• Uttan Gorai : Boat ride to malad


    This is Part Two of the “Exploring Mumbai in 15 days and 15 runs series” by Mehul Ved. In the first half of the series, Mehul chronicles the first week of his exploration of Mumbai through his daily 15 km runs through scenic routes across the city and shares the lessons he’s learnt along the way. You can read Part 1 of the article here

    In this article, Mehul shares his experiences through the second week of the 15*15 challenge. Read on to find out more.

    The route was much better than expected, mostly due to an early start. Pretty clear roads except for the last 2 km at Jogeshwari. The Lokhandwala backroads stretch was surprisingly awesome. Had a couple of small breaks to figure out the route and a coconut water break at Lokhandwala.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 37:30 minutes

    The legs were not at their best and were barely moving after the foam rolling on the previous day. Couple it with very heavy traffic inside Aarey Colony since the toll booth has been taken off. And not to forget the elevation at Aarey. I lost my way a couple of times around New Zealand Hostel and had to walk around with maps to figure my way back. It was the worst run but can be much better done if I stick to smaller run on the internal roads and map it correctly.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 2 hours 4 minutes

    Was joined by Sandeep for this run, we started from Vashi end of Palm Beach, went on for 7.5 km and returned back. It was an easy run as I was staying with Sandeep who was following Maffetone method and thus doing a jog-walk. It helped recover quite a bit from the previous day.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 58 minutes

    I wonder why this route isn't popular. It's green, has minimal traffic and has a mix of flat and rolling roads. There are enough shops along the road if you want food or water. It's covered in green almost throughout.

    I had to walk first 2 km out of Bhayandar but could run most of the way except for the steep uphills at a couple of places. Also ran an extra km to soak in the beauty of the place while I reached the bus stop to take me to Manori.

    This is one route I want to try again. Next time from the Manori end.

    Distance: 16 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 55 minutes


    Yeoor Hills


    The run starts around the gentle rolling terrain of Upvan Lake. The run started with me, Kailas and Ninad running together. Then we moved into the Yeoor Hills. We are greeted right away with a nice, steep incline for the next 1 km. Kailas took off at this point, Ninad also went ahead while I gently ran and then walked up this area. After that, the road seems pretty much flat though it isn't actually so. I could continued my run-walk for 2 laps from the top of the climb to the end of Yeoor.

    This was tough, but the scenery was so stunning, you'd forget everything. Moreover, there were a lot of runners from EEH group running around. We then ran downhill. It was crazy fun and at the same time hard on my calves. 1 km downhill in 3:35 minutes - exhilarating pace for a slowpoke like me. Ended with a final round of Upvan lake to finish my 15 km. My legs were pretty much gone by the end of this run.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 41 minute

    Sanjay Gandhi National park trail


    After the 2 tough routes over the last 2 days…..came another one. This one seems deceptively flat but is rolling all the way and even has a steep incline at the Kanheri Caves end. That said, it is a beautiful route. At some places close to Kanheri, it was just me and nature. It was so quiet I could listen to my footsteps, the birds, and the insects. I could hear my heart pounding. It was scary with the wind rattling the leaves and some monkeys running around. The emotions would go up and down all the time, just like the elevation profile.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 47 minute

    parsik Hills trail


    Another day, another hilly route. The toughest of them all, with 2 hills and the 4th hilly day in a row. Had a long train ride from CST to CDB. Got off and started to run, but had a tough time finding the correct route at the beginning. In about a km, I already hit Parsik Hills. Tried my best to run up but had to walk-jog to the top. This place could have been so peaceful and scenic if not for all the ugly building and polluting vehicles going up and down. I ran back down as fast as my almost jelly legs could support.

    Back to flat roads - a relief for the next couple of km till I hit the Kharghar Hills. It was a stark contrast to Parsik Hills - barely any vehicles, greenery all around, no road. The last thing meant I could barely run as I was wearing my barefoot shoes. I had to step very carefully given they were hurting my soles. I wonder how people ran the Kharghar HM which was a barefoot run. Having navigated this tough stretch of road, I got a sudden high and managed to run the last 1 km in under 5:45 min.

    Distance: 16 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 55 minutes

    The last day was finally here. Instead of the rush of energy, I was feeling lethargy after the late night. Managed to wake up late but not too late for the morning run, thankfully.

    At first, I didn't even feel like running but pushed myself saying I'll walk and jog whenever possible. So started out with a walk from Lucky Hotel at Bandra, went to Reclamation and by then I was already running. Then went around to Bandstand, Carter Road most of which was a run, surprisingly. Followed the route to Juhu Beach and ran alongside the beach on the main road. Finished the run at Starbucks to savor a nice tall glass of Alphonso Mango Frappucino.

    Distance: 15 km

    Time Taken: 1 hour 45 minutes

    Best Routes:

    Aarey Colony

    Marine Drive


    Yeoor Hills


    Palm Beach Road

    Lokhandwala backroads

    Also, thanks to @amitvelo, @wanderingraptor, @agirlofherwords, @pagansensei, @icecubed, @kailas24186, @outswingking for being there in some way or the other and playing a part in this challenge.

    Mehul is a triathlete based out of Mumbai.
    When he's not swimming, cycling or running, he can be seen giving commands to computers.
    And yes, he looks as happy in real life as he looks in this pic.
    Follow him on Twitter




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