India, a land of diverse terrain, ranging from the rocky faces of the Himalayas to the forested slopes of the Sahyadris and the Western Ghats, offers grueling and challenging race routes.
With the Deccan Ultra, the 2nd race in the Hell Race Trail Series, we introduce trails nestled deep within the Sahyadri Range, offering mesmerising views of the Deccan Plateau.
The Deccan Ultra route includes the highest peak of Maharashtra, Kalsubai at an altitude of 1646m and also the toughest triple-trouble forts in Sahyadri; Alanggad, Madangad and Kulanggad, commonly called the AMK.
The route is a mix of easy-ascent slopes as well as treacherous rocky outcrops overlooking the valley below. To climb the near-vertical slopes there are iron ladders along the course. The 75km category circulates around the Bhandardhara dam and involves climbing 5 forts and the Kalsubai peak.
The inaugural edition of the Deccan Ultra race brought together runners from various parts of India, like Chennai, Delhi, Nashik, Jammu, Jodhpur, Gurgaon, Kolkata, etc., to try their mettle at one of the harshest and unforgiving terrain The Hell Race has ever conducted a race on. It took a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes work, logistical challenges, permits, etc. to bring trail races near to runners in the four corners of India, Deccan Ultra being the first one of 2019 (The Coffee Trails in Coorg is next up on March 24th). We thank everyone who showed up on the 17th morning to tread the loose slippery gravels under their feet, climbing those steep stairs at after 45kms into the race as the Sun heated the area a bit more and absorbed the last bit of the willpower to which many runners gave in, those technical maneuvers on the downhills in order to be fast enough while conserving the energy and gaining the free speed, we’re sure the runners had a great experience and we can’t think of anyone who didn’t cherish a DNF with a happy face; such was the sportsmanship.
The participation of 04 people of the local community was encouraging, and locals couldn’t even believe how could anyone climb Kalsubai (highest point of Maharashtra) in a mere 40 mins. It was exhilarating to see the locals come together to help as volunteers while witnessing, to their disbelief, the crazy runners trying to cover their respective distances within the cut-off, thinking why would one want to do that, only to feel motivated to do it themselves rather than handing bottles of water.
We are back with the concept of Runners Village, setting it up now at Deccan Ultra too from 16th-18th Feb 2019.
The joy of staying in the middle of nature in a village raised exclusively for fellow runners. It’s the idea of extending co-running to co-living for the duration of the run in a makeshift village for runners and those who accompany them for the event.