My one and only full marathon race every year. Although I have not been training well for this event, I still dream of completing it in a record time of sub 4 hours. However, I finally set my humble target of sub 4:30 finishing time. Woke up at 3am and made my way to nerradhog
's place around 3:50am. I planned to drive there early just to avoid traffic jam as there will be at least 15000 runners just for full marathon alone. Reached and parked at Marina Square carpark at 4:15am. Surprisingly, the area was so quiet and not many cars were seen on the road.
We walked to the Esplanade and waited there until 5.00am before we make our way to the starting cage. The crowd was massive but we still managed to stand pretty close to the starting point, squeezing ourselves in the sub 4 hours cage. Both nerradhog
and I have the same fear; leg cramps at the later part of the runs and very much afraid that it will greatly slow us down. He brought a counter pain rub along with him and I wore half tights for the first time in my life. Tights is proven to reduce the chances of muscle cramps. However, I do agree with nerradhog
that not clocking enough mileage during training may contribute to leg cramps.
We were flagged off at 5:30am sharp. I took only 30 secs to reach the starting mat and started off running in a decent pace. The front crowd wasn't that huge so I had pretty comfortable space to run. nerradhog
and I kinda paced each other during the first 3km. We ran in a sub 4 hours pace. Later, I started to feel good and kinda increased my momentum. nerradhog
chose not to follow my pace and soon I ran towards the Nicoll highway in a 4:30 min/km pace. My strategy was to run for at least 30km in a sub 4 hours pace coz I know my threshold will be anytime after 30km, regardless how slow or fast I run. Therefore I knew I need to run fast in the first 30km.
They changed the route this year, no more running along the Marina Bay/Park, instead we were heading straight to Nicoll Highway, Fort Road and towards the East Coast Park. They make us run longer at ECP this time. Instead of running just 10km at ECP like previous years, we had to endure 20km there this time, which is kinda boring maybe because I have been running there so often. I was still running comfortably and completed my first 10km in 56mins. I then ran straight towards ECP and reached the u-turn point of 21km in less than 2 hours. When I reached 22km, I suddenly felt so sleepy, maybe due to my lack of sleep for the past 2 nights. Dragged my sleepiness until 24km and took my second energy gel hoping that the caffeine in it helps.
Managed to complete my 30km in 2hours and 50mins. Saw the sgrunners
support station. Fida, Sotong and the others were so kind and helpful, offering me food and drinks, but I chose not to stop yet at that time, afraid my cramp will kicked in. So I declined their generous offer and made my way out from the east coast park. Babumouse overtook me later and said he was very much in form and from his pace, he definitely can complete in an impressive sub 4 hours. Soon after that, I was in horror when I saw the marathon route slowly merging with the half marathon route. I was so pissed as this will eventually giving us (the marathoners) hard time running with slower half marathon crowds. Can see most of them are walking. I had to put extra effort to overtake them. My legs were getting heavy and I did a foolish decision to stop at the water station and 32.5km coz I was getting very tired trying to overtake those half marathoners. I drank 2 cups of water and walked for about 200m before continuing my run again.
True enough, after running pass the 33km sign, my left hamstring started pulling. Damn. I had no choice but to quickly stop and hoping it will go away. It kinda developed some minor cramps and I started to adopt the walk/jog strategy. But I couldn't run for long after that as the hamstring muscle keeps pulling. Soon after that, my right hamstring had the same problem, but wasn't as bad as the left one. I got some heat rub from the volunteers and rub some on my left hamstring. Actually it doesn't help much. Soon, we splited our ways from the half marathoners while I was turning to the Kallang Stadium. I was supposed to press the split time on my watch at 34km mark but I foolishly pressed the stop button and only realised it about approx 2 mins later. Damn...my clocked time is not accurate anymore.
I continued my walk jog strategy and they actually make us run towards Geylang area this year and when we were appraoching the Republic Avenue, again I was pissed when they merge us with the 10km runners. It was actually almost 4km left and that means I had to run with such a big crowd but limited space for me to overtake. Thumbs down to the organiser this time! They have a total of 50km runners but instead of making us enjoying our run, they just make our life harder. I'm sure all the experienced runners hate the route plan. I had no more strength to do the overtakings. I slowly walked and jogged until the last 700 meters which then I ran desperately to the finishing line. I finally crossed the line in a 4hours 17mins 22secs guntime. Chip time wise, I think I am about 4 minutes better than my last year's timing.
Still unable to break within 4 hours barrier, but for a guy who did not train hard, I'm satisfied. Marathon is pretty much doable for me now, it's just that I need to train hard to join the sub 4 hours family. Hopefully, I can do much better if I'm running an oversea race next year.