“A hilly, muddy trail, going through mountain villages with scenic views of greenery and water bodies around.”
— Meghan Patankar
Entries close on July 16, 2017.
You are advised to carry your own bottle and refill it at the aid stations. That way we generate less garbage.
The joy of running in the rain, combined with the greenery all around you, is a very refreshing experience. ALFA Trail Challenge aims to give this experience to the citizens of Mumbai for the very first time.
ATC has one of the most beautiful running routes near Mumbai, going through mountain villages and has scenic views of greenery and water bodies around. The route passes through hills, paddy fields, streams, and a wide table top plateau with flowering pastures.
The runners running the ATC will be able to experience a variety of terrain - a spacious wide track, a narrow singletrack, an exhilarating forest trail, and a tricky mud section
ATC also has hill climbs with a 300m ascent.
Features: Birding — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall
Need to Know
1) Don't forget to wear a cap or visor. When it rains here it could be nasty, with big droplets slapping on your face and hampering your vision.
2) Be extra careful when running downhill at 7km and at 17km, the mud on the route can make it very slippery. In general, use shoes with good grip.
3) Sections of the Dam(n) Loop are STRICTLY SINGLETRACK. No overtaking on these sections. Wait patiently for the other runner to move.
4) WATCH YOUR STEP... Don't get carried away by the scenic landscape. Trails are shared by other living beings also and there won't be any volunteers to clear the traffic. Please don't scare the small creatures by your gigantic footsteps.
5) WATCH YOUR STEP... This time for your own good. Trails have what they should have pebbles, rocks, twigs, etc. You need to take care to not to slip and fall or twist your ankle. There is no alternative to walking to the nearest aid station!!
6) No shortcuts... This will lead to a disqualification. No questions asked.
The race starts off from Horizon School and crosses the Ulhas River on the road bridge. Use this to get the muscles moving. As soon as you cross the river, take the left and immediately go right to leave the tar road and start off on the trail.
The WW Loop (Warmup Waghera)
As soon as you leave the trail, a small incline takes you to an intermediate plateau of Wagherapada. The hill in front, the meadows and the fields around, with small streams and dams, quickly pulls you out of the climbing mode. Take the right track around the hutments, going past the solar panel and handpump, and you'll come to the first aid station at 1.5km. Refuel yourself and start the loop. Through the rolling terrain, you warm up for the climb ahead. Be a careful in the small switchbacks to not to lose your footing.
Finishing the loop, you again come to Aid Station 1. From here, you make a U-turn and go to the start of the hill climb. The 1km long climb will tire you out. Maintain a steady, slow pace. Try not to lose your rhythm. If you lose it, no problem, there are a lot of "selfie points" here, so start shooting! On the top of the incline, you are welcomed by the vast plateau of Patharpada. A couple of hundred meters away is the Aid Station 2 (it's a bad idea to drink fluids immediately after an intense climb, right?).
The PP Loop (Photographic Pathardapa)
The stunning views from this section make you forget the strenuous climb you have just completed. You are rewarded with a flowering meadow, views of the Ulhas River twisting below, an urban concrete landscape on the side, and beautiful hills and greenery on the other side. One may just forget about time here, but remember you have to complete the run also!! The 10km return point is halfway on this loop. Runners will retrace their route to the Start/Finish line. Completing the loop brings you back to Aid Station 2. From here, going past the small village school, runners move towards the singletrack section, about 2kms ahead.
The Dam(n) Section.
This section begins with a U-bend at the 8km mark. The initial wide route through teak plantation soon closes onto a singletrack. There are some sections which have you going over a mud bund to cross the paddy fields. It is strictly single lane here. Soon you reach the Nalimbi village on the other end. Doing a quick left turn and right turn through the village, one enters a thick teak forest.
The bliss of running through the rustling leaves can only be enjoyed. Past the forest, you hit a tar road and the halfway point. Aid Station 3 will be set up here. Re-hydrate, replenish, and re-energize yourself here. Running past the cricket ground, you start a slowly-hitting uphill section that takes you back to the start of the loop. Small singletrack sections take you to the rock wall of a dam. Climbing up the wall, you run along it enjoying the view of the water around. Past the dam brings you to the last singletrack of the route. Be a bit careful of the footing as you finish the Dam(n) Loop.
From here on, you again start onto the incline which you enjoyed while coming down. It's now retracing your steps back to the PP Loop and down to the WW Loop. Go very slowly on the downhill, as you don't want to slip at the tail end of your run. Finishing the WW Loop, you go back across the bridge to the finish point at Horizon School. Out of breath but with long lasting memories, you complete the challenge!
Flora & Fauna
This region is home to a number of exotic birds like the Peacocks, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Racquet-tailed Drongo, Rufous Treepie, etc. There are a lot of crawlers too.