How Did I Register for the OOTY Ultra Marathon 2020?
When I was at a grocery store busy with my purchase, I noticed a small board with details about the Ooty Ultra Marathon 2019. I saw that the last date to register was 28 Feb 2019. I called the mobile number printed on the board to know about to register for Ooty ultra marathon process. They asked me to visit www.ootyultra.com and follow the instructions given there. When I visited the website, I was quite surprised as there were just three options, 15K, 30K and 60K. I am a beginner runner and I’ve run only up to 21K a couple of times at low elevations. I was not sure if I had to register for 15K or 30K. At the same time, I was not convinced to register for 15K, as well. I discussed it with my spouse and she encouraged me to go for 30K. I thought if I do not complete it, I can try the same in the following year 2020 and I finally registered for 30K.
Ooty Marathon Training Plan
Since I work in the IT industry in Bengaluru, I started to work on Ooty marathon training plan to train myself in Bengaluru. I regularly ran 10K during weekdays and 21K during the weekend in March 2019. I made sure I covered a few elevations during my run. As the race day was coming closer, there were two things that were worrying me. First thing I was worried about was the distance. I was wondering if I will be able to complete 30K in 5.30 hrs. The second thing was about the elevations as it was my first run in the hills.
BIB Collection Day
On this day, the participants, including me, were requested to collect BIB at Anandagiri, Ettines Road, Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu – 643001 at around 5 pm. The distribution was well organised. Afew events by school students were interesting. The organiser spoke about the run for a few minutes detailing the do’s and dont’s during the run and the number of registrations in each category.
Number of Runners in Each Category
The number of runners from Chennai and Bengaluru were comparatively higher when compared to the number of runners from the Nilgiris district. I hope to see more people from the Nilgiris registering for the run in 2020.
On Race Day
I was excited on the day of the race. As it was my very first run in the hills. I was there at the starting point YWCA Anandagiri, at 6 AM. After a small session, the flag was waved by a VIP to start the 30K run.
The Marathon Journey
Once I came out of YWCA, I was directed to take the left on the Ooty Ettines road and I started to run. There were a lot of runners on road racing each other. While I was running, I was able to see the racecourse on my right hand side where horse races happen every summer. I have visited the racecourse a few times with my son to watch the races. After covering a short distance, I saw a right pointing arrow to take the right towards the OOTY Bus Stand. I took the right and crossed the bus stand in Rajiv Gandhi Circle. Then the traffic police directed me towards the OOTY Vegetable Market to reach the Adams Fountain. I was able to hear a few comments from OOTY traffic police that even they have to run like this to keep themselves fit.
From the Adams Fountain, the direction was through Assembly Rooms, one of the Cinema Halls constructed over 150 years ago. This direction lead to the Government Ooty Botanical Garden and I crossed the HADP Ground and the Tibetan market and reached the Botanical Garden. In front of the Botanical Garden, I took the right to reach the Kotagiri Road. At the junction, the traffic police were redirecting the traffic. From there, elevation gradually started. At the same time, I could see the light as the sun started to rise. The temperature slightly increased due to the run and sunshine.
From the Kotagiri road, elevation increased. My heartbeat started to increase as I crossed the OOTY Tea Factory and OOTY Tea Museum. I slowly headed towards Doddabetta (the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Mountains at 2,637 metres) via Ooty – Kotagiri highway.
Doddabetta is where I stopped at a water station to hydrate myself. There was steep elevation and it was a trail road. So I had to cautiously keep my steps to protect myself from injuries. I reached the Doddabetta peak and stopped at a water station. From there, I started to climb down with considerable speed to match my calculated run time.
I reached the Ooty – Kotagiri highway and the traffic was directed towards the Ooty Tea Park. I was directed to run through the Tea Park for one round and again reached the Ooty – Kotagiri highway to run towards Kotagiri. After a few kilometers, I was directed to run through the Thummanahatty Forest to reach the Thummanahatty village. Inside the forest and village, water stations were arranged. When I reach the Thummanahatty village, a deep valley, I found that I had completed 21 KM. From the 22nd KM, the run FUN started. It was a very steep elevation. I was running and walking to reach the Ooty – Kotagiri highway. With a lot of effort, I reached the highway near the Tea Park gate. To reach the finishing point again, I had to cross a steep elevation which was a big challenge. But I did it!
From YWCA to Ooty – Kotagiri HighWay – manageable elevation
From Ooty – Kotagiri – Elevation will gradually increase to touch the Doddabetta peak
From Doddabetta peak to Ooty – Kotagiri highway it will slop and trail road
From Highway to Tea Park gate – Slight slope
From Tea Park gate – Elevation till the Tea Park garden
From Tea Park garden to Thummanahatty village – Manageable elevations
From village to Tea Park – Steep elevations
Well organised, Good Scenic, Water stations at regular distance, Medical facilities
If you are interested in the marathon and wish to participate in the 30K Ooty Ultra Marathon 2020, you can register for the marathon now. If you are an outsider and visiting Ooty to participate in the Ooty marathon 2020, we have listed below certain hotels where you can stay.
Where to stay in Ettines Road, Ooty?
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the run category in Ooty Ultra Marathon?
Ooty Ultra Marathon run category are 15K, 30K, 60K.
I am beginner for Marathon. Can I register for Ooty Ultra Marathon?
For a beginner I would suggest to register in minimum run category.
How was the elevations during Ooty Ultra Run?
In my experience elevation was bit challenging. However, I enjoyed my run and has fun.
Which resorts and hotels are best to stay to participate in Ooty Ultra?
Please click the above links given to explore.