Vadodara Marathon is in its 10th edition, and is scheduled for January 8, 2023. Vadodara marathon is certified by Athletic Federation of India (AFI) and has timed marathon, half marathon, 10k runs, and a fun 5km run on offer. This year there have been more than 10,000 registrations for timed runs. The route for all three timed races have changed from the previous edition and below is the marathon route preview.
January is the coldest month in Vadodara. This year the temperature is predicted to be at about 18 degrees celsius at the start, and then slowly going to increase up to 20 degrees at 8am, 21 by 9am, and 25 by 10am. Humidity is expected to be in high 90s, but given the temperature, this might not be a big concern. Wind speed This temperature is the ideal any Indian marathon can offer. Except for slower marathon runners (beyond 4:30 hours), most will not find the temperature an issue.
Please always follow the route signs on the course, as race officials may have to make changes at the last minute due to unavoidable circumstances.
Start Point: (Same for all distances)
The marathon starts at 5:00 am and subsequent timed events start at the gap of 10 minutes, reporting time is at 4:45 am. The race start and end point are the same at Navlakhi ground. The ground is huge and has ample space to warm up. The race organizers arranged a place to keep runners' belongings. The race route runs through the old and the new parts of the city crossing many historical landmarks and the modern architecture.
First 7kms from Navlakhi ground to Tarsali Vegetable Market (Net elevation -3m)
The first 1.5 kms are flat and scenic with Laxmi Vilas Palace on your right and Kashi Viswanath temple on your left, it will be dark during this time, with well light street lights. Get your rhythm in place, as the ~2nd km is the Lal Baug flyover, with** “elevation” **try to maintain the pace, once you get off the flyover. As you will get wider roads at Makarpura going towards Susen circle. Susen circle is an important junction for intercity vehicles.
From Susen circle you will take a left towards Tarsali vegetable market circle, this is a flat road, maintain your pace as the race is yet to start, there will be nip in the air making you think “you got this” but be conservative. From Tarsali market you will turn left toward Baroda Dairy.
8th to 15th Kms, Tarsali Market to Sangam Char Rasta (Net elevation +6m)
Runners will be running through the old city of Vadodara, during the day it is bustling with various small and large businesses, narrow lanes, and everyone knows the other person. By now it will be dawn and you will be able to experience and witness the city waking up. “Kem cho” (aka how are you?) will be something you will hear :)
At 10.5 kms is the Pratap Nagar Bridge leading to the old city, thus maintaining the speed and keeping enough reserves in store, as the race is not yet begun.
The 12th through the 15th km is flat, except a slight elevation in the 12th kms. You will witness old buildings, Minars, and iconic Mandvi gate leading to Sangam Char Rasta.
15th to 22st km, Sangam Char Rasta to Akota Bridge (Net elevation +1m)
Runners will experience the new part of the city - Kareli Baug. It’s a residential area and you will witness broad roads, lots of cheering and less tree cover around. This is also a fairly straight route with slight rolling. Some of the landmarks you will cross are mental hospital around the 17th km, then take a right towards Balbhavan, from Bull Circle to Kala Ghoda on your left will be Kamati Baug (same as the Central Park).
You will hear a lot of cheering as most of the local runners practice around this area. It’s vibrant with the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University towards the right, wide roads and also a decline till Kothi Char Rasta. After that a short incline towards Akota Dandiya bazaar circle.
Here the Half marathoners will take a left to finish their race with the last kilometer to go and the marathoners will continue straight towards the Cow Circle via Akota Bridge.
Best routes to Run in Vadodara
Runners should definitely visit Kamati Baug for pre-race shake-out run or post-race recovery run if staying back for a few days. It has a Zoo, and runners are accompanied by peacocks on any given day on the run route. Maharaja Sayajirao University has the renowned Arts Faculty Campus that boasts about its iconic dome, Cricket Ground of Experimental School, and Faculty of Fine Arts. These are some of the notable locations for running.
23rd to 27th Km, Cow Circle to Priya Theater (Net elevation -7m)
By now the sun will be out and this is a straight route, there is a flyover at ~22nd km and from then on it’s a straight route with no to slight elevation. This route will also have much less shade, thus hydrating well. Get into play all your all your endurance training, your pace should not be a notch up, remember the race is yet to start. There is no scope to get lost or stuck in this route. Further there will be a lot of 4-way crossings so best to run in the middle of the road.
28th to 32nd km, Priya Theater to Shivaay Farms (Net elevation 1m)
At Priya theater you will take a right towards Sevasi canal road, this is a fairly new side of the residential city, with good roads, greenery, adventure park and lots of eatery, thus it will be less bustling during morning hours. This route is straight and you will be training a “U” turn at 31.5kms and follow this route back.
33rd to 42nd km, Shivaay farm to Navlakhi ground (Net elevation 1m)
Alright now the race is starting to pick up, the mind games have begun and with every passing kilometer, your body and mind are negotiating on how much and at what pace. It is a mind game now on, you will see a lot of runners coming your way and a lot long gone.
This is your race and maintain it, your gels, salts and hydration which you have been training with will come to play. Do not try anything new, just believe in your training.
You will now be taking the same route in the reverse through Priya theatre, Nilamber circle, Iskcon temple, Cow circle and the Akota bridge. This is the same flower which you crossed at the 22nd km, after which you will take a right turn for the last 1 km, push for the last leg and go all out.
After the race, pat your back, stretch and soak in the winter sun. You will have the rest of the week to analyse the race and decide on the upcoming races for the year. Remember to be kind to you!
Aditi Pandya is an avid runner, a writer and a fitness enthusiast. She is second runners up at Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2019, Vadodara International Marathon 2020 in Women half-marathon open & veteran categories respectively. She blogs on NarrativesByMe.com and can be reached on Insta at narrativesbyme.