad that I didn't help her with her running as much as she did with mine.

Loop 6 - Time: 1hr 45mins, Break: 15mins

We had completed 62.5kms through 9.5 hrs of running by the end of loop 5. Shumit was feeling pretty groggy and fatigued. He decided to take a break and work on his legs a bit - massage with bio-freeze etc. Meanwhile, the short nap woke Doc up and he was his usual self again! We did a faster clip and by the end of lap 6 we shot back to a 1:45 lap time. My coach joe mentioned that, its quite possible to face ups and downs in the run and I had to play it according to my body and situation. He was right and just when I thought things might get screwed up, it got better. I had controlled the urge to pee for a while, drank lots of water with more salt intake. After a while, the burning sensation was gone and my urination turned normal.

Around the middle of this loop a couple came in the bike and cheered us along! It took me a few minutes to realize it was Sriram and Aarthi! Aarthi spent all the time from early in the morning 4:00 AM till late evening helping out all the runners. Her enthusiastic cheers every time we came in, woke us all up and made the break lively!

Loop 7 - Time: 1hr 35mins, Break: 15mins

Its an amazing feeling to have the sun rise and the day break when you are in the middle of a run through the night. I don't think I will ever be able to express it well enough. Time and again I have found that it brings amazing energy and your body and senses literally wake up. It happened to all three of us as we went on our 7th loop. We did our fastest lap time again! By the time we were returning back from the half way point, we saw the 50K runners coming in with all their energy - just the sight of all the runners pushed us and I had to pull back Doc a few times :).

Sahrika, Preethi and Vish work for Back to Fitness (B2F) and are part of Doc's team. These folks did an amazing job volunteering for us. We were lucky to have them at our tent. What they did meant a lot to all the runners at the event. My mom mentioned that they couldn't even have lunch and they went on and on. Special thanks to B2F - you folks are simply amazing!! You mean the world to the runner community and that's what matters most!

Loop 8 - Time: 1hr 43mins, Break: 11mins
In this loop I had a kind of a stabbing pain right under my rib cages. First, I though this was side-stitches (due to running too fast and the lungs can't get enough oxygen), but this pain was actually from a muscle and I felt it with every step I took. It was not too bad to make me stop, but was something new. As we reached the 4Km point, Shantanu joined us - he literally switched directions, took his bib off (so as to not confuse anyone) and ran with us! Moreover, he gathered a gang around us by needling folks to join us :) - Soon, we had a gandhi gang as Shantanu liked to call it! He made the morning and afternoon entertaining for all of us! It was an amazing feeling to find folks you have not met, run with you and egg you on. I was not in a shape to carry a lively chat, but this support meant a lot to me!

Shantanu is another Team Asha runner that many folks don't know about. He trained on his own and couldn't make it to many of the runs with us. He did more than the 25K he had planned, proudly wore the Asha T-shirt and brought me home on the next two laps!

Loop 9 - Time: 1hr 47mins, Break: 9mins

The weather was actually pleasant and wonderful for running. The sun never came out although it threatened to, hiding behind the clouds that were too coy to rain. I couldn't have asked for better weather and as I saw the Team Asha shirts go by - Siva, Santosh, Balu, Sridhar and others, it brought a smile and an encouragement that's again not easy to explain. It might sound cliche' - but, I really do derive inspiration from other runners when I realize what they have been through - training, injuries etc., yet they come out to achieve their goal. Shantanu was still sticking along. He was hoping for the good food at the tent that was the buzz on the entire running course. It made me hungry too!

I am still not sure how I get away with things I do when it comes to my parents. They seem to have taken the role of 'running parents' with ease! In Austin, my mom made the trail runners in Texas crazy about good indian food. In their short trip to Austin, they knew more runners and became friends with so many more than I did in the 4 years I was there! Back in bangalore, they did it again - this time offering all the food and affection to the running community here!

Loop 10 - Time: 1hr 51mins, Break: 10mins
Shantanu was done after Loop 9. I had a quick lunch of puliyogare, curd rice, water melon and lime juice with black salt. I was looking for someone to run with me on the mid-afternoon loop. I was almost desparate as I yelled out in the tent - "Can someone please run with me on this loop?" - Nischal called out from behind me and said she is going out right now and was up for it! She was being treated by the physio at the tent and looked like she was in pain. We trudged along for the 10th loop. By this time, I was quite sure that my loop times was not giving me enough leeway to finish a 13th loop. We decided to discuss a few nasty things about doc behind his back :) We also saw Pratibha go past us with all smiles. I asked her if it was her final loop and she nodded her head - we thought she was really strong for her final loop - it did turn out that she was strong enough to come 2nd in the girls' 50K!!

