“Why have one hill station on our run calendar when we can have two?” This was the thought process behind the first edition of Go Heritage Run – Coorg. Initial planning began in May – soon after our run in Ooty and we made a couple of trips to meet with the Kodagu District Administration as well as to scope out run routes in and around Madikeri.
We designed all our run collateral – posters, the running bibs, T-shirts and finisher certificates and medals – around the theme of coffee. The T-shirt incorporates elements of shoe prints and coffee bean against a lime green background and the vamp of the shoe in the center depicts both a bean and a leaf. The run finisher medal design incorporated the Coorg run logo – Coorg inscribed in coffee powder and interspersed with coffee beans – amidst a quirky collage of polka dots and stripes. And that’s not all because the medal doubled up as a fridge magnet – what better souvenir to take home after a weekend in Coorg!
Since the Cauvery dispute was on everyone’s mind, we provided regular travel advisories and weather updates to everyone participating – especially those coming in from across the border in Tamil Nadu.
Mercara Fort, a 17th century heritage structure that has been renovated and extended over the years by Tipu Sultan and the British, served as a venue for Bib Distribution for Run Weekend on Saturday. The site is nestled up on a hill and overlooks the busy commercial part of Coorg town. After collecting their bibs, runners got to walk around the fort as well as the palace and church within the premises.
Run Day turned out to be wet and rainswept. We delayed the run starts until sunrise and then over 150 runners bounded out of FMC College – first in the direction of Raja Seat, a favorite garden perch of the erstwhile kings of Kodagu. Today, this is a popular tourist spot and overlooks the rolling hills of Kodagu district and offers some breathtaking views. After crossing Raja Seat, the runners retraced their path and headed into the hills. What is lovely about Kodagu is that the weather remains pleasant, misty and cool for many hours after sunrise and so runners found the going easy – the elevation en route notwithstanding. Runners also traversed a reservoir – locally called Kootu Poley – and its barrage and river downstream. One runner was so impressed by its beauty that he commented – “If Coorg is the Scotland of India, I hereby dub this lake Loch Coorg!”. Our able team of NCC volunteers manned the aid stations en route and some were to be found on the banks of Loch Coorg as well.
Our thanks to our friends at the Kodagu District Administration, Kodagu Police, FM Cariappa College and the NCC for making this event a success. We hope to return bigger and better next year!