Sunday, 11 April 2010

IISc Science and Technology Run (SNT run) -- Race Report

Today I ran the 2nd edition of the IISc Science and Technology run or the SNT run, as it's being called. The event had a 10K, 5K, a corporate relay and bunch of other events which I didn't pay attention to. This report is for the 10K.

1. Course Profile

Figure 1: SNT Run 10K Map

The 10K run was a single loop within the IISc campus. The loop was mostly road, with a little bit of trail in the 1st half. It was not a flat course and had enough ups and downs. If you look at the map, you will see that the route crisscrosses itself at multiple places. In spite of that, I don't know of anyone who got lost.

2. Race Report

I decided to run this race on Friday (9/4/2010). It was a last minute thing. My goal for the race was to maintain a sub 5:00/KM pace and get a personal best (my 10K personal best is 50:36). Given that I have been running at paces faster than that, though for shorter distances, I thought the goal to be achievable. 

The 10K was supposed to start at 7:30 AM, but then it was announced that it will start at 8 AM. Given the recent increase in heat and humidity in Bangalore, that was not good news. The runners started assembling near the start line at around about 7:40 AM. The race got flagged off 10 minutes from then, at 7:50 AM -- 10 minutes before the announced start time. 

Given that I was at the head of the pack, I didn't have to jostle through the crowd too much. I consistently kept a pace between 4:30-5:00/KM. At the 3 KM, the heat started coming down and I had to utilize the water stops.

When my Garmin showed 8.4 KM, I saw a huge crowd under a banner cheering the runners on. My first instinct was, "Ah! Crowd support. Nice!" But then a couple of people, whom I had passed a few minutes back, were sprinting by me. And I wondered "Could the banner possibly be the finish line?" So, I asked the next runner, a woman, who was sprinting past me, "Is that the finish line?" She didn't seem to be in a mood to answer and by that time I was already under the banner. Yes, it was the finish line!

The 10K was only 8.7KM (42:19). Disappointing! I was on track for a personal best -- my average pace was 4:51 -- but it wasn't to be for no fault of my own. 

3. Pros and Cons

  1. The registration process was pretty straightforward and they had the registrations open till the start of the race. 
  2. There was no registration fee.
  3. Even though there was no registration fee, all the runners got a t-shirt and a cap.
  4. Adequate water stops.
  1. This is a major one: the 10K run was 1.3 KM short! 
  2. The race didn't start on time. Yes, it was only a 20 minute delay. But as runners we demand punctuality from ourselves and others. 
  3. There were no distance markers anywhere in the course.
4. Conclusion

The race course was nice and challenging and if it weren't for the course being short, it would have been a really nice run.