Haha… Simply put, we’re didn’t finish.
Now coming to think of it, Sundown Marathon was 2 months ago. Over these 2 months, I’ve been thinking about what to write since we were unable to complete the race. Let’s see…
We arrived early at Changi Point, by MRT then transfer to bus. We didn’t want to buy the organizer’s bus tickets becos it’s cheaper to just use our EZ link cards. Before the race started, we walked around the event area and found that there was no “7 hours” marathoners section in the starting line queue! We thought “Wow, everyone here is elite, no 7 hour runners… :(“, so we lined up at the 4 hours mark.
The race started along Changi Beach and later along coastal road around the airport, a route that I was very familiar with from my army days. It was a boring stretch of road with nothing to see. Somewhere along this road, I started to feel unwell. For whatever reasons, my stomach was rumbling and I was breathing quite heavily and it was hardly 7km. I knew that my condition wasn’t going to be good and it’s probably going to be a tough night run. On the other hand, Dear2 was energtic as ever like she always is on actual run days. Over the next few km, I had to slow down quite a bit and we began to fall to the rear pack. I think this might had affect Dear2’s tempo and pretty soon, she was feeling unwell too.
When we hit the main East Coast area, the scenery improved alot. We start to see more people, more non runners, more chalet party, more lovebirds, etc. We took the chance to try out our new secret weapon, Powergel. Haha… Yes, we have never taken a powergel before. Why? Becos we’ve never received them as free gifts or goodies before and last year’s StanChart marathon ran out of powergels before we reached their station. -_- This time, we bought some at the runner pack collection day to feel for ourselves the impact of taking a powergel. I think we ate a Tangerine flavour and a Coffee flavour one. I thought the taste and texture was pretty disgusting, Dear2 thought so too. But the effects were good, we felt re-energized shortly after taking the gels. :D
At somewhere near the first U-turn point, Dear2 was feeling increasingly unwell and so we decided to call it quits and stop the marathon there. Better protect ones health than risk irreparable injury. Dear2 was feeling very gassy and some chest pains from the accumulated gas pressing against her diaphragm? Lungs? We’re still not exactly sure, just chest pains. So we stopped at one of the drink stations and enquired about how we can get back to the finishing point so that we can collect our baggage. The first thing that happened was that the helpers overreacted and called for medics to the scene. Most likely this was becos the previous few running events in the recent past had a few fatals incidents.
After the medic arrive and ascertain that the problem wasn’t *that* serious, we were told to take a good rest at the drink station. But then, there was another unsolved problem: how were we getting back to Changi Point from East Coast Park? Apparently, our problem wasn’t serious enough to activate the medical vehicle to drive us back. And there wasn’t any other event vehicle prowling the race route. The only vehicle that we could possibly hitch a hike on was the volunteer bus which was to arrive in about 4 hours time! No way we were going to laze around and wait for 4 hours and it’ll be awkward sharing a bus with volunteers and equipments. Our decision? To continue walking at a brisk pace and maybe catch a cab back once we move into the housing areas.
Now, our great escape turned out to be a rather difficult one. At every fork road every corner, there was a race volunteer stationed there, making it very difficult to escape without getting noticed. Moreoever, we didn’t want to let other fellow runners see our escape so that we won’t waver their determination. Finally, we managed to sneak out somewhere near Kembangan and hail a cab back to Changi Point. Upon arriving, Dear2 waited in the cab while I went to collect our baggage so that we can pay the cab fare.
The race time was around 5hr now and a large crowd of marathon runners were arriving at the finishing point. The scene was slightly chaotic and I sneakily joined the finishers’ queue and collected a finisher tshirt for remembrance. Hehe… Although we didn’t complete the race but we did pay the entry fee, so in some sense we did pay for the finisher tshirt and I didn’t want it to go to waste. Whether to wear it or not is another story.
After this, we made our way to the nearby Changi Point Hawker Centre and had an early early breakfast. After breakfast, we decided to set off for home, only to realize that it had started raining. I’m sure many of the runners would know about the rain that started around 6am that morning. Luckily, the organizer bus had started their service to and fro Pasir Ris MRT station. We paid a premium bus fare as we didn’t purchase the bus ticket earlier and took the shuttle bus to Pasir Ris. Along the way, we watched as we passed the many runners who are still running their marathons and being drenched in the sudden downpour. Our early withdrawing from the race may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as we managed to avoid running in the rain.
We reached home, took a bath and went to bed. By lunch time, our bodies had pretty much recovered and Dear2 was also feeling alright. We were happy that we were healthy and uninjured and will be ready for more races to come in the future. We definitely needed more training to better prepare ourselves for our future runs and the important lessons we learnt from this race is that whatever happens, we must always support each other and always protect each other. There will always be more races to participate in.