Nischal is one of the ultra runners that almost everyone on the course knows! When I found that Nischal wanted to do the same thing as me - i.e. finish 2 more loops after this one and go as far as possible in the 3rd, we decided to stick along. Nischal had a bad problem with her foot. It was swollen and she was dragging herself along in pain. Around the last 2 miles in the loop, I decided to run along as Suresh gave her company. She really inspired me with her all out effort this year!

Loop 11 - Time: 1hr 48mins Break: 11mins
125 kms down and 4hrs 45mins left. While, a 160km run would have been awesome, there was also a back-up goal that Doc and I had discussed months back :). I was in with a chance for it, if I could finish the 11th and 12th in a fair enough time. So, I had to find fresh legs to help me out! Sriram volunteered to help. He was worried if he would be able to keep pace with me. I told him that should be the least of his worries. We set out on the 11th and chatting with Sriram took my mind of the times etc. As most folks were finishing their runs, they check on where I was with regards to the distance. Towards the end, when there was just 2kms left( a nice straight downhill and a flat stretch) I picked up pace and started off.

Sriram is a veteran Team Asha runner, a good friend and a colleague at work. He was amazing with his support. He had finished his 25K in the morning and came out this loop to help me out. If not for his company, it would have been very easy for me to give up and do a long walk.

Loop 12 - Time: 1hr 43mins, Break: 3mins
I was like a kid waiting to see Santa claus when I came inside the Asha tent after the 11th loop. There was Doc, ready to go with me for the last stretch! He looked fresh and raring to go. I asked him if I can do it, he said "Of course, we are doing it!". He was wearing a bib which said "Screw it, do it" - which of course had many meaning for many folks :). We set out for the final few hours. I had about 2 hrs and 45 mins left. Doc, pulled me along at a brisk pace and I had done a fast loop again. We discussed how best to handle the final stretch. We estimated about an hour in our hand when we finished the 12th loop.

Doc and me decided that no one is officially recording our times (other than vols at Asha tent) and this won't even count as any official race - because RFL never recognized it. AID stations were winding up and there was no point going beyond the 3K mark on the course. We decided to do 2K repeats - go to the 1km point and return back until 6:30 - I estimated that I will be able to do 3 of those in that time.

Loose change - Time: 47mins, Break: 0mins

As we came into the tent after the 12th loop. I had done 150kms. Folks were expecting me to either stop or really go after the 160km mark. Then we announced to the rest of the team why we are doing this - 153K is the longest distance run in 24 hours by an Indian on a surface other than a treadmill. (CORRECTION: We later verified that this was not true - Arun Bharadwaj has done longer distances on road - longest being 195 kms within 24 hrs. Apologies for the oversight) We requested Balu to get the clock and the note pad and wait at the finish. We wanted him to give times as we crossed the turn around point each time. The first 2k was in about 17 mins. I knew I was close to the mark. Doc, was relentless, he wouldn't let me walk more than what we decided. We did a fast 2nd repeat - I really pushed it and when we clocked in at 6:01 P.M, we had 154K! I was elated as I went out for the third 2K repeat.

So, finally by 6:18 P.M I was close to 156K - I was not in a mood to go further, because I knew I can't do another 2k repeat in that time and I wanted to finish with our folks around. I sprinted to the finish and jumped up in glee in front of the team that made it possible for me! It took me a while to realize that it was over and then I was incessantly chatting and eating people's heads off!

Nothing official about it
Firstly, this was a team effort from the beginning. If any of the folks I mentioned in each of those laps were not there, I doubt if this run would have been possible for me.

Now, there was nothing official about this whole effort. It was a purely self organized run that has no real proof for supporting a claim. Then what was the point of going after a record? Well the quotes at the top of this write-up are really cool - Lets say I like the third one :). My motivation has always been the efforts that Asha supports. I believe once we are truly convinced about our motivation, there is very little that can come between us and our goals.

(CORRECTION: We later verified that this was not true - Arun Bharadwaj has done longer distances on road - longest being 195 kms within 24 hrs. Apologies for the oversight - Hope I didn't offend anyone's sensitivities with such a claim on this blog. Arun's efforts are amazing and has to be put in the right light. Please feel free to contact me if you need more information. No official body, publication or any magazine/newspaper has claimed any specific record for this effort. Only my blog posts states the idea of a record.

