Yesh!!! Dear1 and Dear2 completed their third and final running event of 2008. We only had time to participate in 3 events this year, namely, Sundown Marathon, Real Run, and Stanchart Half Marathon. We missed the other events such as the Mizuno series, Passion Run, and a few other due to our wedding preparations and also some overseas trips.
Let’s talk about our half marathon.
First, we ran slower than we did in 2006. Huhuhu… And that was mainly becos we didn’t train properly for this run. Prior to the run, we had only gone for 2 short trainings of 5km each about 1 week before the run. On the eve of the run, we were still worried that we will be unable to complete the 21km. But with perseverance and the assurance that we’ve completed longer runs before, we managed to complete the run in decent form and without injuries.
We started the run at our usual pace. Both of us were in terrible in condition. We were putting on some weight due to lack of exercise after our wedding. It wasn’t long before we realized that the route was changed and that we won’t be running into the Marina South area. Also the route markers wasn’t available to half marathoners, so we were kept guessing of our actual distance covered.
At around the 5km mark or so, we made our first stop and walked for some distance. For the rest of the run, we adopted a run and walk strategy, usually running for about 1.5-2km and walking for about 0.5-1km. At the U-turn point, we decided to eat our Powergel. Yucks! It was chocolate and strawberry flavoured, ya, but the feeling of the slimy and gluey substance in the mouth was just plain disgusting, or maybe just that we haven’t got used to it yet.
Feeling suddenly recharged (and I really do mean *suddenly*), we surged ahead and overtook many walkers. :P And we overtook many slow runners too. :D We continue building our momentum into our run/walk strategy and soon found ourselves at the F1 pitstop area, roughly 2km from the end. From there, it was a (slow) sprint to the finish line. Somewhere along 1.5km to go, we started merging with the 10km women category and ended up in this huge human congestion. We overtook many 10km runners and finished the race in relief and triumph!
Now, let’s cover some of the lousier points of this race.
First, there’s no one in charge at the early morning bus pick up point. We arrived at Bt Gombak stadium carpark punctually at 5am and found no one there. There were some other runners there waiting for the bus and didn’t know where to go. About 5 mins later, a bus arrived to pick us up. The driver claimed to be the 4.30am bus driver who had lost his way and only arrived at the stadium at 5.10am. Wat the!? Next, he didn’t wait for any late comers. He simply stop the bus, about 10 of us boarded, and drove off immediately. Bad bad bus pick up co-ordinations by the organizers.
Next, the bus driver didn’t know where to drop us off. So he made us all alight somewhere near Golden Mile Tower, not near our starting point at all, claiming that another bus will pick up us. Not true. While we waited, several other buses with runners on board sped pass us towards City Hall area. Just then, a bus arrive, a Runspiration bus. Everyone was worried, so we boarded the bus hoping that it will bring us to our starting line. Nope, it was headed towards East Coast instead, becos it was the Runspiration bus, not the runner bus. After some communication with the bus IC on board, we managed to get the bus to drive us to the starting point. The time was 6.15am.
We quickly rushed to the baggage counter, only to realize that there was no way we can quickly deposit our bag. Not becos of the queue. In fact, there was no queue. But it was becos the floor was muddy, much worse than the Real Run. We had to cautiously inch forward in the mud, snaking through the empty queue lines and finally deposit our bags.
The race started without us and we were with the rear pack, and we have not even hydrate, toilet, and warm up. With some quick stretching, we quickly joined the crowd and started our race.
Once the race started, we realized there was no proper signage for half marathoners. The distance markers were only for full marathon. To compound the matter, the half marathon route broke off from the full at around the 1-1.5km mark and rejoined shortly after. We estimated the extra route covered to be around 1.5-2km so we added that distance to the full marathon distance markers to find out how far we have ran. To complicate matters more, the full marathon route broke off again about half way through and suddenly we have totally no gauge to how far we had ran. The first distance marker for half marathon came at the U-turn point, and that was 13km (iirc). I don’t think it is difficult to put up proper distance markers, and I don’t understand why the organizers did not do it.
Overall, I was rather disappointed at the organization of this race given that this annual event was already into its 7th year. Perhaps becos of the financial crisis, less money was available for the race?
With this race, Dear1 and Dear2 realized that they are out of shape and really need to start exercising again to stay fit and healthy.
Let’s run, my dear.