Suyog Panse at SCMM 2016 – An experience to cherish!


Pre-Race Scenario

Until end of November 2015, I was not aware whether I will run in SCMM on 17th Jan 2016even though I had registered way back in Aug 2015. My registration was confirmed only in early December. I had only 6 weeks to prepare for my first SCMM half Marathon.

Just to give a background I had started my first run only this year on 17th Feb 2 days after India won 2 matches in Cricket world Cup in Australia one against Pakistan and next with SA. My first run was 6.6 km walk and run with my friend Terence Miranda to whom I give credit for starting my “running career”. We ran and walked on racecourse on a hot Feb afternoon at 4 pm to about 6 pm.

Later on I took a liking to running and started running near my house on Sanewadi Ground, Aundh. I saw two very impressive runners there, Prasad and Hitendra. Till this day I hold them in awe.

Through consistency very short runs of a few hundred meters extended into 1 km and stretched into 5 km and finally into 10 km. That’s when I heard about group training in Pune University and decided to join them.

In June I heard from another friend Abhishek Sharan that in October there is a half marathon called PRBM organised by a group called PUNE RUNNING. I joined the group  run by two legends of PUNE RUNNING Sudhi and Vikas for all newbies intending to do their first half marathon in PRBM.

It was a structured program where every Saturday and Sunday we would run 3-5km followed by Strength Training. In the later weeks the Sunday run mileage was gradually increased from  5 km  to 18 km

On 11th Oct (PRBM Half marathon). On 11th I completed my half marathon with a timing of 2 hours and 52 mins. In the meantime I had developed an injury called ITB which used to cause pain in my knee on the sideways which prevented me from running at least 3 weeks of my training.

Meanwhile during my run at NIO marathon for 10k I heard of SCMM for the first time and Terence told me it is the biggest marathon event in India. He mentioned the need for a timing certificate.  I never knew later it would become most important document of my running life more than probably birth certificate or marriage certificate! My friend Mukund Ghatge helped me register for the Chembur Marathon in Aug.

I started my preparation for SCMM with 6 weeks remaining, on 6th Dec I ran 10k at the Pune International Marathon with Mamta Potdar. I ran another 10k at TCSfitforlife event where I achieved my best timing thanks mostly due to the Brookes Aldernine 16 Shoes I purchased in UK. These shoes help over-pronation in my flat foot.  I was peaking well by running a total of 52 km in the week 27th Dec to 3rd Jan.

Meanwhile, I passed a very important milestone, 1000 kms of running in 2015!

One day before the Race:


And so on 16th Jan I was ready to go with my friends Piyush, Sangram of The Pune Marathoners Club to Mumbai via Deccan Queen. The CC coach of C3 and C4 were full of SCMM runners. We had a lot of fun enjoying DQ breakfast with chats, fun and moving from C3 to C4 and back. I met some strangers who recognized me thanks to my various runs on Pashan Road in 2015. I also met Suyog Raut a sub-4 marathoner who I knew but never had a face to face conversation.

We reached CSTM station and quickly went to Cuff Parade to pick up BIB and TCS kit. Met many friends there from Pune.

We had a good lunch with TPMC colleagues and then left for Worli to stay at our Tata Motors guest house.

We went for a short evening walk along the next day’s and then had an early dinner at 8 pm followed by a quick phone call to the family.

All was well and most unexpectedly my stomach began acting up! Frequent toilet visits went on until midnight.

Doubts began creeping into the head and simply decided to banish these thoughts by going off to sleep. Pre-race anxiety woke me up at 3:15 am and soon I was ready to go.

Race Day:

I reached the holding area well in time. It was crowded and buzzing with excitement.

I did some warm up exercise which Sudhi had taught us for 10 minutes and was ready to go.

The race was flagged off and we were on our way. I started at a steady pace and was thrilled to be running on the iconic Bandra-Worli sea link with the pleasant morning breeze in full flow.

Shortly thereafter, the sight of some fast half marathoners on the other side of the road already a few kms ahead of me made me feel a bit low for a moment but I moved on.

The 9 km running on the sea-link was a thrilling experience and I felt blessed to be experiencing it.

I met Krutika Shukla from PUNE RUNNING who was there as a volunteer doing a fabulous job – relentlessly smiling, encouraging all of us giving water bottles and cheering us all.

I was now running on the streets of Mumbai with a boisterous Mumbai crowd lined up all along to cheer us up. The crowd consisted of men and women of all ages and children too handing out water, bananas, oranges, biscuits and chocolates to the runners. I salute these people for their selfless service which is the very core of being a “Mumbaikar”

When I reached Haji Ali and Babhulnath temple, I saw the full marathoners on the other side of the road. I noticed Piyush from TPMC group loudly cheering for me. I cheered for him too.

On the 13th km, I felt a pain in my knees and my pace began to drop. At the aid station before the tough Peddar Road flyover, I used the Volini spray to reduce the pain.


The spray helped me get through the crucial Peddar road climb with relative ease.

In comparison I would still rate Pune’s Symbiosis climb much tougher than the Pedar road climb.

Soon after the pain reappeared and kept increasing to an unbearable level. I kept on reminding myself that I need to complete my run in spite of the pain. In the meantime Mumbaikars were now more on the street singing and cheering on the sides offering water, energisers, etc. To forget the pain I started singing with them too. Notable one being a song from the movie “Rock on”.

