The Bengaluru Runners Jatre in its second edition promises to be a challenging race on a tricky course. Let us look at the weather first. It happens in early-June which means there is always the possibility of overnight showers preceding race day. Humidity will not be much of a concern around this time of the year in Bengaluru.
The weather is expected to be warm which feels Like temperature of 23°C in the morning. The wind will be coming from the west-southwest direction at a speed of 18 km/h. The humidity level is expected to be around 88%, indicating a slightly muggy atmosphere. The cloud cover is predicted to be around 50%, offering a mix of sunshine and clouds throughout the morning. Fortunately, no significant rainfall is expected, with precipitation amounting to 0 cm. It should be a pleasant day to enjoy enjoy your run barring the high humidity levels.
Now, let us turn our attention on the course. The Bengaluru Runners Jatre 2023 route winds through prominent landmarks that make HSR a livable, work(out)able and runnable locality, in that sense it is a well guided tour of HSR for the runner. A lot of thought and collaborative inputs (from the relevant authorities) seem to have gone into crafting this route.
Having set the context let us do a deep dive into the course as the devil is always in the details (add a Devil emoji here). The route low-down below will refer to Bengaluru Runners Jatre 2023 route as Jatre-23 from this point on.
There are two facets to this – the number of turns that you must navigate and the undulating nature of the course. Let us first talk about the inclines. They are not sharp but are of a rolling nature. What makes this course tricky is the fact that these inclines are your constant companion throughout the race from beginning to end. That brings us to the second facet of Jatre-23. The turns. There are quite a few turns especially in the first half of the race. Volunteers and route marshals will be manning these turns but it helps to know the lay of the land before you embark on this guided tour 😊. To the credit of the organizers of Jatre-23 there is not a single U-turn on the course and you don’t run loops where you keep repeating the same stretch of road again and again.
KM-1: You start on the 17th cross road, the arterial thoroughfare of HSR layout, pretty close to the stadium. This is a wide road, so we will not see any start line SNAFUs. The first km is a steady downhill stretch that tapers into a flat section towards the end. You are all charged up and on fresh legs but be careful not to waste too much energy in this section as the real race starts after 2kms.
KM-2: This section is by and large flat in nature with a few turns that take you through the 9th main road and the ORR service road before bringing you back on the 5th main road. Be prepared to run into some headwinds and crosswinds on this section.
Strategic tip #1: The first 2kms will be the easiest kms you will run on this course. You should push in this section, no two ways about it, BUT, be mindful of the fact that the real race i.e. the turns and the inclines start from here and stay with you right until the finish line.
KM-3: In this section you take a network of turns - starting at the 21st cross road – as you wind through the residential enclaves of HSR. You hit the first uphill albeit a steady rolling one towards the end of this section.
Strategic tip #2: Follow the route markers and the instructions of the route marshals religiously in this section as it involves quite a few turns.
KM-4: You transition from residential enclaves into the back-lanes of HSR in this section of the tour. The 22nd cross road (starting from Born Babies on your left) is a flat section, use this stretch to make up for lost time from the previous km. Once you turn right on to the 17th main you encounter the second and steady uphill on this course with a sharp ascent towards the end of this road.
KM-5: The initial part of this section aka the 27th cross road is a gentle downhill as you cross the Bandepalya police station on your left. Use this section to recover from the previous uphill and get ready for the next looooong uphill section that starts on the 19th main and culminates on the 22nd cross road.
Strategic tip #3: This is one long uphill section with varying gradients. This is also the section where the 5km runners will separate from the 10km runners. So be mindful on how you tackle this section. If you are a 5km runner, all systems are a go! If you are a 10km runner remember this is just about the halfway mark.
Midway Note: Thankfully, the maze of turns is done and you have dealt with the longest uphill gradient on this course. In the next section of this race; you don’t have as many turns to contend with and the uphill sections are shorter or are preceded / succeeded by fast downhill stretches. It’s all about counting the KMs down from here.
KM-6: This is a downhill section, YAY! Coast on this section as you run through the 24th main road and make your way towards the Nandini milk parlor from where you take a left and the road starts ascending yet again.
KM-7: You are now on the iconic 27th main road in HSR Layout and you stay on this road for the next 2 odd kms. The initial part of this section is a gentle and undulating uphill. By now, fatigue will be knocking on the doors of your psyche. Keep it waiting on the doorstep by telling yourself that there is a solid downhill stretch in the latter part of this KM. Now is the time to speed up!
KM-8: Use the momentum from the previous downhill as you cross NIFT on your right to navigate a steady uphill section. Remind yourself that there is yet another solid downhill section waiting for you with its arms wide open as you crest the hill on 27th main around Bharatiya Jalpan (on your left side). Make up for lost time in that downhill stretch that extends up to HSR layout police station.
Strategic tip #4: Kms 7-8 are pretty similar in terms of topography, short to medium uphill sections followed by fast and steep downhill sections. Stay steady on the uphill sections and speed up on the downhills albeit responsibly. You still have 2kms to go as you get off 27th main road.
KM-9: The initial section of this KM is undulating and has two small hillocks and then there is a gentle downhill through a residential locality before you hit a gentle uphill with a sharp ascent towards the end. Distract yourself in this section as fatigue will start catching up with you thanks to all this uphill and downhill business. Derive energy from the volunteers around, the tree park that you cross on this section, the works.
KM-10: The final frontier! This KM promises to be as interesting as its predecessors on this course of Jatre-23. The initial part of this KM proffers a gentle downhill and a short flat section. But in the second half you encounter a steady but short uphill before the course tapers into an undulating section. Be sure to give it your all as you take that final turn into the stadium! The finish line and photographers await you after a truly testing effort in and around HSR!
Kartik Iyer is a conversationalist, running geek, techie, marathoner, miles to go CrossFit junkie and bathroom Carnatic vocalist. He loves striking random conversations with people just about anywhere, music and anyting to do with tech and fitness, in no particular order. He can be reached at @kartikiyer2007 on Insta and on Strava