Saturday, August 22, 2009
Safra Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2009
My preparation for this year's Stanchart 42km full marathon in Dec is going according to schedule so far - it's a first in my lifetime to attempt the full marathon which is a pledge made last year.
In April this year, I did the 10km Singapore PAssion run with Winnie in Sengkang which was her first 10km of her life and boy, she surprised even herself to clock creditable time. She is now making preparation for Stanchart 21km half marathon and with sheer determination, she can complete the race at own pace - 加油, Winnie!
On 24 May, I did the 15km Saucony 100Plus PAssion Run with Chua while Winnie participated in the 10km event. It was a hot morning at East Coast and flagged-off was slightly delayed @ 0800 hrs. I huffed and puffed, finally hit the tape @ 1 hr 28 mins plus and Chua, always a stronger & fitter runner than me finished well ahead of me. It was a good run for me but I did hope the weather would have been more forgiving.
The Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon is a litmus test for me running up to my preparation for the full marathon in December this year. All the training mainly with my two running buddies, Chua and Eddie in the past months had geared me mentally for this 21 km event, my longest run thus far. It was a pity Winnie who had enrolled for the 10 km event could not participate due to foot injury. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Winnie and not to worry, this run was for you too.
Chua picked me up at 4.30am hrs and by 5 am, we arrived at the Esplanade, the starting point. Looking around for toilet but frantic search around, found none and like many guys (wonder how the ladies did it though), we relieved near the bushes. At that hour, it was still dark...phew.
Warmed up enough, we took a casual walk to the start point and at 5.30 hrs, we were flagged off. For about 1 to 2 km, Chua and I stayed together but we will be running on our own pace to gauge how readiness we had prepared for ourselves. We will meet at the car park after the race.
It is always good to start off early in the morning for later than that I could not have imagined the hot sun glaring over us. We ran up the Benjamin Sheares bridge heading to Fort Road, I was maintaining a steady pace. It was still dark at that hour, the only spectators watching us were the construction workers along the Marina IR site.
At Fort Road, we turned to East Coast Park. There was a narrow path, everyone had to squeeze past and true enough, I did witness someone tripped and fell. The organiser could have arranged for that stretch to be broadened; imagine hundreds of runners squeezing through that narrow path.
Did a u-turn along the East Coast Park, we headed to Guillemard Road. At Nicoll Highway, we had covered more than half the distance by then. I was maintaining well, no cramp and no real pain yet. At about 15 km mark, I heard someone calling me from the opposite side and it was Chua. By my 'guesstimate', he was at least more than 1 km ahead of me at that juncture.
Near F1 corporate stands and Singapore Flyer @ 18 km mark, I started to feel cramp on both thighs. As if it was not bad enough, I felt pain on my right sore too. "Shit, my new sleeking-looking Nike running shoes have not been seasoned enough", I thought to myself then. Not wanting to injure myself, I decided to walk to loosen the muscle around my thighs. About 50 m walking, I decided to 'bite the pain' and pressed on. Admittedly, it was a tough tough 3 km to the tape.
At the final stretch near Esplanade, group of run runners making their way to the start point were crossing the road blocking the direction of the energy-sapped 21 km runners. Damn, no usherers to control the charging crowd, the organisers could have pre-empted it but alas, it was overlooked.
When I saw the finishing line at City Hall, I drew out my last quickening my pace at the last 50 m to clock home at 2 hours 14 mins plus. Collected my hard earned medal, gulped down two cans of 100 plus while spreading eagle on the ground. After a short rest, I took a stroll back to the carpark near Fort Canning knowing Chua will be waiting for me. He clocked a creditable time of 2 hours 4 mins plus.
Now, for the full marathon, I know that I must clock longer distance in training and if 21 km is not punishing enough, whatabout 42 km? Practise, practise...there is no short cut to success. My target for 42 km is 6 hours and anything lower than that, it's a bonus. This will cap my final goal for this year and come 2010, what other goal for me to achieve? Well, we shall see.