But, as always I believe records don't mean much and every record is meant to be broken someday or the other. I am sure we all want it to happen :)

Running is one sport that is meant for anyone. I sincerely believe it should be made affordable and achievable for everyone. It has the potential to increase confidence and self esteem in folks. Of course, like any rules or dogma, records are meant to be broken and only when more and more folks come out to run, can we see more records being broken. The real finish line for me was to derive meaning out of this effort and reach out to folks with the cause we are all striving for. I don't think an official commendation, my name on a piece of paper etc. matters as much. This effort was not about me, it was about the change we were trying to bring in many lives - through Asha's efforts and through running.

As we made our way back home, I got a phone call from one of the kids at Thulir (Background here). He patiently asked me for this week's schedule. There would be four kids from Thulir who would be training for the Auroville half and full marathon.

I sincerely request you all to support Team Asha's efforts. You could donate to us through my runner page. My family and I hope to fundraise at least Rs 3lakhs through our efforts this year.

Go Team Asha!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back home

As a kid, I used to be quite a pain for my teachers. I was alright till my teens (Guess, I could take it until then :) ). But, after that it somehow felt like the teachers were always waging a war against us. Even after all that, I never would forget one particular English class, when our teacher explained the phrase "rising like a phoenix". It fascinated me - not the mythology and the creativity in the story - but, what it signified for me. It actually made me develop an interest in English and literature to some extent.

Alrite!..after that attempt at a cool opening line, here is the news - Its been more than a year since I posted on this blog and its almost turned into ashes :) - So, after kicking my butt umpteen number of times, I finally sat down to type this post. As with tradition, there will be a flurry of posts now :)

Lets start with current status - I am feeling great, more grown up, more calm (hard to believe, but shit happens!) and of course, a lot more bald! So, that's significant progress in a year already! I am now based in Bangalore, India with the same company I used to work for in Austin. Work is no different, except that I have to travel a bit more - I have done my bit in promoting public transport by traveling to work by the Metropolitan bus service and not owning a vehicle (I do have the rickety cycle from Austin though!). Mom, dad and rest of the family and friends are happy I am back! It sure does feel like home!

..and this makes it home :)

Trips to various grassroots efforts

Running in India

Trips to various grassroots efforts

Coming back home was important for many reasons. One of the main ones was the opportunity and the interest in spending time with grassroots efforts here. This is an exciting phase in my life. I could actually travel long and spend more time at the places I want to be at! I reached India in March 2008 and had to join work only in mid April. I made use of that time to do some long visits. After joining work, I still traveled to places around Bangalore. Here are some of the efforts I visited and accounts about my experiences as well.

Bharathi Trust is a non-profit development organisation working for the cause of upliftment and empowerment of Irula Tribal communities living in the interior pockets and coastal areas of Tamilnadu. It has been conducting a number of development programmes such as Sangam formation, awareness camps, liason work with government for obtaining development schemes, day care services, motivation centres for eradication of child labour, housing schemes, Tsunami relief and rehab etc.

Here is an account of my experiences in cuddalore

Here is an account of my experiences in Thiruvallur

I took a trip around Uttar pradesh to visit efforts that was supported by Asha Austin and we also attended a conference on water rights. Nandlal and his colleagues founded Lok Samiti in Rajatalab. Lok Samiti has spread to 25 villages today and the various Lok Samiti groups focus on educating the people about their rights, raising awareness about problems specific to each village. They believe that to bring about economic, social and political change, groups like Lok Samiti need to act as watchdogs, demanding that their elected officials truly represent them. Lok Samiti raises awareness of social issues through the street play team, Kala Manch. Lok Samiti has also played an important role in the creation of 35 self-help groups for women.

Here is an account of my experiences in Uttar Pradesh

My trip to Asha Samajik Vidyalaya in Uttar Pradesh

My trip to Bharathiya Jan Seva Ashram in Uttar Pradesh

The plan was to go to Bhopal and Rajasthan to visit a lot more efforts after my trip to Uttar Pradesh, but I fell sick with food poisoning and had to cut it short. So, I returned home from Uttar Pradesh. I still did go visit Bharathi trust efforts and Banyan in Chennai.

Back in Bangalore we visited a lot of projects in and around Bangalore. We have even volunteered at these organizations.

Shristi Special Academy - As part of the community affairs team, we have been able to convince my company to procure goods made by the kids at Shristi! This is quite an achievement (but, it most probably happened because the goods in itself were great in quality and price - not because of a socially responsible action ;) ..)
Here is an account of my experiences there

Prasanna Jyothi is an orphanage supported by Asha Austin and is based close to my home. I have been visiting the kids regularly and we even went on a trip to the Vishwesharaya Science Musueum. Here is a brief account of my visits there a few months back.