I began the countdown with just a few kms and a few minutes of running left to do as the pain increased. Despite the pain I decided to continue running at a slow pace without walking or stopping.

Soon I found myself only 1 km away from finish line and now the boards were placed every 100 m to tell the runner how close he/she is to the finish line. Meanwhile, on the side of the road, the senior citizen run and walk had been flagged off.

I finally crossed the finish line at 8:27am (in 2 hours and 43) in much physical pain but in relief and joy behind comprehension! It was over.

I called my wife to tell her I had completed my SCMM and to my great surprise she said to me that she has come to Mumbai to see me complete the race from Pune!

My joy knew no bounds as I went to Azad maidan to pick up my medal and breakfast.

My PUNE RUNNING friend Hitendra and I congratulated each other.

My wife had got me home made parathas and cake which were so sweet to eat as they were the fruits of completion of my first SCMM half marathon!

I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude fo the event organizers for the excellent arrangements throughout the race and to the people of Mumbai for their amazing support.

It was a memorable experience to run my first SCMM in “Mumbai Meri Jaan”! I know I could have done better without the knee pain.

I signed off from Mumbai off with a promise to overcome my knee issue and run again at my very best in SCMM 2017!


Suyog Panse is a regular runner in Aundh and Pune University campus

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22 Responses

  1. Paresh says:

    Congratulations for completing the run,inspite of the pain…can relate to it as had faced similar situation at GRM….kudos Suyog

  2. vikas says:

    Awesome stuff. It has always been a pleasure to run with you
    Best of luck for scmm 2017

  3. Terence says:

    Congratulations Suyog! Quite an achievement ! Keep your passion going- I am sure your will be running the 42 kM next year !

  4. Priyanka kulkarni says:

    Hi suyog. Good to read this. I have seen your training. I admire your dedication for practice runs. You have never given up or taken any break though you were going though knee pain. At the same time you enjoyed runs at diffrent countries whereever you visited for work. Congratulations n good luck to you.

  5. abhishek says:

    Very nice to hear on your achievements and hard work in the year 2015, that finally blossomed in your scmm16 run.

  6. Rishikesh says:

    Nicely narrated !! Good one!

  7. Suresh Patil says:

    Hi, Suyog, Gr8. Nicely written. Congrats. No Pain No gain. even pain can be enjoyed when half marathon done . Hope to see you at OUR marathon

  8. Piyush says:

    Very well described Suyog… Your experience was kind of a fast forward for last 4 months of preparations and events happened on the race day.
    It was really a great experience running with you all every time while preparing for SCMM – daily runs as well as strength training sessions (not to forget about post run breakfast at Goodluck with Deven 😉 ). You are one of the most regular and enthusiastic runners I ever seen. Keep it up :-).
    Also you are really good at writing, don’t be surprised if you are appointed as official blogger for our running group

  9. Suyog says:

    Thanks all for your comments

  10. Prasad Patil says:

    Thank you Suyog, consistent showing up . .. made you addicted to amazing running like most of us. . . keep showing up inspires many more in coming years.

  11. Suyog says:

    Thank you all for your messages and comments! I took inspiration from Sudhi in this

  12. Senthil says:

    Nice blog, keep running

  13. Prasad Dhume says:

    Congratulation Suyog! Great effort pays off…..truly an inspiration. Look forward to running with you in SCMM17

  14. Mukund says:

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful experience.

  15. Vishu Tendulkar says:

    Hi Suyog, Indeed a remarkable achievement. It displays the sheer will power and determination to complete the goal. I am confident you will do wonderful in the next event. All the very best and wish you great success.
    Vishu Tendulkar

  16. Suyog says:

    Thanks all

  17. Dear Mr. Panse, Keep running and writing. running is not just merely an exercise ,infact it is a complete sports. at the age where you have picked up marathons is incredible and inspiring. best of luck for many full and half marathons .

  18. vidya sukthankar says:

    Suyog wonderful narration.and a very good run despite pains!congrats on ur first scmm hm

  19. Amol says:

    Great….keep encouraging new runners to join and be healthy

  20. Somasundar Menon says:

    Very inspiring story Suyog! Really great achievement. You just discovered the sleeping runner in you. Keep running and achieve greater heights!!

  21. Suyog says:

    Thanks Sandeep Vidya Amol and Menon
    Thanks for your encouragement

  22. Ashwin says:

    Hats off to you Suyog….you have really come a long long way in having achieved this…of all the years we know each other…I can say this with pride…that this achievement…is purely out of your own self inspiration, coupled with a lot of dedication and most of all self discipline to match and achieve your dreams…
    I have always hated running…And all the cross countries we used to run in our training days…at the start point itself it used to be such a mental block…as to why the hell am I running if after 13 km I have to come back here itself….And the only way to do it was to just keep the mind blank…forget all senses…keep your head down…look at the footsteps of the guy running ahead of you…match that rhythm…slowly increase the pace…And now overtake him…
    The block was in the mind and the solution to overcome it was the MIND itself…that’s what it taught us…that everything in life…It’s all mental….
    I can understand exactly what must have been going on in your mind in those last km ‘s with the knee throbbing…but with your achievement…you have been an exemplary example of that statement….truly…. HATS OFF….