The half marathon is a two loop run inside Auroville. The course was more or less flat with slight gradients here and there, but nothing major. Water stations were located every two kms supplying water, electrolyte and fruit. The volunteers (residents of Auroville) were there to cheer at these stations, which was wonderful. Everyone does need a bit of cheering on the run, it lightens you up and makes you want to run a little better. I know it, 'cos did all the cheering made me feel energized and push myself a little more... woohoo. Really appreciate the effort the volunteers and organizers put in - thankyou so much for that. At the end of the run, every runner was given a medal (two miniature hand made dolls), a free t-shirt and some food and water.
This year has a much better turnout of runners than ever before. A total of 2000 runners registered for the run, which includes 300 in the full marathon, 850 in the half marathon, and the rest spread in the 10k run, 5k run and the 2k kiddie run in which 96 kids participated :). I finished the run at a much slower pace than I hoped for. The hot and humid condition on coastal Pondicherry was something that I was not used to (running in B'lore late in the evenings seemed much easier). Perhaps a slightly better training regiment is required. In any case, what I know for sure is that I will be back again next year for another run.
Oh yeah before I forget, the one thing that I absolutely loved is to listen to the commentator/host at the finish line. Not sure what his name is, but he is pretty funny. After such a long and tough run, just listening to him while having your grub, lightens you up and sends you giggling. Don't miss it if you are there.