Ajit Thandur shares his experience of organising the Chamundi Hill Challenge and why is it an exciting course for runners, with Deepthi Velkur
MYSOORUNNERS were the proud hosts of the Chamundi Hill Challenge 2018, an exciting race that gives you a good experience of up and downhill asphalted roads, winding forest trails, uneven cobbled tracks and steps.
The Chamundi Hill Challenge organized by Enduro events, saw its 4thedition this year and the man behind this is Ajit Thandur. This run includes varying distances of 5k, 10k and 21k.
We got talking to Ajit on his experience of organizing this event and why he thinks this is an event that you must take part in.
The course is not just a regular hill run – it offers a ton of variety during the run. It includes nearly 300 metres of centuries old uneven granite steps and cobbled stones, a 3.5km jungle trail and asphalted road.
One of the points we stress on when someone registers is to enjoy the course. This is a beautiful course and by no stretch of imagination, is it a personal best course.
2018 saw the 4thedition of this exciting run – what kind of enrollment increases have you seen year-on-year?
When we started off, we saw nearly 250 runners in the 1st edition. This year (our 4thedition), we saw over 450 runners. Numbers can be better but the fact remains, it’s a tough course!
What lessons have Enduro Events learnt over the past years that will help you make this event even more popular?
Experience has taught us that we need better management of various aspects involved in organising such a race:
+) Frequency of aid stations depending on the kind of race and course.
+) Ideal needs for each aid station depending on its location.
+) Logistics such as having volunteers on wheels to keep vigil on participants, accidents, injury to inform the medical team.
+) Efficient waste management to make sure we don’t leave any inorganic waste anywhere on the course.
There are some more aspects but hard to list out the more minute ones.
In terms of promoting the event – apart from social media, do you run any other promotional activities?
Not as far as Chamundi Hill Challenge goes. We only rely on social media.
Only for Tri Thonnur, another event organized by us, we do have weekend swim sessions in the Thonnur Lake. That’s because there are many first timers for open water swims each year.
Organizing an event of such scale requires a lot of a planning, coordination and
governance. Can you please provide your view on how Enduro events goes about setting this up?
There are mainly two factors in organising any sporting event, especially when we utilise public properties such as roads, parks, stadiums, lakes etc.
The first is to seek permissions from various government bodies such as the City Corporation, Police (both Law and Order, Traffic), Public Works Department etc.
This invariably takes time since there are so many offices to coordinate with. So we start work on these aspects a few months prior to the event.
The second is our own internal planning:
- Routes (choosing the best depending on road conditions, advice from Traffic Police etc)
- Number of volunteers required (This includes volunteers driven by passion and paid Volunteers…. strange terminology but it exists.)
- Number of aid stations required, specific needs there. Quantities of water, hydration drinks, fruits, jaggery, salt, lime, etc.
- Ideal location for ambulance with Medical support team.
- Medals, Trophies, T shirts ( all to be designed ordered at least a month ahead).
- Post-race breakfast/brunch.
- Appointing MC, public address systems, music, etc.
Who are the key team members involved in making this event happen?
We are a team of 5 – Anil, Vijay, Abhilash, Prajwal, Naveen and myself.
Funding and sponsorship are a challenge for most events – how does Enduro events manage to secure this? Who are your key sponsors?
Sponsorship surely is a key to see such events through. This year we had National Public School as our title sponsors. Sparsh Hospitals, Bangalore have been our medical support team and sponsors for 5 years now. That apart, we have a list of local businesses who support us.
We don’t have a cap so far. But the need might arise if we see more than 1000 runners.
You obviously know the course very well – what advice would you like the runners to heed so that they enjoy the course while staying safe?
This is a course to enjoy and not one to achieve a personal best. Challenge 21 is two loops of Tough 10 (actually 10.5k in terms of distance). Each loop is about 6.5k of road, 500 m of steps and cobble stones and 3.5k of jungle trail. So we ask runners to be extremely careful while negotiating the steps and the jungle course.
Video Link of the event: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1itgVXJfpSaESnbmEn3RLeIRjAf8nwvn2/view?usp=drivesdk