Thursday, August 26, 2010

Se7en Days

A short movie about commitment to marriage thats worth watching.  Enjoy it!!!!

Eight Four Kay - Lap 2

I started Lap 2 with Dr Pui San and as we ran out of the pit stop, the Full Marathon was about to start. About less than 1k into our Lap 2, we were caught up by the front pack of the marathon runners and soon a sea of runners started to overtook us.

After running for the next 2k-3k, Dr Pui San was falling behind. I slowed down and wait for her bcos there are so many marathon runners blocking the course. Soon I lost sight of her and decided to go on my own. Obviously sleepiness is starting to creep into my body as its already past 12 midnite and hitting the 1am mark.

Lap 2 will definitely be more dramatic and I am expecting my body to take it on for the next 6-7hrs or so. As i am running all alone by myself, I continued to say my prayers to Guan Yi Ma for a safe journey to the finishing.

This lap was ran together with most of the slower marathon runners who started their race at 12 midnite. I was running slowly and continued with the Run/Walk regime, only this time the run was cut down to 5k and walk is still 1k. This continued and probably even the slowest group of mararhon runners had overtaken me.

Finally completing that very straight road of 10k and nwt heading into the East Coast Park. Thats is I have oredi done 50k. Sleepiness startes to creep in and at certain moment I am actually sleep running, almost dozing off. At certain point I actually sit down by a bench, take a short rest and stretches the body and legs to loosen up.

The stretch along East Coast Park was pretty deserted now as most of the party goers and visitors are almost all gone. Left are those that are camping around the area, those still having their BBQ session and abovious all the LOVE BIRDS!!! This is the time of the nite for them to strike the jackpot. Anyway I let it be and leave them to enjoy their moments while I continued to focus on my Lap 2.

Around the 55k mark sleepiness starts to creeps in, I am in search of Coke.,... Yes, caffiene to keep me awake. I bumped into a group of party goers having their BBQ session and went straight to them. Asked them if they can spare me a cup of Coke and without hesitation a guy handed me half a bottle (1.5L) OMG....thats a savior indeed!!!. I thank them and while running gulp everthing and instantly I felt so relieve and the sleepiness/tiredness were starting to go away after a few minutes.

At the 58k mark, I bumped into my support crew. Lynette and Boon Seng (Bose) was there handing out bananas, Coke, Red Bull, chocs, etc. I stop for a while to refresh myself, chit chat with them and gulp in my Coke, had a banana and then grab a can of Red Bull and a bottle of Pocari before continued with my run.

5k more to go and I will have hit 63k, and covering 3/4 of the ultra. Looking forward to hit the U-Turn as I strived on. Slowly but surely the sight of the U-Turn is starting to be of visible from afar. The nite is lonely now as I can hear sounds of the insects, especially those crickets chirping all over. They must be saying "This stupid guy running around here at this time of the nite disturbing us"

And finally I step onto the timing mat.....Beeeeeep, and do the turn. 63k completed and 21k to go. If I will to remember correctly, I have to run out of East Coast Park and then onto that very straight road again before going into the last 2k that leads me into the Finishing point at the Changi AViation Exhibition Center. Sounds simple and lets do it, and I gathered my full courage to carry on. I think I need at least 3.5 to 4hrs to complete this last 21k.

Guan Yin Ma....pls popee popee no cramp from now onwards.

After another 3k of running I bumped in Uncle Yee Choi. He was slowing down and taking a rest. I stopped and accompany him for awhile, had a chit chat, and he moved on. I decided to take a longer rest to ease all the stiffness and tiredness on my legs. Rested about 5 minutes and lifted my body up and continued running. Then I saw Terence Poon and team on the other end of the course. They are slowing down, probably waiting for their team members to run together and this will make it alot easier for those doing their maiden run. Greeted them loudly to boast up our confidence, I continued my journey.

Another 3k or so, I saw Gary on the other end. He is way behind Terence group and I passed him the bottle of Pocari that I have been holding. "Charged up yourself with this".....I told him. The path along ECP was deserted by now, only having runners on both end sweating it out. The path getting out of ECP seems to be a very long one although its just 10k.

