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Airtel Hyderabad – Feedback from Pacers

As part of the constant efforts to improve our efforts we actively seek feedback from both the pacers and the runnners. This is what the different pacers had to say about the efforts.

Manivanan 2 hour HM pacer

Thanks for the wonderful opportunity everyone.
Our bus was a lot of fun. We were bang on target.  The garmin and the markings matched exactly till 18.7km. We were on target  for 1:59 finish. Then next marking said 20km but my garmin said 20.4. We were off by 400m but i had only 1 minute cushion. Tried getting one of the runners to finish line. Couldn’t get him there. Watch said 2:00:41. Unmesh did 2 exact.

In hindsight 1 min bank wasn’t enough. Should have had 2 or 3 because course could always be long or short. Cannot rely on that for our sub 2.

Otherwise it was good.


Preeti Agalhayam 5:00 hour FM pacer

Hi all – 

I had a good experience today. It felt great to motivate runners – I do try to do it often but the official mandate this time made it more effective.  People don’t tend to believe my words usually because I guess of the way I look. 

I had my friend Karthik Padmanabhan who selflessly signed up to help me out with me. We have run a lot together so we understand our rhythms well. At 28k I sent him ahead with the handful of runners who were with us and looked strong. Then I tried to bring up people that were a little behind at that stage (we has 4-5 mins in bank so I felt adventurous). 

This was tough and later part of race was also tougher as the pole felt heavier and my shoulders were slumping. I was also alone as the runners around me very low enthusiasm by this time and not able to fully keep up. 

At 40 k the pole snagged on a low branch and was yanked out of the bottle. A security guard helped put it back but I couldn’t explain the pin funda to him so I carried it in hand after that. But I lost a few crucial seconds here. 

With some final minutes of inspiration from Mani and seeing my husband at stadium I could pull in.

I did my best and hopefully helped few guys. One person cramped badly at 39k I couldn’t help him – volunteers were there. My own friend Siva was cramping but couldn’t do much as I couldn’t bend even. He managed himself. 

On the whole it was a good challenge for me and thanks to AHM team and Venkat  for giving me the responsibility. Sorry for my long email. 



Shiv Kosgi 2:15 HM pacer


Here is my little story of half marathon 2:15 pacer.

A wonderful experience with a perfect perfect timing.

Through out the course interacting with fellow runners from different locations and answering their queries on the rolling hills was a great I felt.

I did 10k in 1:02:11 had 1min buffer in my bank as per plan I always kept a buffer for any emergency or breakdown and the slowest pace Avg was 6:38  ad the fastest pace was 5:56 only at 21st km perfect as per the plan after 11kms i looked at the chart and there on i kept a watch on it km by km ,I was using a garmin and run app on my phone simultaneously, after 14kms garmin battery drained off:( toing, I had to take my phone out and keep a track on it,and finally as per my Phoenix reached at 2:14:27 and 8:15 GMT.

I felt I did not have much passengers in my bus but after crossing finish line people came and started appreciating and thanking me as they were following me :) cool man:) Didn’t know it.

Over all wonderful experience no complaints no break down and a strong finish:)

Decided to be a pacer for Hyderabad marathon here after:)

Special thanks to Venkat sir for providing all the necessary things and thanks to Ajendra helping me in preparing the pacing chart.



Manivanan 2 Hour HM pacer has something more to add in second email

Sorry to send a second email. wonderful job by all the pacers in all the teams, Unmesh and Venkat.

It was a great experience for me.

As hard and tempting as it was to go fast at the start, I maintained what we discussed. 28 min for first 5k, 29 min for second 5k, then did 28 third 5k and was right on target. I called all the km marks loudly even though I didn’t turn around and look to see if many runners were going. Unmesh was ahead. I kept encouraging runners to run ahead of me behind unmesh or ahead of him to keep the sub 2.

A few things that could have been better. from the start, I noticed that most of the markers were like 3.7,4.7 all the way till 18.7 km etc for the half. this did not help doing a manual lap. There weren’t a few km markers as well and I had to call it myself anyway. I had to follow garmin autolap from the start because of this. when I did this, the most of the markers exactly matched with my garmin till 18.7km. But then we didnt see any 19.7km. I  announced the 20km mark based on my garmin and we had more than 6.5 minutes left to finish the race. I told the runners that and to run fast enjoy and get the sub 2. But then next km marker was right at the stadium entrance and it said 20km. I was in shock. my garmin showed 20.4 at that point with just 700 meters to go but we only had 5 minutes in hand. Unmesh and I started screaming and urging the runners to run fast and finish. He lead off with some of the runners and he finished at 2 hours sharp. 

