Ooty Ultra 2023 Run diary
Location: Ooty, Nilgiris, India
Elevation: approx 2100 mt - 2700 mt : elevation gain ~ 1000 mt
Distance: 30KM [Strava] [Certificate]
Date: 2nd April 2023
This is my second time at Ooty Ultra. Check last year’s 2022 experience blog here
To prepare for it, I just followed my daily workout i.e. a mix of cycling, running, and strength workouts.
Travel This time we took Suresh’s newly bought EV car, he wanted to test the battery power and overall drive experience, and he had done good research on available charging stations en route. At Mysore, we charged our car (not full) but calculated the safe zone to reach Ooty as there were no charging stations between Mysore and Oooty as this is a forest area covering Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka and Madumalai hills of Tamil Nadu. It was such a wonderful experience while crossing the forest by car as we could feel the smoothness and minimal noise of the EV car, a true delight for inhabitants. As soon as we entered the ghat section with 36 hairpin bends to cover to reach Ooty we saw that our car battery was draining fast, And slowly our whole focus shifted from our normal chit-chat of the evening planning to checking battery perventage as it was coming down very fast with each bend. Anyway, the last 1hr or so before reaching Ooty was a bit adventurous and a bit of panic as well. Finally, we reached Ooty town with less than 5% battery but learning for future trips is that climb takes much more charge so always keep that extra buffer, good that we have done a top-up charge at Mysore, We later met a couple of other EV cars owners who also faced the similar issues, even one of them have to toe car to hotel. Anyways good experiment and learning. I think there is a need for charging stations before the climb to Ooty. Hopefully, this will come as EV infra is coming very fast. Thanks to enthusiasts like Suresh and other guys who like to explore and eventually help in developing infra.
Stay: The stay was ok, the hotel was nicely located and close to the venue, We just spent a few hours in the evening and then came for sleep only. Actually, our experience with the hotel for EV charging has not gone well, they were trying to squeeze us on electricity charges. They should not have done it, we found another hotel named Gem Park, they had plenty of places to charge the vehicle and good facilities for food and drinks. They were very customer friendly and we had a good experience there. I think in future with the EV boom coming, charging points can be a good place for food and entertainment, and seems Hotel Gem Park management has seen this opportunity.
Event: A very well-organized event (as usual Coach Kay style) - lots of hydration points, first aid kiosks, etc. Kudos to Coach Kay and his team for all the arrangements. The course was fully road-tracked with excellent views. The second part of the course was more difficult because of the sun. Overall a good run, we all were able to finish well within the given time. I was able to reduce my 30K timings by about 30 minutes from the previous edition. As usual, I didn’t lose the opportunity to click loads of pictures :-)
Final thoughts: Ooty Ultra is absolutely wonderful experience. The beauty of the place, route, and overall crowd make it a very special run. We were supposed to stay back post run but due to some emergency at home with one of our team members, we returned back on the same day.
This was a brief of our Ooty trip ultra run. I hope to revisit it in 2024, maybe for 60K.
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Finally, here are some pics from our trip ( I, Suresh, and Mey):
Our road trip route:
Start at home
Ultra team starting from Bengaluru
Start trip full tank: The Breakfast
On the way crossing beautiful Ramnagara, the Sholey city
EV Recharge at Mysore
Mey in deep thought, I should put a chip inside his head :-)
Pre-race dinner at Hotel Gem Park, our car charging place
View from our hotel
Gear ready for race day
Ultra team ready
Morning start point meeting with Dr. Vinod aka Dr. Velocity and his team from Trichanapalli, we met them during the Malnad run
Fun before Run
Waiting for whistle
My first long run with Luna sandals
Sun and runners
Suresh at Doddbeta peak.. highest in Niligirs
Beautiful tea plantation
Villages from far a bit nostalgic look like my hometown in the hills
Tea gardens - Just like my home town Berinag-Chaukori now vanished 😐
On running route
Run with Luna .. felt so comfortable
Relaxing with excellent food, thanks to Suresh for telling Coach for south Indian breakfast rather than English
Finish line medal
After run effect :-)