I started running long distance when I was in the 9th standard. I was in Bhopal back then and during summer vacations, I used to run 4kms to a reservoir to feel the cool water-laden breeze. From then till now, I have always had a strange, on-again, off-again relationship with running. I wouldn’t list my name amongst the ardent runners but definitely one of its ardent proponents. From the time I joined The Fuller Life –the organization behind KTM back in 2006, I have gone through the joys and the pains that one experiences as a runner and as an organizer of a run. But I am particularly proud of being a part of a small minority, who have organized and run the KTM.
In 2007, Madhu Avasarala and Jagannath Raju were introducing our small running community to the joys of trail running and thanks to them we conducted the first Kaveri Trail Marathon in October of 2007 in the exact same trail it is conducted today. I was sent to recce the trail a month in advance with a few colleagues… and it was love at first sight. It was the most beautiful running route I had ever seen and have seen since. The water canal, the paddy fields, the weaver bird nests on the other side of the canal, the banyan trees along the way, It was the perfect getaway for a city dweller.
Since that first year, KTM has charmed many runners. All of us learnt more about KTM – apart from being beautiful it also gained the notoriety of a tough marathon to run. Something about the canal and the heat, would cramp up the best of runners. Of course that didn’t stop people from coming back year on year.
KTM is not just a tough run for the runners, it is also a tough run to organize. Only the most meticulous and passionate members of our oganisation used to be given the reins to conduct it every year. Many a team members emerged as excellent race directors after conducting the KTM. Planning a run away from the city is not that easy. But there are aspects of it which are very gratifying. My personal favourite, of course, was marking the trail the evening before. I made sure I got assigned that task almost every year for 9 years in a row!
After all the trouble one took, as a runner or as an organizer, being on the trail for those few hours would make everything worth it.
KTM is the grandfather of trail running in India. The first trail run to be organized for the runners by the runners. Since then, many trail runs at many exotic locations have started across the country. Runners have also taken to travelling overseas to take part in trail runs in other countries. But for many of us who ran that first KTM in 2007, it will always remain first love.
So register now, to create some memories of your own at Kaveri Trail Marathon. Click here to register.