Karan Write Up:
7 people turned up for the Marathon-III on the occasion of CTC's 4th Birthday. The plan was to cover the previously-attempted distance of 48 kms covering southern peak of Nagala and Tada as soon as possible. We started from Chennai around 4pm - Me, Prem, Marimuthu, Guna and Elamaran in Guna's Car and Dinesh, Jaiganthan on Jaiganthan's Bike. We hit the base village around 8 pm, had dinner near the Southern Peak dam and caught a few hours of sleep till sharp 2:15 am. And then after morning routine, everyone was ready. The time was 3:05 am and this is when the journey began.
The initial trek was easy until we hit the base of the hill, from there it was a gradual climb all the way till the next checkpoint - the water point at 6 kms from the start. Up until this point, one of the participants complained of cramps in his legs and by the time everyone reached the water point at 5 am, 3 people had decided to opt out of the next part - steep climb from water point to top of the Southern Nagala peak and back to the same water point. With some Tang ((which was brought in abundance with all kinds of flavors - Lemon, Orange, Mango) in our system, the rest four of us started for the top - Prem, Marimuthu, Jaiganthan and Me.
From here on, it was a gradual climb all the way to the top. Prem, since the beginning had been saying "Keep moving everyone", "we are behind time" etc etc. I didn't understand why (until much later :P) because we were doing average 3 kms per hour and at that rate, it meant that the trek could be over in 16 hours instead of 24 hours which seemed to me was the plan. Anyways, on the way to the top when the terrain as reasonably flat, Prem began running and yes everyone did run. The four of us hit the top at 6:35 am - just in time to catch a breathtaking view of the sunrise, a great view of the village below and it's presence on the hills to our west. It was a great lift. We were at the highest point of the trek - 871 m. After a short 10 min break, we started descending towards the water-point. Again Prem started calling everyone to move fast, fast, fast and made everyone run. On our way we hit some big boulders and an accident took place. Prem slipped on a lose rock and landed on a big rock which hit him on his chin. Marimuthu reacted quickly and held his hand over the wound which helped reduce the bleeding. Marimuthu then started tying a piece of cloth using his shoelace near the wound to cover it and that's when Prem surprises us. He asks Marimuthu to wait, asks me to take my phone out and take a pic. After I take his pic, he checks if it's okay and then asks Marimuthu to go ahead. And then, as if nothing happened, we start getting down. Just like that.
We hit the initial water point at 7:45 am. The GPS showed that we had covered 15 kms. After a brief breakfast of bread & jam and a boost of Tang, we started at 8:00 am. The guy with the cramps decided not to take any further risks and opted to quit as there was an exit point nearby. The rest 6 of us kept going. On and on. This next part was continuous walking with a gradual climb and then flat surface - but always, always showered with the presence of loose rocks. On our way we happened to crossed many abandoned huts.All of us kept walking, many of us slipping on the loose rocks but luckily no one getting hurt. After
walking on a flat surface for quite some time and then desceding a little bit, at 10:35 am we reached the next water point. Again we energized ourselves by drinking tang and having a little more bread-jam. After a few clicks on Guna's cam, 10 minutes later trekking resumed - Prem saying we should move, we are behind time (:P). We then kept going until we hit the next water point - which was magic pool source not very far away. We made it to the pool source at 11:50 am and had a good break here. After having yummy Aval and
bread-jam and Tang (of course), we filled our water-bottles to the maximum because the next water source, the stream near Tada top was "7 hours" away. Shortly we reached the base of the 250m steep climb where the Tada region begain. The GPS reading showed 29 kms and we were "really behind". After a 15 min power-nap, at 12:25 pm we started climbing the steep hill.
Reaching the top near 1 pm, we then started trek on a reasonably flat surface - of course with the loose rocks around. Over the next 3-4 hours all of use moved with a reasonably good speed taking breaks every 30-45 minutes or so. The Sun was over us during this whole time making us sweat all the way. Around 4 pm, we reach the stream near the Tada top and Prem encourages to move faster through the valley and make it to the Tada top, Marimuthu always close behind him. We hit Tada top around 4:30 pm (GPS reading : 41 kms) and were greeted by a flock of trekkers from CTC itself - with Senthil leading the trek. The top
was a good relaxing point - Marimuthu headed for a dip into the great looking water, Dinesh and Jaiganthan taking some good quality rest, Prem interacting with Senthil telling him the story so far. The other trekkers around watched us in amazement when they realized the trekking we had done so far. Around 5:00 pm, with refreshing Tang into our system and after Prem consulted with a doctor (:P), we moved on. After a short steep climb, we faced a long steep descent all the way to the base of the stream. We kept moving and reached the bottom of the stream around 5:30 pm where Prem went ahead of us. We kept following up until the exit of the water pools where we didn't find Prem. After waiting for some time we realized that we had to go to the Check post which was the end-point of the trek and as soon as realized that we kept
moving on - wanting to finish the trek as fast as possible. Marimuthu had twisted his ankle, but he walking on. We reached the check post at 7:15 pm and found Prem waiting for us there. He had reached the check post at 6:40 pm which meant that he finished the Marathon in a mind-blowing and record-breaking 15 hours 35 minutes and the rest of us taking 16 hours 10 mins covering 48.2 kms over the entire span of the trek. This was quite a great feeling - all of us felt great having completed this Marathon of a trek and that too within an awesome amount of time.
From here on we headed for the varadhapalayam village, stopping over the way for a delicious dinner involving spicy biryani, dosas and parotas. We reached back to the dam at 10 pm, slept profoundly till early morning and headed back to Chennai.
Wow.. My dream trek (MARATHON III) J . When Prem told me that he going to organize Marathon 3. I was the first person to register.
Yes, for long time I was waiting for a extreme trek to test my mental and physical fitness. After doing this trek, I feel am fit enough for any trek .
Trek was really amazing, perm organized well. He did trail visit a week before and calculated time to cross each place. And another thing, after he fall down and got injured I was little upset. But he was not cared about the wound and just calculating time spent and distance yet to cover.
About team . All are great trekkers, Yes. Initially everyone felt the pain, but after few hour they are very fast in their walk. In hot sun also, they decided to walk without small rest. Hope this helped us to do trek in time.
Thanks all, hope to see you all in upcoming treks
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