Tea Gardens of Munnar | Kerala | Explore as you Run 

Tripoto
10th Feb 2019
Photo of Tea Gardens of Munnar | Kerala | Explore as you Run by Mustafa Shahid

Explore as you Run is a travelogue series where I record my travel experiences of running and cycling events from across the world. The objective is to inspire fellow travelers to explore new places and also lead a healthy life.

Running through the tea gardens of Munnar is a tranquil and thrilling experience at the same time. The Munnar Marathon is hosted every year in the month of February and has four categories (ultra, full, half and fun-run). The beauty lies in the fact that all the courses are different and you can return for the event next year and experience a run entirely different from the previous one.

Pre-run Zumba

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

Early morning mist

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

Muddy roads

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

Paved roads

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

Sun-kissed tea-gardens

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid
Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

No roads

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid
Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

Running through the tea-gardens

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Mustafa Shahid

I ran this Half marathon for the second time. The race starts at the high-altitude training center in Munnar and takes you through 9 kilometers of scenic paved roads. This is just the warm-up phase. Beyond this point is the test of your physical and mental strength. You run on rocky, muddy and non-existent tracks gaining an elevation of over 1600 meters. The weather is cold and the oxygen less. This terrain tests the runner thoroughly. However, the course is not all that unforgiving. In exchange for this pain, you get to witness the beautiful tea plantations up-close, which is otherwise very difficult for tourists as these are private estates and require prior permissions explore.

Due to the disparity in athletic abilities of participants and the varied topography of the race course, it is very much possible for a person to be running in solitude. Traversing alone through this vast expanse of tea gardens in the subtle but pleasantly cold weather induces an exhilarating feeling.

As you run through these hills, each turn offers a scene which belittles the previous one. During the last 7km, I stopped more for clicking pictures than due to exhaustion.

The landscape looks like something out of a children’s adventure book, making you feel happy for the local kids who are cheering for you. How lucky are they to be living in a place which could very well have been confused for an European countryside, away from polluted concrete jungles and the drudgery of adult life.

Mandatory picture with medal

Photo of Tea Gardens of Munnar | Kerala | Explore as you Run by Mustafa Shahid

Until next time.

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