06-02-2015. The scene is set in one of the biggest salt flats in the world. A horizon of nothingness. A terrain that alternates between arid and marsh, under the relentless beating of the desert sun. On any regular day, no civilian would be allowed to walk on this route, let alone run on it. However, with the special permission of the Border Security Forces (BSF), a select group of runners were embarking on the madness that was the Run of Kutch.
Soles thick with ossified salt, nothing but miles and miles of white plains ahead, minds exhausted, and bodies drained. Now, add the running routes of 100K and 160K to this equation, and you have a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
The runners began their momentous journey with their arrival at the town of Lakhpat, and by paying their respects at the Lakhpat Gurudwara, a UNESCO heritage site. A delicious traditional langar dinner under a canopy of the stars was savored by runners – the last few hours of peace before they put their bodies through the wringer.
At Unived Sports, we were pretty excited about coming on board as the hydration partner to an event that sounded tough on paper, and was probably much tougher in real life. In conditions like these, hydration makes the difference between life and a whole lot of trouble. Runners were provided with RRUNN During, an isotonic drink with essential carbs, electrolytes, and endurance support. RRUNN was designed to deliver in exactly such conditions – to sustain runners through the pressure points of the race, and to protect their bodies and minds from the draining desert weather.
The race was organized by Globeracers, an Indian company that has established their expertise in organizing endurance races in India. The team says that the Run of Kutch wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Border Security Forces personnel, who constantly ensured the safety and hydration of runners.
The temptation to give up would come often, but the runner soldiered on through the afternoon sun and the unpredictable terrain. They kept going through moments when they felt ready and fresh one second, and completely drained the next second. After nearly 20 hours of near constant running/ walking and a ruined pair of shoes, runners were greeted at the finish line with much-welcome refreshments and well deserved finisher medals. Runners celebrated their conquest of the terrain with local entertainment from the community, and a breather to finally take in the rich culture of the Kutch desert community.
In that moment, under the stars and the untrammeled air of the desert, it became evident why runners choose to put themselves through this. In the unspoiled purity of the desert, they reclaim the purity of their running. Much like an oasis, the Run of Kutch is truly unique event on the Indian running calendar, and we were delighted to be an integral part of making the event a success.