Ratnagiri to Velneshwar, 80km
Since our arrival, we’ve been blessed with the Sindoor – a red and sometimes yellow dot on the forehead – at almost every reception we’ve stopped at.
The mark itself looks fine when it’s first applied, but the funny thing about ultra-marathoners is they have a tendency to sweat. When you sweat your pores open right up and everything from dirt, dust to paint carves a home in the cracks between your skin.
Pat was told it was a “third eye” and wearing it would help reveal his inner self. It would help him look inwards and illuminate his true character.
On some days, Pat would receive a new mark every few kilometres or so. He would then show up at a function or press conference down the road and deliver a speech about self-belief and inspiration, all while sporting the remains of red colouring drizzling into his eyes.
At one of the villages today, over a dozen girls lined up to mark Pat and with each new layer of the red vermillion colour.
“You look like you just been shot by a paintball gun,” Kevin said, as they turned the corner away from the village.
“That’s exactly what it feels like it, those girls were really pressing their thumbs into it,” Pat said.
He began wiping his forehead which, after 10 minutes of running, was covered in red. He took a few more wet tissues until only a faint smudge remained.
It wouldn't be coming off for a while.