The Run/Walk strategy was still in place, and I think I have made the right choice as my leg is still holding on till now. Km after Km I passed and praying out loud to Guan Yi Ma. For most of the time I was running alone, pacing some marathon runners and even overtook some. Eventually I got myself out of ECP and what a relief. After running for another 3k, I can see the 72k mark. Its another 12k to go. Sup Sup Water.....if you are running a half marathon. But after running 72k and with 12k to go, thats something I am not looking forward to. But do I have a choice. This will be the final stretch to achieve something not everyone have the courage or guts to do. That gave me the inspiration to move on swiftly no matter how long it take but I estimated to be at least a minimum of 2hrs.

I galloped on and at one moment was pacing with a Miri runner (must be from Chen Chee Kong's group). Exchange some words with him and just tailgate him as his pace was pretty reasonable but he does stop and walk at times. Then come back running and took the lead again. This continue for a good 2k to 3k and eventually he charged on like a new turbo engine. Stride after stride I lost the visibility of him.

Then I bumped into Backman Tony. He was so far ahead of me and he is walking now. He said the humidity took a toll on him and will slowly walk/run to complete the race. He asked me to go ahead and catch up with some time. Another inspirationan given by Tony that if he can run backwards to complette the race, why cant I do it running at a normal style.

And there I pecut again full of courage and charged on. Out of no where Amelia called me out and overtook me. WOW, she is on second wind with a twin turbo charged pace now. I tried following her but my energy level does not permit. So I slowed down and get back to my comfort pace. Knowing that the 80k is very near based on my GPS kok, I increased the pace abit without straining myself. AT last the 80k signboard is in front of me and I know I will take a turn into the Changi Aviation Exhibition Center. It will be a 2k stretch before the finale.

I gather more courage now and my pace is getting more intense. Saw Peter Goh going at a very slow pace and asked him to join me to cross the finishing. He said he is out, leg all jammed up suffering from severe cramp. Passed him and ran if there is no tomorrow. At this point I can hear the voice of the Race Emcee shouting out the names and congratulating ultra-marathoners when they crossed the finsihing chute.


In Memory of Ngae and Adam OneArmRunner lying on the ground to savour the moment of finishing the ultra

With Adam OneArmRunner

As I turned into the final stretch leading to the finishing line, I saw Adam OneArmRunner stopping to rest his both legs. I hold onto him and asked if he is OK and gradually dragged and told him we will crossed the line together. The moment of high achievement was spinning in my head. I spread my two hands out emulating a flying eagle gliding swiftly in the air, running in a "S" position. Pumping my hands and with both my fist held high, I crossed the finishing line with a sense of excitement. Excited that I have done it and smile across the face. Adam was just behind me and dropped to the ground. I walked towards him and asked if he is OK and the medical team was wandering what happened to him. He said he was OK, just wanted to savour that moment of completing an ultra marathon.

I knelt on the ground and say a prayer to Guan Yin Ma for her protection and guidance throughout the race.


With Amelia who beat me to the finishing

29/30 May 2010 will be the day that will be marked as a day of great achievement in my life chart. Will I do it again. I cant answer you that right now.

Note: Pix courtesy from Lynette, Pui San, Gege Tey & Weng

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eight Four Kay - Lap 1

To cut the long story short, took the courage to sign up for the Sundown Ultra 2010 sometime in Oct/Nov 2009. I know wats in it for me but this will probably be one of the achivements that will be cast and stoned in my life chart. So wat the heck, go train for it I told myself. So training start way back in Nov/Dec 2010 and I have a few marathons that were lined up till race day as my preparation. The marathons are

1) StanChart HK Marathon 2010
2) Putrajaya Nite Marathon 2010
3) Energizer Nite Race 2010

And then to wrap up my final training with a 40k run that will be the prelude to race day. I must said there are lots of ups and downs throughout the training where at one time, i almost give up training for the event due to an old injury on my back shoulder that was acting up. With more rest and encouragement from fellow runners, the injury sort of subside and turn for the better.

And so my journey towards south finally came. Boarded Tiger Airways and arrived safely in Singapore where I will be staying at the Changi Village Hotel. A little bit pricey but thats the nearest hotel to race site. The reason for choosing this hotel is basically to travel back to hotel at the shortest time after the race and have maximum rest. PERIOD.

Come race day 29th May 2010, where the race will start from The Changi Aviation Exhibition Centre at 7pm, so have to depart from hotel to race site at around 5pm. Food before race was some buns and a bottle of electrolytes. Once at race site, met up with my friends from Singapore and Malaysia, as well as a group from Taiwan (which are Gege Tey's good friend) In this group, there is a unique runner that will be running backwards for the entire ultra. His name is Hsueh Ching-kuang aka BackMan Tony.

