Bengaluru Midnight Marathon (10k) - 2023
A look back at my debut 10k run
This was a 10k event I ran on 16th December 2023. In hindsight, I probably should've run the 21k instead, as that would've been a good training session at race pace for my TMM training.
The event was sponsored by Akamai (my employer), so my registration was free of cost. The event started around 8:45PM for the 10k, so not the best time to run, but not the worst time either. It was a humid evening and there were no winds.
I met with some of my colleagues at the venue and collected the BIB as well as the race T-Shirt.
I made the mistake of starting at the back, the first 800m were extremely crowded, to the point where I had to slow down to a walking speed. I had to overtake around 600-800 people in the first kilometer.
This was my first timed 10k event, so I was not very sure of what pace I should be targeting, but from previous half marathons and the marathon training, I knew that 50 minutes was an achievable yet challenging target. The "plan" was to maintain 4:50 min/km pace with even splits throughout the race. Due to the crowds, my first km split was 5:33 min. However, the GPS under the Sathya Sai Medical Hospital Metro Station was very dodgy and it made trusting the pace/distance very difficult.
The first 5k of the race went by in a relatively smooth fashion, I was consistently hitting sub 5 min k's, or atleast my watch said so. I also took a gel around 20mins (~4km) into the race, since I wasn't very well hydrated before the race. 6th km onwards, it started getting painful, my km spilts started dipping into 5's and 5:10's. At some point I had side stitches for around a kilometer, but it was at that point in the race of which I barely have any memory of.
My final chip time was 51:21. I am quite certain that, had I started in the front, a sub 50 minute result could've been possible. Nevertheless, given the circumstances it was a good race.
The event being very "corporate" in nature, was not very competitive. The winners were elite(and fast obviously), but apart from them there weren't many fast athletes which meant for a very long time I had to run alone, and that made keeping the target pace harder. The on-course nutrition was fine, since it was just a 10k, I didn't need a lot of support, just a little bit of water. There were no pacers, which is understandable considering there were very few serious runners.
I might race the event again next year, but definitely not in the 10k category. The longer 21k/42k events start later in the night, making the weather much more conducive to running as well as higher number of serious runners with fewer amateurs.