Conquering Nandi Betta

In the journey to finish Comrades this was my first ever (long) attempt to conquer the hills.  On Friday I really did not have the right mood to travel that long for a 30k run and decided to go to GKVK. But on Saturday morning, when I woke up at quarter to 5am I had a sudden rush to run in the hills.  I reached the 'Nandhi Betta' foot hills at around 7.00 am.  There were already few early raisers in picnic mode sipping hot 'chai' and biting 'marie' biscuits.  The weather was simply awesome......I decided to ignore the the sun because the road towards the hills is on the western side....it would at least take 3-4 hrs for the sun to come and drain me out.

I started climbing the hill little faster than my 'target' pace.  I ran 5k up and down.... without a bit of fuel & water in between (usually I consume 250 ml of water every 20-30 mins) and when I came back I drank "50-50 Coca Cola mixed with water" + some boiled potatoes mixed in salt + nuts + 'Chikki' to fuel me.  Again ran up, but this time going 7K in one direction....

I was super thrilled when many folks in cars and bikers found a 'wierdo' running at the mountains...screaming...cheering at me...someone even throwing a banana peel (thought it was monkey?? :)) at me.  There were few biking youngsters (boys and girls) stopped next to me and asked 'Sir....dharinalli police idhara?' (did you see police on the way?)...not sure about their intensions but certainly appeared to be naughty.  Another lady, part of a cycling group...stopped pushing her bike uphill started clapping her hands...when I crossed her she said 'its amazing to see you running, I can never imagine running up hill like this'.  I really don't know whether I was a lonely great person in the hills....but certainly found that there are not many runners out there.  Whatever it is....I felt really proud and had a new gush of adrenaline steering me forward.  We all know that Endurance running is 30% body and 60% mind but I have a different equation.  Its 30% body 40% mind + 20% from the cheerleaders on your way and remember it could also be monkeys :)  Throughout the hill I was certainly not alone...there were lots of monkeys to cheer me with their families too with their monkeylooks and occassional monkey 'grrrrrsss' all along the way...

I never knew a runner could be seen as a useful photographer too...there were humble requests for a picture from Android and iPhone couples 'the runaway ones? :)’ ...tired of selfies :) standing and posing on the rocks on the backdrop of the green village neighborhood behind them.....I'm certain that they would find a monkey or two in their pictures too...at least their tails…

Running down the second time was little harder on my knees but I had adjusted my pace well to accommodate the shocks.

Between 24k to 30k I ran in the Doddaballapur road through the villages...by the time the sun already was setting high...and the temperature started soaring to 32 Deg plus...village roads...BMTC buses and fast moving trucks overtaking small vehicles by literally driving into the farm lands...producing a huge dust cloud and driving me out of my way many times.....it was crazy but thrilling.

I'll certainly go there again...this weekend for another 30k....but would like to enjoy the run in the company of someone.  Anyone interested?

Cheers,
- Kay

Editorial support: Aditya Krishna Kannan (Dit)...my lovely athletic son
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