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SELF BELIEF - is that positive mental attitude that gives an athlete the inherent self-confidence that motivates him/her to deliver exceptional results. When the self-belief is high, the mind lacks self-doubt, is reassured and relaxed. The athlete's timing is perfect, the breathing is tempered, the footwork/movement is smooth, the energy is high and the athlete always reaches the ball a split second early. When self-belief is high, impossible is nothing.

Over the next 38 days, believe in the training preparation and hard work already put in, don't compare yourself to others, focus on the controllables, log daily victories, think only positively, don't try and learn new tricks, learn to visualize your game plan and forgive your mistakes. Review past performances in order to build self-awareness about actions and reactions in specific situations to understand strengths and weaknesses and build alternative coping methods.

#2 SINGULAR FOCUS - Athletes typically crave high physical and mental stimulation but focus brilliantly on a set of mundane & repetitive tasks that help them achieve their objectives. They find a way to sustain their motivation and energy and don't get distracted. This is singular focus.

Over the next 38 days, mentally rehearse your 'in-game' actions and visualize your game outcomes. Imagine what it feels like to perform in front of a stadium full of people, think about what you feel when you're at the starting line waiting to hear the pop of the starter gun, remember the feel the javelin in your hand and imagine the point in the race where the baton has to be handed over. And always listen to your inner coach. What the athlete replays in his mind time and again, is a powerful reflection of future behavior.

#3. NATIONAL PRIDE - can be a very powerful motivator. While an athlete plays and performs for personal ambition and team goals, the results he/she delivers satisfy the expectations of an entire nation. Patriotism has a way of instilling a sense of national purpose beyond personal ambition. After all the athlete is an ambassador representing 1.3 billion Indians.

Over the next 38 days, the athlete needs to remember what it means to be selected to represent India at the Asian Games, remember what it means to have that national emblem on the chest, remember what it means to hear India's national anthem playing in front of millions of people. Most importantly, the athlete needs to remember the faces of people who have contributed to his/her success and the pride and happiness they would feel in the athlete's success.

#4. AMBITION - describes an athlete's purpose, the reason to strive towards being the best and deliver success. Ambition is a burning desire to achieve a goal. Without hard work, ambition means nothing. Ambition instills the drive, grit and mental fortitude to train and play hard. The goals an athlete chases belong to the athlete and it is his/ her responsibility to deliver these goals and ambitions. Other can only hold them accountable for their performance.

An athlete's performance is his voice that speaks loud and clear and resonates in every part of the globe. So make the voice count. It's your duty to the nation.

Please remember that this is also the quest of a nation, to be recognized, along with the athlete, as an emerging sporting nation on the global map. And most importantly, remember the joy of winning.

India will be rooting for you. And we promise to celebrate your success like never before.

First Loop – 50kms Tar road

Second Loop – 50kms Trail – road mix

Third Loop – 61kms Tar road

Race Briefing - December 22

It was a full house at Shilpi Hill Resort. Dr. Kalpesh Jain ran us through the event details and Dr. Ashish Kapadiya briefed us on the route. In all these years, this was by far the most amazing race briefing session I have attended.

There was fun, laughter, jokes as well as a conversational Q & A format of discussing race information to the runners. This was definitely unique and interesting.

Toeing the start line at the early hour of 2:00 a.m. on December 23 was epic and was better than any Christmas party I had been to in a long time. Before the start, a meticulous medical checkup and blood tests were conducted by the Apple Hospital medical team. Typical winter days in the Saputara are windy and cold, the perfect weather for a challenging ultra run.

Notwithstanding Saputara’s growing popularity, it still maintains a large degree of quaintness that many of its fans revere. I had formed a strategy to push myself in the first loop taking leverage of good weather and then to ease out in the second loop where a major portion was a technical trail due to which I would have to run-scramble-hike.

The third loop for me would start only at night so the weather would help and be in my favour. I had come to enjoy the run and experience the beauty of Dang so it was all about “Peace & not Pace”

High views of majestic Dang peaks, miles of unbroken clean roads, bridges, the stone trails, rice fields – these are the primary things that impressed me about Summit 3.0 But it’s the details like the meticulous marking on the trails and roads; elegant point-to-point route and logistics; the professional race organizing; the supreme runner friendly healthy food, hydration, medical aid, physiotherapy and, of course, delicious arrangements at the finish that will crave you to come back every year.

The race support team was absolutely flawless, runner friendly and did not leave any stones unturned. They knew and would reach out to me whenever I needed anything. They ensured that every runner got the best experience and version of the event. In all these years of running this has been the best support team I have ever witnessed. My big Salute to the entire team of Summit 3.0!

I was out enjoying every step and loved it. As a child, I always visited Saputara but this was a special trip where I got to explore the vicinity on foot. The first loop was fun running in the dark and soaking in freshly whipped chilled cold oxygen. Being a trail lover the second loop was my favourite.

The trail segment consisted of continuous technical ascents and descents on stone rocky trails which later ended up into eye soothing rice paddy fields. At the end of the second portion of the trail, there were beautiful flowers. Also during the trail ascents funny punch lines like “Chill” mentioned on rocks made me wait and laugh out loud. It was a breather!

The third leg started at 7:15 pm on Dec 23 for me. The race organization team had arranged a personal car and two crew teams for me that would go along the route as I ran.

Crew members:

Chintan Chandarana, Sameer Jinwala, Birju Morakhia (Team 1) They had run the 50kms segment on the same day and were out to support me.

Hitesh Bhadani, Tejal Mody, Arpan Zala (Team 2) These guys had also finished their respective races and were out to help and accompany me.

The car was fully equipped with everything a runner needs under the sky. Bundle of thanks to each crew member for supporting and motivating me throughout the last loop. I felt like they were my family and gave more than their 100% to ensure that I reached the finish line in the best possible way. 

Ashish and Darshan also drove to ensure that I had eaten my dinner and everything was okay with me. For the last 16 km, Ashish, Darshan and I walked and chatted about mountaineering, adventure and wildlife. Ashish also got me a nice physio session which really helped me to stay strong on the route. It was good fun getting to know each other and a good beginning to a new friendship.

I was so happy to get their company since I had been running all by myself the entire time and felt that they came to my rescue just when I needed it the most. Both of them walked me down to the finish line with a great cheer and I had never been given such an amazing vibe. I cannot thank them enough for the support and everything they have done for me.

The event is amazing but the Summit team members are even more awesome! Once again a big loud thank you to the entire team of Summit 3.0 and everybody who has been a part of the event. I couldn’t have asked for a better last run for this year!

2017 has been a fabulous year for me. After finishing Summit 3.0 I have officially completed 12 ultra marathons. God has been kind and blessed me somewhere. Two 100 mile (Sahyadri 100 & Summit 3.0) wins for me in 2017.

A special thank you to CEP Compression India, Proxima Life and Reebok for the support.

Running is about getting vagabonded, grind it out every day! Say no more! 

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