The Spice Coast Marathon

The Spice Coast marathon 2016 – A Boston qualifier!

The IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Spice coast Marathon is back this year in November.

Mr. Ramesh Kartha, the race director of Spice coast Marathon has given us a glance and glimpse of this Boston qualifying race.


1.What is the main motive/drive behind organizing the Spice coast marathon?

IDBI Federal Life Insurace Spice Coast Marathon is a runner-friendly and runner-oriented race while also allowing runners to experience the rich and vibrant history of Kochi. The USATF certified course that meanders through a majority of the historic locations of the city is also as flat as a pancake making it the perfect course for runners aspiring to qualify for larger races around the world like the Boston Marathon etc.

2. How many editions of Spice coast marathon are over?

Having been debuted in 2014 the Spice Coast Marathon is in its 3rd edition in November 2016.

3. How was the response during the previous edition of Spice coast Marathon?

During the first edition of SCM we had a sizable amount of marathoners, half marathoners and 5k runners, and despite that year being exceptionally hot, we saw numbers grow in the following year. We expect to see even more runners join us as the word about the race spreads from runner to runner.

4. What were the challenges faced during the last edition?

It’s an understatement to say organizing a marathon is a challenging undertaking. In last year’s edition, we tried to correct the mistakes from our rookie year, but there were challenges from pre-race days. Registration was a challenge. We received many complaints from aspiring participants being not able to register, but having no visibility into a portal, we were totally in the dark and at the mercy of the vendor. Last year was also the first time we had a title sponsor, so we had delays in making some decisions. While the experience was challenging, it was also a lot of learning for us and we are hoping to improve for this year and forward.

5. What are the changes that you plan to implement during this edition?

Obviously we have partnered with Eventjini this year which should take care of our registration issues from previous years!

We are planning a change of the course route to add more of the scenic beauty of Fort Kochi, Mattanchery etc. as well as to facilitate more runners on the course. The new course shall still include the sections of course from the previous two years while adding even more for runners to experience.

We are also adding a provision for Corporates to support a charity through the race as well this year, the charities being the Belong foundation, Canserve and Green Vein.

6.How many runners do you expect for the 2016 edition of Spice coast Marathon?

We expect about 4000 participants spread over the 4 categories of races that we have this year – the Family Fun Run, Corporate relay, Half marathon and the Marathon.

7.Can you tell us about Soles of Cochin and the association with the race?

Soles of Cochin is a running club that was started in July 2013 by a few folks who had made running a part of their lives, but found out that there was a clear lack of running as a community activity in Cochin. The safety of running in groups and the community of a running club were enough to lure everyone together catalyzed by a visit by one of the founding members. From then on the club grew organically from just 2-3 runners for the midweek runs to a strength of about 40 regular runners within the city alone. Local chapters of the club have sprouted up in and around the city, everyone coming together to run every Sunday. The Soles of Cochin runners pour in all their enthusiasm for the sport into the race.

8.What can participants expect out of Spice coast Marathon, 2016?

IDBI Federal Life Insurance Spice Coast Marathon 2016 is going to be bigger than the previous years first off. We have made changes to the course to include even more scenic routes and historic sites on the course. A unique souvenir will await every runner who completes their race as their medal to take home too. Our medal has already become a collector’s item due to its uniqueness. The race overall is highly environment friendly. We use reusable water cups and plates minimizing trash. Our goodie bags are made of durable cotton, reducing plastic waste and promoting proud re-usability. Overall, every runner will experience the beauty of Cochin on foot, with hundreds of volunteers cheering and supporting them with everything necessary to make him or her reach their goal.

9. What is the Family Fun run?

The Family Fun Run is an event ranging from 5k to 5 miles that serves as an introduction to beginner runners. The race being a destination marathon, it also ensures that folks traveling with runners running the marathon and the half marathon aren’t left out.

10.Do you assist out-station runners for travel and accommodation?

We have arrangement with a local hotel chain and a travel agent to assist runners with travel and accommodation. Our hospitality partner has limited rooms, hence the travel agent provides best value in that department.

11.What are the ways to register for Spice Coast Marathon 2016?

Registration for IDBI Federal Life Insurance Spice Coast Marathon 2016 can be done online through our website ( or our partner Eventjini’s website ( Corporate charity registration and Corporate Relay registration can be done via phone at +919497058470 or via email at



12.What are the aspects that put Spice coast marathon a step ahead from the other runs/marathons?

This event is conducted by runners for runners and we at Soles of Cochin strive to leave no stone unturned to make it as runner-friendly as possible. It is a destination marathon which showcases the rich culture and history of the Fort Kochi and Mattanchery areas literally running beside a majority of the tourist spots on the course. The USATF certified course is pancake flat and fast, so runners can achieve their Boston Marathon qualification here. The medal is made of coconut fibre, the post-run breakfast is at live buffet counters and the event is largely environment-friendly.

13.What tips would you suggest to the runners of Spice coast marathon 2016?

General tips: Training is one of the most important aspects of running any race, regular running, a proper diet, proper hydration and proper sleep are essential to getting oneself ready for an endurance event. But once you get to the race, take care to pace yourself and run your own race, but most importantly of all, have fun.

Specific tips for IDBI Federal Life Insurance Spice Coast Marathon: While we all hope for moderate weather on race day, there are chances for it to get hot. Humidity is always high in Cochin, so learn to dress appropriately and hydrate really well before, during and after the race. The course is flat, but make sure that you don’t start out too fast. Race starts early in the morning (4 AM for the marathon and 5 AM for the half), so go to bed early the previous night. While we’re making all possible arrangements to light up the whole course, there maybe a few dark stretches, so use these places to your advantage – slow down so you’re both being safe and properly pacing. Enjoy the scenery, thank the volunteers, and please try to give the water cups back to a volunteer so they can be easily re-used.