The Dhaka Marathon 2024
In Bangladesh, the prevalence of full marathons is a rarity. Running events predominantly feature half marathons, with occasional ultra marathons sprinkled throughout the year. One event that stands out in this landscape is the Dhaka Marathon, organized by the Bangladesh Military and attracting elite runners from across the globe.
From Ultra to Dhaka Marathon
Just a week prior to the Dhaka Marathon, I undertook the daunting challenge of a 50 KM Ultra Marathon. Acknowledging the limited recovery time between these two demanding races, I faced the dilemma of participating in both. The Marine Drive Ultra Marathon, a prestigious event in Bangladesh, presented an opportunity I couldn't ignore.
Despite the physical toll of the Ultra Marathon, the allure of the Dhaka Marathon was too strong to resist. With a mere week between the two events, I carefully gauged my fitness. Feeling surprisingly good after the Ultra, I made the decision to take on the Dhaka Marathon, fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead.
The Dhaka Marathon Experience
The Dhaka Marathon, renowned for its punctuality, commenced at 5:15 AM amidst the speeches of esteemed guests. The initial kilometers were invigorating, with the absence of scorching sunlight. However, the race presented its own challenges, including heavy winds that added an element of discomfort.
The first 20 KM of the race were filled with camaraderie as fellow runners cheered each other on. As the race progressed, energy began to wane, and temperatures soared. With a strategic plan in mind, I aimed to run until the 32 KM mark and then adopt a walking pace. Preserving energy was crucial, as another challenging event awaited—a 25 KM run in a reserve forest the following week.
Executing my plan, I walked the final 10 KM, completing the marathon in 5 hours and 35 minutes. Despite the inevitable fatigue, the sense of accomplishment overshadowed any minor injuries. The pain under my left foot was a testament to the challenges faced and overcome.
After crossing the finish line, I joined fellow runners, exchanged stories, and collected my well-deserved medal and refreshments. The post-race moments, captured in group photos, serve as lasting memories of conquering a remarkable long-distance running challenge.
Embark on a journey through the unique landscape of long-distance running in Bangladesh, as I navigate the challenges of back-to-back marathons, sharing the highs and lows of conquering extraordinary distances.