A picture taken with Backman Tony

Group photo with Taiwan gang

With Dr Pui San

Didnt expect too much out of the race except that I can complete it within the qualifying time will be an achievement. Not much pressure on my side but only doubt was dont know wat to expect in the race. To ease that tension I keep chatting with all the running friends around me. As the clock ticks closer to 7pm, the atmosphere is getting more hype up with the race MC giving encouragement and motivation to all the runners.

A group photo of Malaysia and Singapore runners

Its 7pm and gun off. Everyone sent their GOOD LUCK wishes and off we go. I was running very slowly, almost 9min pace as there is nothing to rush. My plan was to run ard 6k and then walk 1k in the very beginning just to conserve energy. This continue until the 6k mark where I bumped into Jeff Ooi. We continue to run together and our run was stretch up to abt 7k to 8k before stopping for a walk break of 1K. Along the way, we also bumped into Weng and wife where husband & wife is attempting the ultra.

Pacing with Jeff Ooi

At the 15k/16k mark where we are along East Coat Park which is full with activities, Jeff Ooi seems to struggle abit and dropping off away from me. I continue to gallop on with the same technic of run/walk strategy and this give me a great running momentum althoiugh its not fast but I knew its helping me to conserve energy for the 2nd lap which can be very torturing due to tiredness, low in energy and sleepiness!!!

As I was approaching the U-turn where the 21k mark is, I saw Amelia together with Terence Poon Gang, Mohan and Dr Pui San. Wow they are fast and is at least 2k away from me. I must be running darn slow with my run/walk regime. Never mind I told myself.....I will try to catch up.

And soon I reached the 21k mark.....sigh!!! At this mark, I am feeling very fresh, doesnt seems to have any fatigue and tiredness creaping into the body and legs. The Run/Walk regime seems to be working so far. I continued to run at a very easy pace and eventually saw Jeff Ooi coming on the opposite end. Told him the 21k mark is about 1k away. Then I bumped into Gary (from Terence Poon group) which had dropped of and running slowly. Walk with him for a while and chat along. Starting to enjoy the run and atmosphere whereby you see some familiar faces, stop by and had a chit-chat while walking or running. After awhile I moved on leaving him behind to savour the calm nite.

From the 25k mark onwards, I was mostly running alone and to calm myself down, I pray to Guan Yi Ma for a safe race. I saw sis Haza and Cheang at certain point and yelled out to them, not sure if both ofthem heard me. Soon the 30k mark come into sight and it was a blessing. Until this point I am still adopting the run/walk regime but with a shorter run cutting down to 5k and a 1k walk.

At this point, it will be a very straight road leading back to the Start/Finsih area. At about 32k mark, I caught up with Backman Tony. It was very easy to chat with him as he was running backwards with his front facing me. We paced together for the next 6k to 7k before he moves on. His pace is very fast eventhough running backwards. I have to slow down abit to reserve energy and not get caught into pacing with him although I have no problem doing that.

Reaching the 40k mark and from afar I thot I saw Dr Pui San and Mohan pacing together to complete Lap 1. I increase my pace abit and caught up, and indeed it was both of them. The sifu is guiding his pupil to complete this ultra. Mohan slowed down and said he wanted to rest for a while, and got me to pace with Dr Pui San. We ran together for the last 2k and stright got into the Pit Stop prepared for the runners. Time to complete Lap 1 was 5.47, not bad.

Hit the pit stop immediately and already saw familiar faces resting around. Terence Poon group was already there, Chap Ayam group was there too (likes of Zul Hassan, Hailmi, etc). Went to collect my stuff and first thing was to gulp down a bottle of water. Next is to munch down 2 soft buns just to fill up my stomach eventhough I am not hungry at all. This will at least give me some energy in Lap 2. After all these chores the next most important thing was to lubricate my body again with SportShield to prevent any chafing and change to a new pair of shoe. All these was done in a spate of 15 to 20mins and I was out of the pit stop getting ready for Lap 2. Terence was like a mother hen chasing his group out as he doesnt want them to rest too long and allow the body to get cold.

I started Lap 2 with Dr Pui San ........

Note: Pix courtesy from Lynette, Pui San, Gege Tey & Weng