Everyone was expecting a wet race but that never came to pass and we all had to run with the 'lovely' heat and humidity of a night run. A windless and moonlit night didn't help matters either.
|My ever loyal medal model ...|
|The race atmosphere. Loved the balloons ...|
So off we went to Putrajaya and arrived two hours before the race start to get the best parking spot. Lingered around catching up with friends I only meet at race events. Met a few new friends too like Jason (Tan), the oldies (and I don't mean in age) like Neoh, Wilfred, Gus and the highly suspicious non-human, Rayzeef ... LOL!
Bumped in the Skechers team of Ivan and Adeline (who was running the 10K event), chatted for a bit and moved on in search of food cos I started feeling hungry. Managed to find some skewered fish ball like stuff and wolfed the entire three sticks down. Hopefully that would be enough (highly unlikely) to tide me through the distance.
|Ivan of Skechers Malaysia and me prior to race start ...|
Kept pace with Neoh till about the 10K mark and decided to step it up a little since I was feeling pretty good given the circumstances. By this point the route already had the half marathon elites lapping me left, right and centre. Since I left the company of Neoh whom I had a nice time chatting with all the way up to then, I knew it was going to be a little boring and a lot more demanding, especially on a route littered with rolling hills. True enough, I came to the first set of rolling inclines, cursed, kept to the same pace and just trudged up the inclines.
|The Orange man and Richard Ng doing their thing ...|
Those of you who have run this PNM marathon route would know just how challenging and demanding it is with the rolling terrain and the killer incline stretch from KM33 to the finish. Every time I ran up an incline and thought that was it, another was waiting just around the corner. It just didn't let up. I kept my head and grit my teeth and just faced them head on. It wasn't easy. The sleep deprivation started cropping up just around the 21KM mark and I was seriously battling from wanting to just stop and curl up along some quiet corner of the road and just sleep!
By the 27KM mark, I was feeling the fatigue. Slowed the pace a little and kept moving. I was bracing for the the 30KM to see which would come first, the wall or the cramps. Surprisingly neither appeared which was a good sign though I was struggling from fatigue more. The mind was completely numb by this point that if you asked me my name, I wouldn't be able to answer you. A lot of run/walking happened from this point onward, especially from the 33KM killer stretch! I even had time to exchange a text or two with the wife ... hahaha!
|Don't be fooled by the Flash like speeds, I was crawling at this point ... LOL!|
I was seriously out of it by then and I had to make a conscious effort to keep going. Looked at the Garmin around the 39KM and saw that I could better my SCKLM time and decided to just go for it for the last 3KM. Picked up my pace and crossed the finish line with a time of 5:12:25! I was ecstatic considering the condition I was in. I gratefully accepted my much deserved medal, picked up my goodie bag and went off in search of the wife.
|My well deserved medal and finisher tee ...|
No more marathons for me until next year SCKLM. I've learned a lot more this time around and now know that with the right amount of training, I'm confident of breaking into the sub 5 hour race bracket. I intend to sit out a lot of races next year and spend the time putting in more training and effort in my quest to run a better marathon. The term, quality more than quantity is going to be my mantra for next year.
With that said, good job to each and everyone of you for actually being out there running, walking or crawling instead of just sitting on the couch or partying the night away. You all did awesome!