A can't-miss list of monsoon races in Mumbai and the Western Ghats

Jul 10, 2016, 07:47 IST | Phorum Dalal

Monsoon is the perfect time to strap on those trainers and put one foot before the other. And, why do it all alone? Here’s a list of races in Mumbai and the Western Ghats that will help you share and spread the love

Last week, a meme on social media became popular: A line below the picture of a runner in the rain read: Run in the rain, your skin is waterproof.

The monsoon, the city’s dedicated runners will tell you, is the best time to train. “The rain cools your body, and thus it is the perfect season to build endurance and stamina,” says Giles Drego, a Bandra-based fitness and running coach. He adds, “Plus, as a child, didn’t you love to get drenched?” Once home, switch to dry clothes.

The rains mark the beginning of the racing season in the city (some are qualifiers for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon). You don’t have to be a professional to participate. Over the next three months, several events have 5k, 10k, events along with half (21.0975 km) and full marathons (42.195 km) as well as ultra marathons (above 50 kilometres). Ajit Singh, a Khar-based runner, throws in a word of caution: “Running in the rain can give your feet blisters.

Apply enough petroleum jelly, and you are sorted. One should run in the opposite direction of the traffic and close to their residence, keep a family member informed and carry an ID at all times.”

July 17 Matheran Endurothon — Crazy Rain trail run
Where: Matheran Hill Station, Neral
Sign up: www.townscript.com
Categories: 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k
Why you should run here: Hosted by RunBuddies.Club, under the aegis of Raigad District Athletic Association, take a pollution-free run this monsoon. Use the 10K timing certificate to qualify for other races. A tough run, take it up only if you have trained in the hills. It includes a steep mountain ascent and a muddy track run. Amateurs should consider the 7.5-km family run.

July 17: The Great India Run
Where: MMRDA (Mumbai leg commences on August 6)
Sign up: www.thegreatindiarun.com
Categories: 21k, 5k
Why you should run here: This multi-city mega marathon covers six states. Fifteen Ultra-marathoners begin running in New Delhi on July 17 and reach Mumbai on August 5. Sign up for the last leg on August 6, or chalo dilli!

July 17: Matunga Mini Marathon
At: Maheshwari Udyan, King Circle 
Time: 6 AM
Sign up: 9930327397
Last date of registration: July 17
Categories: Open category starting from 2k to 10k why you should run here: Organised by Anstrengung-United, an NGO for street kids, this is an ideal run for beginners and amateur runners.

July 24: Run India Run
Where: Rs 2 Grounds (MMRDA Grounds), Opp Canara Bank, BKC, Bandra East
Sign up: www.runindiarun.org.in
Categories: 5k, 10k
Why you should run here: This race, under the aegis of Mumbai Suburban District Athletics Association, is organised on a regular basis. The timing certificate of this race can be used for participating in leading marathons across India.

July 31: Shoe and Saddle
Where: Lavasa International Convention Centre, Pune
Sign up: www.exploreadventures.co.in
Last date of registration: July 25
Running marathons include 21.1, 10 and 5K; Olympic Solo (10 K Run, 40 K Cycle &5 K Run); Olympic Relay (10 K Run, 40 K Cycle &5 K Run); Sprint Solo (5K Run); Cycle & 2.5 K Run; Sprint Relay (5K Run, 20 K Cycle & 2.5 K Run) Why you should run here: Put your cycling and running skills to test at this well organised event. A cycle clinic at the start and finish points, along with medical support will be available.

August 7: Durshet Forest Marathon
Where: Durshet Forest Lodge, Raigad
Sign up: http://www.monsoonmarathon.com/ 
Categories: 32k (non-competitive), Half Marathon; 10k; 5k (non-competitive) 
Why you should run here: The race route goes into the valley along the Amba river. The road is tar but not entirely finished. The greenery and the mountains are breathtaking. It is likely to rain during this run, so be prepared for showers along the way. “It’s a well-organised forest trail, you go through a single track, and it’s recommended for only semi-seasoned runners as the conditions can get tough, “ says Drego.

August 7: Tridhaatu Monsoon run
Where: Chembur Gymkhana, Chembur
Time: 6 AM
Sign up: www.sportsunited.co.in
Last date of registration: July 25
Categories: 10k
Why you should run here: Qualifier for the SC Mumbai Marathon, it is supported by Olympian Jwala Gutta. Along with hot snacks, how does a beer bash after the run sound?

August 21: IDBI Federal Life Insurance Mumbai Half Marathon
Where: TBA
Sign up: youtoocanrun.com
Categories: Half marathon, 10k, 5k
Why you should run here: Organised in the city for the first time, a launch event last month had ultra runners running 12 hours, as well as a six-people relay of two hours each, which included two women and four men. Drego says it is not for first timers and for those who have not trained in the past two years.

September 18: PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon
Where: Satara
Sign up: http://www.satarahillmarathon.com/
Categories: Half marathon, 7.5k Dash, Dhamaal Run (5k)
Why you should run here: The route promises the toughest half-marathon track in the country as it passes through the majestic Western Ghats. This is the toughest half-marathon in India, with a 10.5 km climb uphill and another set downhill. However, registrations for that are now closed. Registrations for the Dhamaal Run are open till July 15 and we suggest you sign up quickly.

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