Sundown Marathon 2015
I posted this photo on my instagram a few days ago. Cheesy captions aside, I was pretty excited. For this was my first attempt at finishing a marathon.
So how did it go?
Terrible I would say. So terrible that even 4 and a half days later I have yet to fully recover from the madness that is Sundown Marathon 2015.
This is an honest race review.
Before race I got myself a target of finishing in under 5 hrs. Preferably anything from 4:30 to 4:45. So I started out running a tad faster than the 4:30 pacers, knowing that my speed would degenerate over time. That plan worked out extremely well for the first 24km. In fact, counting the first 21 alone, I did the best 21 of my life at 2:14, 15 mins better that half a year ago at SCMS. And that's considering I stopped at all hydration and supply stations along the route, compared to last time when I was more reserved when it came to race supplies.
So far, extremely chill and rather full of confidence. But that's only until I reached the 24km mark. When I suddenly felt a knock in both my knees, and within the next few hundred metres it spreaded down my calves, up my thighs and worst of all hit my groins.
Basically, from 25 onwards, I was with a pair of dead legs. Too early in the race to even think of walking all the way for the remaining 17km, and definitely the longer I stayed in the race the worst it would get. Had to squeeze out as much remaining strength in my legs and pushed my way to the finish line. Getting slower by the minute, the pacer groups one by one overtaking.
Count myself lucky to finish the race in <6 hrs. Official timing is 5:57:28.
Have to say that I didn't enter this race with the best of preparations. Had reservations about even joining in the first place due to the unusual timing (early July) that would probably clash with camp stuff. Finally jumped on the bandwagon when they posted a special discount for on-site registration. As a result, I didn't have the luxury of a full 12 weeks of preparations, as I did for SCMS last year (and considering that this is double the distance, the optimal prep time should be at least 16). Plus my prep was disrupted for the whole duration of me staying at home. Over there, I followed a drastically different daily schedule that sadly didn't allow me to run as much as I could.
Better prep next time I would say.
Overall though, really thankful for race officials and volunteers for a smooth race. Best race welfare on planet Earth; maintaining one supply station every 3-4km from 8pm to 8am (counting the previous races) is definitely not an easy task and it was amazing to see everyone looking out for us. Even the slightly more schleepy ones.
Special mention to my running buddy (or -dies) for indirectly helping me getting back to shape after my break and before the race. At least I did break a PB =))
Right now, the focus is getting both legs up and running to gear up for the next race in less than a month. Was in my plan to re-attempt a 21 before doing a 42 and I picked 2XU; sadly it's rescheduled to 2 Aug due to the passing of Mr Lee. Been diligently eating good food, resting and... applying counterpain for the past days; so glad it's been effective.
And of course, a second attempt at the full 42. At this moment, all the super early bird slots for SCMS 2015 have gone. This is what happen when you give cardholders two full days to scoop up all the slots. Same thing for Taylor Swift when AMEX became super generous and allowed cardholders FOUR days to sweep 80% of the arena clean. Both dates.
Exclusive cards are bloody exclusive.