Initially didn’t plan on taking on this event as i was turned off by the cost of participation. I just wanted to run on my own, self-supported, and pace thelonelyrunner (hehehe, he has thought very highly of me). But but but… my wife tempted me with sponsorship, and so finally i jumped deep in, signing up for the 84km ultramarathon distance category.
How did i train for this event? hmm, not much i guess:
Longest distance – 42km at KL Marathon on 30 Mar & 42km sundown route recce with lonelyrunner on 20 Apr
Other distances – took part in races up to 21km prior to the Sundown Marathon week
I was gonna rely a lot on mental endurance to bring me through it.. but with strong & experienced ultramarathoner thelonelyrunner buddying with me for the run, it’s gonna be one tough pace to keep up with.
Did i think much about this event? actually i didn’t. Didn’t worry too. why? Cos i didn’t have high expectation. Just wanna have fun whilst going through 2 laps of 42km each. and at the same time avoid injury. If i can’t persist on to finish it, so be it. Let it be. Not gonna be frustrated cos i know how ‘much’ time i’ve put into training for it.
And so race day approaches………..
31 May 2008
7.30am – Did a PT session for a client at East Coast Park for 1.5hrs
10am – Did a 1hr PT session for another client
Spent the rest of the afternoon at home. Prepared my race day items. Gonna wear my Sugoi tri top, SKINS half tights, Ultimax socks, Saucony Fastwitch 3 shoes (has never gone beyond marathon distance before) and also prepared a 3-litre pack of Gatorade which i was gonna carry throughout the race in my trusty Sierra hydrabag. Managed to sleep for about 2hrs, waking up at 5.30pm.
6.15pm – Had dinner at a nearby foodcourt, comprising mainly carbo, e.g. rice, potato
6.45pm – Departed home for the race venue, sent by my wife, Yee Tze & Fook, who were gonna take part in the 42km category
7.30pm – Arrived at the venue, where there were many participants, even the 42km ones. Wow, couldn’t believe they’d come so early. Went to the SGRunner booth, where quite a number of SGRunners were. I also went to the Republic Poly booth, where i had volunteered my saliva & urine sample for testing purpose. Dumped my backpack at the baggage deposit area & i slipped on my hydration bag. Did some light warm up jog & stretching. Met many SGRunners, e.g Mythos, Jennifery, Dream, DO, Bose, Philip, Fd, Ripley, Sumiko, etc.. and also friends from Malaysia, e.g. Hoo Ching Cheong, Hoo Ching Tai, Ong… and soon we were about to embark on an epic journey, through the dead of the night.
8.25pm (1st Lap)
Flag off!!! Was about 5metres from the start line with thelonelyrunner, and we were gonna run together.. and in my mind, i will try to keep up as far as i can with him. Our strategy? Run 5.5km, walk 500m. and every marshaller whom we passed, we greeted them.. some of the volunteers were very forthcoming with their support. TLR drank water like there was no tomorrow.. hahah.. & i was contented with my gatorade. I also stuffed 7 packets of Sports Beans (consumed about 4 packets in total during the race) into my back pocket & my hydration bag. Also had a Nestle Milk Chocolate Bar (which i didn’t take at all during the race). Both of us would keep joking, to keep our energy levels up. TLR was very good at keeping track of time & distance. We seemed to adopt a running pace of between 5min 15sec/km to 5min 45sec/km. Quite good. and we were always looking forward to the next walking break.. hahaha, even though it only lasted a short 500m.we had done the route once, so we knew what to expect. P.C. was cheering for us too at ECP… tks PC!! Met Tiwazz, Charlotte, Alvo & Meteor who were also supporting us outside Coffee Bean in ECP. tks for your support. After crossing the overhead bridge after completing the East Coast Park portion, i was greeted with cold Red Bull, which i gladly accepted. Then it would be the boring Park Connectors.. Was looking forward to Tekko’s support station located at the 27km mark. We didn’t stop there but waved to the supporters. Quite a number were there. Soon we entered Bedok Reservoir.. wow, it was tranquil.. with the HDB apartments as a backdrop, it was a lovely sight to behold… And tks to Alvin Ong for providing peanut butter sandwich and support. But soon, we had to get back onto the road again…. and along Loyang, lo & behold was Stardust. We continued to push on.. and completed the 1st lap in 4hr 17mins… wow..very happy!! Time check: 12.42am. The marathoners had already begun their race 43mins earlier. Wondered if we would overtake any of them.. hahaha.. We stopped after the 1st lap for about 7mins to take our urine & saliva sample.. and bumped into Bug, who was taking a rest.