Timbaktu is an organization that Asha has worked with before. We made a visit first to understand their organic farming initiatives and later we went to review a fellowship we support for Mutyallappa, a sarpanch in the village of Mushtikovila. Here is an account of my experiences there.

Thulir is an Education Resource Center for children and young adults at Sittilingi which is a tribal village in Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu. It's a Tamil word that means, "tender shoot", also "to sprout". Asha Princeton has been actively supporting the Thulir effort since 2004 through Fellowships for Anu and Krishna, who started with the objective of establishing an Education Resource Centre in a remote adivasi(tribal) area, to supplement the education they receive from Government schools and to work with the children who drop out from schools. Currently, Asha Bangalore also supports the running expenses of the resource center. Here is a brief report on our trip as Team Asha.

We also visited Sita School. Our interaction with Jane Sahi of the school was enlightening. Asha Bangalore will be selling calendars made by the kids at Sita School this year.

Asha Bangalore works with a couple of government Schools at Chandranagar layout and Kumarsamy Layout (both these places are walkable distances from my home). I help out with the salary disbursals for the teachers supported by Asha at the school and we also have a consistent volunteering effort - every Saturday at the school.

I also made a trip to Gandhigram to learn more about their efforts. After my ultra run this novemeber, I will set out to complete the unfinished trip up north - I plan to visit a number of efforts at Bhopal and Rajasthan. If you would like to know more about any of the efforts supported by Asha Bangalore or any of the efforts I visited or I am associated with, please do let me know. I have learned a lot from these trips, hope to learn more and help these efforts in any way possible.

Running in India

When I set foot in India, there were big questions on my other passion - running. I was not sure if I would find space and time to indulge in it. Its been an exciting four years until then. Looks like you will find a way out if you really want something :) - So, in this fifth year with running and Team Asha not a lot has changed - I am back home! We had a nice turnout for Team Asha , Bangalore this year. I am helping the team with coaching aspects. Running in India and especially long distance running is not as popular as in the US. But, every year sees a lot more people get their shoes out and ditch a sedentary life.

We have a team blog where we post our running experiences and also our trips to Asha supported efforts. One really nice experience was our trip to Thulir. It was an amazing learning experience. One nice experience we had was interacting with the children and getting them to run with us. Here is my take on what Running means to education -

I personally believe that long distance running teaches a lot, in terms of foundational attitudes in life such as patience, learning from mistakes, being determined and spirited in spite of challenges, learning how to organize, team work and to understand how sometimes your mind and passion can overcome physical tiredness. But, the most important aspect is that running increases confidence and self esteem. In many schools in the rural area of Dharmapuri, the educational system sends the wrong message to the children – that they are dumb, and cannot achieve. The formal education system is breaking down the confidence of these children. The key is to help the children realize that they have skills and talent in many aspects. Running could provide an exposure to discover latent talents. We believe that Team Asha can help the kids with some basics on running, an activity which most of the children would be able to do, and help them discover their potential. It brings confidence and self esteem that will reflect in the other aspects of their lives too.

This initiative would take Team Asha beyond just running and into the realms where running in itself becomes education.

We had one of the kids from Thulir train remotely and finish a marathon with us! We would call him every week, go over schedules and any questions etc. When in Thulir, I ran with him and went over many basics. The kid has enormous potential and passion. The kid was actually on course to get a placing in the run! He had a wonderful time and is now interested in getting more kids to train with him. I have been in touch with him and we are all hoping to make it a constructive effort to get more kids do what they like.

The running bug bit my family too and they are into this big time now! My parents, brother and sis-in-law completed their first half marathon in style and are planning to do one more in February. Now, I don't have any concerns about my family being worried for my sanity and health :) - They are crazy too!

Team Asha meanwhile is going places. All our runners put on an amazing show under really gruesome weather conditions at the Kaveri Trail Marathon. Here is a brief account of what they did.

This weekend many folks in the team will show up for the Bangalore Ultra. I am sure they will put up another amazing performance and would do their bit to help the underprivileged in India.

This weekend, I will be doing a 24 hour run at the Bangalore Ultra to raise funds for Asha Bangalore. My family - mom, dad, bro, sis-in-law and me have a team page and we plan to raise at least Rs.3 Lakhs ($7,000) through our efforts this year. Please do DONATE generously.