I got wind of this walk months ago and wanted to give it a go. How challenging can walking be or so I thought back then la. But always willing to give everything a try at least once, I gamely signed up for the walk.
|No medal picture cos my dog was trying to eat the medal this time round!|
Armed with their insights of the race, it was time for me to try this walking thing out. The wife and me drove to the location around 6pm and got a nice choice parking spot just facing the walk route. It would make things easy if I needed to grab anything from the car. I was armed with an extra pair of tee, socks and even another pair of shoes in the car, just in case it rained and my socks and shoes got soaked. I wasn't going to walk in soaking wet shoes if it did rain.
|The compulsory cam-whoring sessions!|
|The wife happily flaunting her Skechers GOrun 2 and legs ... LOL!|
My plan for the night was to push through without stopping and get in the 34km mileage under my belt, which was the qualifying mark to earn a medal, and then get a nice long rest and see if I was up for the entire 12 hour duration. But it wasn't easy going. Walking tends to have a lot more contact with the road than running and my calves and thighs were beginning to feel the strains of the the increased pace I was doing which was in the ranges of 9.00 - 10.00 minutes.
I managed to complete 5k in 50 minutes, 10 minutes faster than my expected time and did it again for the next 5k. It wasn't really a very smart move cos by the 10k, I was already feeling the strains of the increased pace. Instead of slowing down, I decided to be an idiot and try to follow the pace of two elites who lapped me and increased my pace to 7.00 minutes and kept with them for about 200 meters ... hahaha ...
That was when my legs started protesting and reminding me what an idiot I am. Not to be dissuaded, I kept that pace for at least 2 more kilometers and simply had to slow down considerably after that cos my calves were screaming for mercy!
|4am and most of the participants walking around in their zombie impersonations ...|
The race itself was pretty boring, going round in endless loops with hardly any entertainment expect for Ray who was there to support the walkers and kept on cheering me on every time I passed him. Thanks Ray, your cheering did wonders cos every time I passed you I picked up my pace cos malu la to be seen crawling in front of an ultra-marathoner ... LOL!
|5am and even more zombies ...|
At the 36km, I caught up with the wife who wanted to head to the car to change her shoe from the GOrun 2 to the Skechers Shape-ups cos her feet were swelled up as well and her other pair of shoe was slightly bigger. We decided to take a half hour break at this point and headed to the car to freshen up and rest for a bit. I took this opportunity to get out of my shoes, lie down and prop up my feet which felt so damn good.
After the rest, we headed back to the race and though the rest was welcomed it didn't do too good for my form. It was so difficult to get to back into a proper walking pace cos the legs were beginning to lock up from the rest. My pace at this point was practically a crawl. That was when I decided I'll just do a full marathon distance and call it quits. After all, why torture myself and get unnecessary injuries and not be able to run. My running plans were more important to me.
So I dragged my tired feet and kept on moving like a zombie for the next 7 kilometers until I hit 42.195km in a time of 7 hours and 18 minutes. That was it for me. I just plopped myself on an empty chair I found and kicked off my shoes and congratulated myself on even coming so far. Waited for the wife who still wanted to do a couple more loops and she stopped just in time for the 5am medal pick up time. We picked up our medals and headed home immediately after that.
|My totally beat up feet ...|
Did I enjoy myself? Not really. I wouldn't call walking in an endless loop enjoyable. But since I already paid good money for the event, I wasn't about to let it go to waste. The food served during the scheduled eating times could have been better in my humble opinion though I still wolfed them down. The wife decided to not touch any of it except for the fruits. I don't know, they could have dished out a little better and healthier menu than what they had. I don't know about the last two food sessions though cos I was already home by then.
Will I do this again next year? Not even if you paid me a million bucks, well, maybe for a million bucks I would la ... hahaha! But seriously, once is enough. I'll stick to running which is something I know I can do and with so much less pain involved even!