I tried pacing a few runners to finish as close to 2 but they couldn’t do it. our last km was at a well done 5min but that 400 meters cost a sub 2 for a few runners and we finished around 2:00:40.  Wish I had done more than a 1 minute bank and the km markers were better. that’s all.

thanks again everyone for all the tips and support yesterday. you guys did excellent.



Ravi Sattanapali the 2:30 pacer for the HM

My experience :

– Set my clock @ Flag off! had to wait 2.5 minutes before we got to the timing mat @ start. More than I expected. Based on instructions, this Time is included in the pacer time (2:30 in my case)

– the first 1.5 km was pretty slow due to the crowds..

– My target for first 5K was 35 minutes and I had a decision to accomodate this additional delay all to the first 5K or spread it out. I decided to meet my 5K in 35 min target and hence ran a bit faster.

– I then continued pretty much steadily @ 7 min/km, stopping to walk every alternate water station.. The 2nd water station seemed longer than the 2 km..but otherwise this worked well with the stops coming in good intervals..

– By then the people following me seemed to me to have dwindled with just a couple I could see.. But I guess there were several still following me/tracking me since quite a lot of people greeted/thanked me/rejoined me towards the last leg..

– I was ahead by 2 minutes by the time I got to the last 2-3 km, after crossing the last flyover.. And closer to the stadium entrance I started pulling people from behind to run to make it much before 2:30. Could get quite of few to cross me and I slowed down but also conciously checking my watch and with my Garmin indicating just 0.75 km..

– however, I was also caught unaware of the 1km board when I was expecting just half km and I had 5 minutes.. Of course I sprinted and I think I made it close to 2:30, but I think a bit after…

Two lessons in my view :-

1. Figure out the initial time lost before mat and slow crowd and have a plan for it.

2. Should have a view of the final distance, maybe a recce would have helped, actually a reverse recce starting from the endpoint back up 5 km, so we know and are mentally prepared of the milestones… (the +/- of 0.5 km has really to be expected and I guess we need a solution to deal with it)

All in all a really wonderful experience and would love to do it again..

Thanks to Venkat, Rajesh and all the other pacers, Anil and Romil for enabling the online interactions which made it all so much fun.

Thanks & regards,

Rommel Bhartiwal the 4:30 hour pacer for the FM


I had given my feedback on FB and am enclosing the same below:

The whole idea of pacing was JUST great. I liked the idea od pacers wearing their kit on EXPO day, other runners were able to know and interact. Pacers this way were more approachable. Expert advice on wearing the pennant was real help before the start. Good to see Venkatraman Pichumani before the FM start to help us out. Sadly due to the commitment in organizing team missed the opportunity of interacting with the superb set of PACERS. During the run all three 4:30 pacers had different strategy to cater for different training requirements of all. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and hope the runners benefited too.

We could have started a month prior to allow better runner pacer interaction.

Thanks for the experience. Cheers


Udaya Kumar the other 4:30 pacer for the FM

1. There were sufficient instructions as to what was expected from a pacer. You also promptly addressed any queries that we had. Your experience as a pacer previously helped the team very much.

2. I couldn’t attend the pacer interactions on the expo day. I did come to the expo venue, but couldn’t find the location of the meeting. My mistake, I hadn’t noted down your mobile number. I dont have any feedback here.

3. You arrived early for the marathon start and helped us put on the pacing flags. Thanks for that.

4. If it was one suggestion I could make, I would suggest to try out balloons. There is a new type of ballon made of polythene sheets. It comes in various shapes, and could be found in party shops. While there wasn’t a major issue with the flags, sometimes they were annoying. Moreover, I was wearing at the chest, and it kept dropping down. I could have worn it at waist, but the pace flag would have been lower.

Feedback for Marathon organizer team:

1. Volunteer support was exceptional. There were volunteers all along. Kudos to volunteer team.

2. Race organization was exceptional. Good number of stalls at expo, Well organized start & finish areas.

3. Toilets along the course. I had to take a loo break after the start points. I couldn’t find any signage for toilets along the course (this was marked on the map).

4. Post-run breakfast packet can include a protein drink. A flavored milk might do.




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