Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Sundown Marathon 2008
With the host of the nite ~ introducing ACIDO aka Hopper aka PM19 aka Justin Lee. It was so nice of him to come by to the race site and support us, cinya kamtung. Hopper, Thank you for your support. It just hype up our morale and the determination to run the race at midnite.
After the photo session, we proceed to the kandang for the race to start. There were lotsa runners oredi there and I reckon it probably will take us at least 2-3 mins to reach the starting line when gun off. Singaporeans are gung-ho or called them kiasu, because you can see so many of them running a marathon as compare to what we have in Malaysia. They are not afraid to run a marathon just to showcase their attire and apparels. Lots and lots of running accessories on the body. From tri-suits, fuel belts, Ipods+holders, GPS watches, belts for the bib, anti-glare nite vision shades and many more. That will probably cost around SGD1000 if not more. Cinya!!!!!
At 12 midnite, the race got started and I wished Jamie, Frank and Cheang all the very best and see them at the finish. I was not able to run because of the crowd and just walk slowly until it eases off and start running just when I cross the starting line. The road was crowded with sea of runners and I just could not increase my pace. Was at a distance of 2m to 3m away from Jamie and Frank. This continues till the 5k mark and I still have visibility of Jamie in front of me. Frank had probably went off faster and try to hentam the route. Good luck on him.
I was cautious not to run too fast as I am not very sure how my body will react after midnite. Anything can happen and I just keep a close distance to Jamie using him as a pacer. KM by KM passes us and most of the water stations are crowded with runners. I skipped the 5k one but grabbed 2 cup of water from the 10k water stop onwards. The number of runners gathering around the station slow everyone down. Anyway it does not really matter as we still have another 30k to go.
Reached the 20k mark at the East Coast Park where we need to make a U-turn. I was still pacing with Jamie at this moment and saw Frank on the other side of the road. He was running strong and greeted both of us. At the stage I increased my pace a bit and I reckon Jamie was not coming up near to me. And from this stage onwards I was running on my own.
Then I have to run out of the park and onto the highway. I remembered I need to run across the first pedestrian bridge to get over to the other end of the highway. At this juncture, the runners are guided to run on the walking path which are all concrete pavement. I dislike running on such terrain because it is so hard as compare to tarmac surface.
This continues as I cut through HDB flats, high end condos, running in the dark on concrete pavements with up and down terrain all the way. Running over pedestrian bridges and I remembered one with stairs that I needed to climb. Also running thru the back lane of those apartments and smelly water canals. Cutting through park connectors at traffic junctions. There is one part, and I think is at the Bedok Reservoir when I needed to run thru a sandy path. This is cross country marathon or what!!!! All these goes on and every where that I passes by looks the same under the yellow neon lights.
Along the route I also noticed that the distance marker is a bit deceiving as most markers are about 400m short. As I approaches the 30k marker, my Garmin Forerunner is showing a distance of 31km. Its 1km off by now. At this moment I am just hoping that this race will not be an over distance marathon. Somehow from the 30k mark onwards, my whole body was reacting very well and running at a very consistent pace without feeling the tireness creeping into me. Both legs are a bit tight at the thigh muscle but good thing there is no sign of any cramp. I continued running steadily until all the way till I reached the 40k mark and my watch showed a distance of 41k. And I told myself, this will be an over distance marathon that all Sundowners have to go through. What a demoralising factor but what is there to complain, just run ahead and get it over. No point crying over it since I have came that far.
As I complete the last 2k and into the last corner to the finishing, there is a 400m marker. I have to run uphill for about 150m before proceeding into the finishing area. Run across a narrow bridge and towards the finishing area. As I crossed the finishing line, my watch showed 4:43:50 (start time) and the gun off time is 4:46:50.
Checked myself into the finishing area to collect a can of 100 Plus and a bottle of water. Then proceed to pickup my finisher medal and Tee shirt. Saw Frank at the other corner where he was resting and moved over to that area and joined him. Congratulated him for running a good race leaving both Jamie and myself behind. As we continue to rest, more and more runners were coming in. Jamie, Kit, Tomatoman, Dr Ray and Lee FK.
Overall it was a good experience to run a 42k race starting at midnite. At least my body did not collapse on me at the 30k mark (around 3am) where almost the entire Singapore is fast asleep. This had proven that given any time of the day whether its Sundown or Sunrise, we Sundowners can run a marathon without any problems.
Another marathon completed, and till then seeya in the next race again.