While very much excited to see the medal, but from deep inside, many of the beginners are much worried whether we would be able to finish 26k at 4.30hrs. Just conveying our current status based on practice runs.

Here is my response,

Your worries are genuine (as a first-timer to such course or distance) and don’t be surprised, you are not alone. 

I had self-doubts about me when I ran my first 10k, first half marathon, first full marathon, first Ultra, first Comrades Marathon, first Malnad 110k, first 100mile race.  There will be many hidden surprises waiting in a trail – even if you are the most disciplined runner.  Even after 11 years – I still have my own set of worries – ask all those “experienced runners” they would certainly acknowledge this and do not be surprised – every runner, no matter what experience he/she may have, will eventually worry about the race – either to finish it within the cut-off or to finish under a particular time target.  On a race day, worry increases the cortisol, and the cortisol may keep you sharp and improve the way you performed.

A 95% of the runners are worried (or even shit-scared) about their performance and the remaining 5% are lying about it 😊.  What differentiates an experienced runner from an absolute beginner is the level of cool-headedness that they have and the confidence to navigate issues as they arrive.

You gain such experiences through a quality training approach, experienced coaches (talk to me about this), having a strong foundation (RCF to help) lot of patience, running regularly on challenging courses & cut-offs, and tasting failures and success.  Always the DNF’s have taught me ten times the experience than a successful finish. 

Bison Ultra 25k & 50k (and OOTYULTRA 15k, 30k, 60k distances) introduces many beginners to the world of ultra-running and it is important to learn that an ultramarathon journey without a goal or a boundary becomes very meaningless.  For some runners, 4:30 hr is considered difficult and for another, it will be 5 hr, where to draw a line?

I strongly feel that to make this journey a meaningful one through an event like this, the medal at the finish level must be earned by completing it within the cut-off.  This should keep you on your toes and help you appreciate the importance of structured training and conditioning to develop your physical and mental skills.   “So what” if you did not finish within the cut-off time – there is always one more race waiting – you will get an opportunity to change the way you train and come back as a wiser runner.

As a beginner running the 25k (may appear to be an ultra-even though technically an ultra is any distance > 50k), you are expected to have some running skills, hydrating well and eating, and the art of “moving” all the time.   

Every course is unique, and it looks unachievable for some and super easy for a few others.  Whether you get the medal or not – all that should matter to you at this time is “how much fun you are having” during the training and “how much more you are going to enjoy” when you come to Yercaud to experience the Bison Ultra trails & the opportunities to inspire and get inspired by several other runners.

Lastly, the 4:30 cut-off for 25k will stay -even a second outside the boundary is considered to be DNF that doesn’t mean you failed.

Cheers #coachkay, KaysFIT Academy

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