12.49am (2nd Lap)
We then started our 2nd lap at 12.49am.. body still felt ok, didn’t feel sleepy. 2nd lap would be mental… Tried to keep up pace with TLR again… Along the Changi Coast Road, we saw Jeanette Wang.. and both of us targeted to overtake her. Soon, we really did.. haha… but my legs were starting to show signs of cramping… so after 50km, i asked TLR to go ahead without me cos i really needed to stretch for sometime before continuing with the run. Paused at a lampost just after the beginning of the East Coast Park portion to stretch.. i spent about 10mins there stretching. Saw many marathoners walking past me. When i felt ready, i re-started my engine… and onwards i surged…(not that fast a pace though).. In my mind, what kept me going was focussing on my running technique, posture, breathing… and drinking gatorade regularly. told myself to keep going.. no walking. aimed to stop at Tiwazz’s support station at about 21km mark and do stretching.. overtook Jeanette once again at ECP (she overtook me whilst i stretched the 1st time).. i also overtook Yong Lai Chee at ECP.. then when i stopped at Tiwazz’s table to stretch, both Jeanette & Lai Chee overtook me.. oh well, doesn’t matter to me… preserving my legs was priority… not chasing others. Tks to Tiwazz for giving my a pack of Hydralyte.. and tks to Charlotte for cutting my sports bean packet so i can gain access to the treasured beans. haha. think i paused at their station for about 10mins doing stretching & chatting… and saw many participants passing by.. this was about the halfway mark..
And soon, i had to make a move.. waved bye to Alvo, Meteor, Tiwazz & Charlotte. and to end off the final 21km. Next stop would be Tekko’s station at the 27km mark. Stopped there for about 10mins, drinking a cup of Coke & did some stretches.. Saw Freddy too, who took a break. felt very good (positive thinking) And soon, it was time to move off. Keep running i told myself & controlled my legs to do so. No walking at all, except when taking 100Plus, which was of incosistency in taste… sometimes diluted, 1 too concentrated.. fortunately i had my trusty Gatorade which i had prepared with clinical accuracy!! hahhaha
Soon, i spotted someone familiar ahead. It was Wai Yee!! wah, great to see her running at that segment, which was over 30km already.. well done. Overtook her & persisted on… trudging towards the finish. the distance remaining to be covered became shorter & shorter.. once i reached Loyang, i told myself the end is coming.. just keep going. And a sudden downpour came… hhahaa…and then Changi Village loomed in front.. yipppeeee.. just keep it up… and soon, we had to finish… hahha, as if not long enough.. with a time of 9hr 38min 20secs at 6.03am on 1 June 2008, i completed my 1st 84km!!! WOW!! I couldn’t believe it. Very elated!! hahhaha. Totally didn’t expect to finish under 10hrs. Was probably looking at 12 or 13 hours..
Had to join a long queue of participants to take our well-deserved medal & finisher T, plus a sports field towel for 84km finishers.it was still raining & boy was it cold…bbrrrrrr….. And my wife, who had finished the 42km in 4hr 43mins, was there to snap pics of me.. well done to her on her 4th marathon…
stood in the goodie bag collection tent after getting my medal & T to chat with Raymond Hee, Yen Erl, Siok Bee, Pathma.. and did my compulsory stretches whilst chatting. It was cold due to the strong wind & rain.. but fortunately it stopped soon. I continued to stay there with Yen Erl to wait for arrival of Wai Yee, Yee Tze & Fook. met many others who returned from their victorious journey through the night. All seemed very glad to have finished in one piece. After stretching fully, we took a pic in front of the Sundown banner before leaving Changi Village for Old Airport Road food centre, where we had a small feast..hehhee.. After getting home, i washed my stuff, took a shower. Slept for a while before sending Yee Tze, Fook, Yen Erl & Wai Yee to Novena Square where we had lunch.. and then they departed at 2.30pm back to KL.
Well done to everyone. Congrats for overcoming the odds.. and many many tks to all volunteers, supporters, SGRunners, for without you it wouldn’t have been possible. And of course i am really thankful to thelonelyrunner, Sukaimi, for being with me for the 1st 50km, joking for most of the journey, making it so interesting. Till the next ultramarathon. 🙂