Pradeep K. Pant Blog


Bison Ultra 2023 Run diary

Location: Yercaud hills, Tamil Nadu, India

Elevation: approx 1100 mt - 1500 mt : elevation gain ~ 1500 mt

Distance: 50KM [Strava] [Certificate]

Date: 10th Sept 2023

Preparation: For preparation of Bison Ultra 2023 50K I just followed my daily workout i.e. a mix of cycling, running, and strength workouts. No custom training plan, my last long run was Ooty ultra 30K in April. You can read my blog post on Ooty Ultra 2023 here

Travel: I and Suresh started around 6 a.m. in the morning and later picked up Mey and Laxmi near the SilK board junction on Hosur Road. Our first stop was Shree Savarna Bhawan, near Krishnagiri, for breakfast. We tried mini tiffin, idly, mini dosa, and uttpam. We loved the Tamil-style sambhar and filter coffee. The next stop was the Tata Motors show room at Salem for charging our EV. The people at the showroom were very friendly. It was warm weather at Salem, so we took some rest while our car was on charge. We also took a test drive of some of the EV vehicles from Tata. I am really impressed by Tata Group’s commitment and future planning for the EV push. We were supposed to have lunch at Salvi Mess (recommended by Mey), but later felt that due to the heavy breakfast and heat in Salem, we decided to start climbing towards the Yercaud Hills. We just had a quick coconut break before entering the hills. Our running start point and stay were 8–10 KM’s ahead of Yercaud town. We reached around 4 p.m. at Last Shola, which was on the way to Heavens Lodge (our stay and bib collection place). There we met coach Kay (the organiser) and many other runners having lunch. We were also hungry, so we quickly had food that was available to them (though a bit costly, but understandable as we had not given prior notice). Overall, our travel was good; we had a good charge in an EV after reaching Yercaud.

Stay: Heavens Lodge Cottages, Yercaud. Newly built cottages with a beautiful valley view of the Krishnagiri area


Before night, I was in doubt about whether I should wear my Luna sandals for the run or normal shoes. For almost the last year, I have done most of my runs in sandels, so that was my first choice. Anyway, I was carrying basic walking shoes (actually, not even suitable for running). After checking with some runners who have done this trail in the past, I decided to go with shoes but kept my Luna in an extra bag (I thought it would change at the 25 km mark). But my decision to use shoes was very good, though initially I was not very comfortable during downhills because of the fear of slipping, but slowly I tuned my mind not to think much about that aspect and focused on the route, which eventually helped me. Coming to route, it’s beyond words; most of the part of route was trail, only some road streched but very calm remote village roads. Volunteers has done a great job of setting up water points, but it was not easy. Lunch at 25–26 km was great: Idli, Sambhar, and Chutney, very nice and light. There was a small loop of 3–4 km at the lunch point. Initially, I was thinking of having food after completing the loop, but Jay, with whom I chipped in somewhere after 8–10 km, advised having food first, then entering the loop, which indeed was a very good decision, and we were already tired, and solid food was very much needed. btw, Jay is an accomplished runner (has done border 100 KM). After the sun was fully up, we entered the road. I tried to run with Jay, and later we were joined by another runner, Anant Kansal (a Ladakh marathon finisher), who was also running at a similar pace. After 8–9 km of road, our final climb of 10–11 km started, which was tough and grueling. We tried to climb together and were finally able to finish just before the cut-off time. Suresh was there at the finish line to motivate us to cover the last couple of hundred meters.

Final thoughts:

This was a small event in comparison to other running events, but the challenges were much greater because of the terrain and remote access. Coach Kay has done his best to organize, and I must congratulate him. The food was simple and nice. The location of the stay, especially Heavens Lodge, was superb, though some runners also stayed in Last Shola, which was our starting point. The finish line was at Heavens Lodge. So we walked about a kilometer in the morning to the start line.

Some learnings:

We had a lot of fun together, and the overall experience was phenomenal!

This was a brief overview of our Bision trip ultra run. I hope to revisit it in 2024.

Feel free to write in at or comment here in case you wish to share your own experiences or need more info.

Happy to help!


Finally, here are some pics from our trip ( I, Suresh, Mey and Laxmi (Lucky)):

Our road trip route

Start at home

Start with Suresh

Drive to Yercaud

Mini tiffin breakfast at Shri Sharvana Bhavan, near Krishnagiri

Route to Salem

EV charging at Tata Motors, Salem

Coconut break en route before entering the Yercaud Hills

Our stay in a beautiful place

Enjoying evening tea

Lucky in deep thoughts

Sunset view from Heaven’s Lodge

Beautiful Valley View

Beautiful area outside our stay

Evening at Heavens Lodge with runners

Relax evening at Heavens Lodge

Ultra team at bib collection

Race briefing

At the Bib Expo

Pre-race day

Group pic with coach

Sun-protection gear trial

Lucky’s mobile love :-) relaxed evening

Bison Ultra 50K route

50K elevation profile

Trail route

at the start line

Ready for the run

First climb – Beautiful view


With 25K runners

More climb

Climb and Sun

At 12KM stop

Beautiful temple en route

With Lucky

Road climb

much-needed break. - Guava

Crossing trail

This guy helped us make a stick

en route fun

Our hero Boy

With Anant

My running partner

Final downhill with Jai

Final steps to finish line

Medal earned

Finisher pic

Medal pic solo

Medal pic with Jaisingh

With Coach Kay

Before return

before leaving Heaven’s Lodge

Met podium finishers on return

I loved the customized medal with my name on it!



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