At the final aid station, I noticed that the runner before me had crossed it about 40 minutes ago. Closing that gap over 6km was a far cry out so my motivation waned a bit. Regardless, I pushed. As I approached the dam, I spotted two kind souls braving the heat at the finish line. Kieren’s mom was manually noting the timings while Kiran clicked pics. Hobbled over ignoring the pain and exhaustion. Done. No hollering about. Was simply spent. In utter disbelief, I shed a few tears. I managed to do something I never thought of possible 7hrs ago. 4th place. Nothing fancy numbers-wise, but internally a sense of satisfaction engulfed me. Phew!
The downhill was really fun. The soil was so dry and full of tiny marble sort of stones, really slippery. I had to run carefully. I did scare some of the hikers who thought I would slip and fall and probably take them along rolling down the mountain. A couple of sections were so exposed and steep, it was beautiful and thrilling at the same time. I am sure it demanded courage and skills to navigate that section and have some decent speed as well.
Four hours from Shillong, Meghalaya is a farming village, sitting atop a hill in Mawkyrwat, South West Khasi Hills District, by the name Shngimawlein. A name in this village is bringing accolades to the region and breaking records. Tlading Wahlang, a 40-yr-old father of 04, has lived in the village his whole life and grows paddy. He started running five years ago and little did he know about his innate talent or the endurance he has built since childhood over such a terrain that when he started running, people took notice.
I believe running has become a very important part of my life. It keeps me focused by becoming the sole purpose in my life, just as much as it keeps me disciplined and working hard towards upcoming events. The goal is different each time I run. Sometime I run just to get to the finish line, sometimes the victory becomes very important to me, and it’s also a great feeling to run with other people and share the camaraderie. I am more than 50 years of age, so my expectation is usually just to finish the hard races. At this stage for me, finishing is the same as winning.