IITM Road Race


I ran the IIT Madras Road Race for the first time in 2007. It is a course that is approximately 7.8km and I completed it in 45' 30" and in 45th place. I have never participated in such a race before and my goal was to complete the race. I first started running in 2006 when I found that I did not break into a sweat after a one hour brisk walk.


I ran the race for a second time on April 8, 2008. I had set a goal of finishing under 40 minutes. However, I did not achieve my goal and finished in about 42' and in 32nd place. In any case, it was nice to see an improvement from last year. The winning time was 31' 17" — this is something I will never achieve. Maybe, I will achieve a sub-40 minute time in 2009. The race was badly organised, as always. It is amazing that they always choose to have the race in late March or early April when the heat is beginning. The race was scheduled for 5pm in the evening with the sun blazing away. Luckily it was a day when the high was around 32C. So it must have been about 30C. Information about the race is hard to get and I finally went to one of the hostel notice boards and a search through the mess of notices yielded the date and time.

Why not have the race in January or February and schedule it in the morning? Does it hurt to send out information on campus email?

The IIT Madras Golden Jubilee Run


IIT Madras has completed 50 years and is celebrating its golden jubilee with lots and lots of events. They organised a run on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008 and it was called the Golden Jubilee Run. The organisation was somewhat better than the IITM Road Race — info was available on a newly created website. The course was not revealed until the previous evening and the actual race turned out to be a truncation of that (they did away with a final lap in the stadium). The event got a real pep due to the arrival of around ten runners from a group called the Chennai Runners. Many of them ran 10km before arriving for this event! Annoyingly, the organisers decided to separate the younger crowd (ages 15-40) from the senior citizens (as they referred to the 40+ age group) and younger kids — the 15-40 group were given a 5 minute head start. The winner finished the 7.9km course (nowhere close to the promised 9km) in 32' while the winner in the 40+ age group took around 34'. I had set my target around 45 minutes but finished in 44'. Given that the course was shorter than expected, I should have taken even less time. I was 5th in the 40+ category but the first three finished in under 40 minutes. This is something I should be able to achieve in the future. We were made to wait for an hour and a half to collect our certificates and T-shirt. Modulo the poor time management, overall I was pleased to see an improvement in the organisation.



The annual IITM road race is on April 4, 2009. In keeping with the official secrets act, the race details were revealed late on the evening of April 3, 2009. The sports secretary has this to say in his email:

"Please note that this is an inter-hostel competition in Dean's Trophy tournament and hence only students are entitled to the prizes but faculties are also invited to participate and timings will be noted for everyone who secures a place within the top 20."

I am at a loss figuring out whose faculties is he referring to :-) Anyway, I plan to run the race and let us see if I achieve my sub-40' target.
Race Report
I completed the race in around 42' in 36th place. A pity that I did not achieve a time under 40 minutes. I was doing well getting to Delhi avenue in 20 minutes (that is roughly half way) but somehow couldn't increase pace towards the end. The bottom line, however, is that one has to complete the race. The winner completed the race in 31'06' and the first five were within a minute of the winner. Apparently the sports staff were also unaware of the fact that the race was today until late last evening and had to organise the ambulance and lead car etc. at short notice. I spoke to next years' Sports Secretary and asked him to do something about the timing of the race and its organisation next year.

The Terry Fox Run 2010

Today (August 22, 2010), the Chennai Terry Fox Run was held to raise funds for cancer research in India. The venue was IIT Madras and it is organised by Akash Dube. My run was sponsored by my colleagues in the physics department. Last year, the venue was shifted out of IITM at the last moment and so I had my own version of the Terry Fox run inside the campus and arranged to have the money I raised handed over to the organisers of the event. I was happy to see lots of people show up and participate in the event. There needs to be a slight modification of the course as people have to backtrack on Delhi avenue causing quite a bit of confusion given the large numbers of people. I am sure that this will be avoided next year.


I missed the IITM road race as I was out of town.

The Terry Fox Run 2012

I did participate in the Terry Fox Run in 2011 but did not make an entry here. Well, today (August 26, 2012) was the day of the run. The inspiration behind these runs, Akash Dube passed away during this last year but his spirit was very much around. Congratulations to the organisers. Barring the usual problem with backtracking on Delhi Avenue, the race was fine and I finished in around 35'. The organisers can improve things by doing two things: (i) Stagger the starts of the runners and the non-runners by half an hour and (2) Have clear instructions as to which side of the road one is expected to run on Delhi Avenue.

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