ALFA Trail Challenge has one of the most beautiful running routes near Mumbai, going through mountain villages and has scenic views of greenery and water bodies around. The trail run route passes through hills, paddy fields, streams, and a wide table top plateau with flowering pastures.
The runners running the ATC will be able to experience a variety of terrain - a spacious wide track, a narrow single-track, an exhilarating forest trail, and a tricky mud section. ATC also has hill climbs with a 300m ascent.
The race starts off from Horizon School and crosses the Ulhas River on the road bridge. Use this to get the muscles moving. As soon as you cross the river, take the left and immediately go right to leave the tar road and start off on the trail
The WW (Warmup Waghera):-As soon as you leave the tar road, a small incline takes you to an intermediate plateau of Wagherapada. With veiws of the hill in front, meadows and the fields around, with small streams and dams, it quickly recovers you from the initial small climb. Take the right track around the hutments, going past the solar panel and handpump, and you'll come to the first aid station at 1.5km. Refuel yourself and head towards the hill. Past the small tar patch, you take a left to start the climb on the mud path. The 1km long climb will tire you out. Maintain a steady, slow pace. Try not to lose your rhythm. If you lose it, no problem, there are a lot of "selfie points" here, so start shooting! On the top of the incline, you are welcomed by the vast plateau of Patharpada. A couple of hundred meters away is the Aid Station 2 (it's a bad idea to drink fluids immediately after an intense climb, right?).
The PP Loop (Photographic Pathardapa):-The stunning views from this section make you forget the strenuous climb you have just completed. You are rewarded with a flowering meadow, views of the Ulhas River twisting below, an urban concrete landscape on the side, and beautiful hills and greenery on the other side. One may just forget about time here, but remember you have to complete the run also!! You'll also witness the unfortunate destruction of nature going on under name of developement. Completing the loop brings you back to Aid Station 2. From here, everyone goes straight ahead, going past the small village school. 21kms runners move towards the single-track section, about 2kms ahead and Aid Station 3. 10km runners continue for a kilometer on this route and make a U-turn, returning back to Aid Station 2. From here 10km runners, skip the loop and take the right side track to retrace back the route and climb done the hill, finishing at Start point.
The Dam(n) Section:-This section begins with a U-bend at around 7km. The initial wide route through some teak plantation soon closes onto a single-track. There are some sections which have you going over a mud bund to cross the paddy fields. It is strictly single lane here. Please no overtaking here. Soon you reach Nalimbi village on the other end. Doing a quick left turn and right turn through the village, one enters a thick teak forest. The bliss of running through the rustling leaves can only be enjoyed here. Past the forest, you hit a tar road and take a right to run past the village. Aid Station 4 will be set up here. Re-hydrate, replenish, and re-energize yourself here. From here you once again take a wide trail on the left hand. Continuing on the rolling terrain for around 2kms you reach the turn around of the route. Retracing back the trail you reach Aid Station 4 again. Running past the cricket ground, you start a slowly-hitting uphill section that takes you back to the start of the loop. Small single-track sections take you to bund wall of a dam. You run along the hillside, enjoying the view of the water around. Past the dam brings you to the last single-track of the route. Be a bit careful of the footing as you finish the Dam Loop.
From here on, you again start onto the incline which you enjoyed while coming down. It's now retracing your steps back to the PP Loop and down to the WW section. Go very slowly on the downhill, as you don't want to slip at the tail end of the trail. Easing down on the tar road and going past the Wagherapada village, you go back across the bridge to the finish point at Horizon School. Out of breath but with long lasting memories, you complete the challenge! Beautiful medal will be awarded to for finishing the ALFA Trail Challenge.