When the Sun goes Down.

It was a pretty screwed race – the officials only told us that we were at the wrong starting line with less than a minute before the race was flag off although they were there since 30 mins ago, lost my way a couple of time because there was no signs or people to show which way to go and also, not forgetting a road marshall who told us(me and darren) to cross the road during the run without stopping the car, with the car zooming pass me at full speed just 2-3 inches away from me. Yet, there were also elements of pleasant surprise – one of my jc friends was one of the officials while the other was a race volunteer, saw a couple of my MIDS batchmates and of course, some of X-ers whom I totally don’t expect to see.

And the race result:

0  – 10k: 52:22.58min          42 – 52k: 1hr 07:22.27min

10- 20k: 54:12.27min         52 – 62k: 1hr 10:05.48min

20-30k: 43:44.10min          62 – 72k: 58:21.85min

30-42k: 1hr 18:52.27hr      72 – 84k: 2hr 43:37.37min

84km: 9hr 48:38.19min

In the end, I didn’t met my target of 8hours, not even close. Perhaps, the biggest mistake that I’ve made during the entire run was the decision to take a walking break after the first 30th kilometres, with the intention of conserving more energy for the next Marathon that is coming in 10 kilometres time. The moment you stopped running, reality starts to kick in and the next thing you know is that you can’t run anymore.

The next 42km was a struggle from the start. Pacing becomes erratic and the soreness starts to kick in. My walking break increases from 1min to 1.5min to 2mins with every run decreasing from 2km to 1.5km to whenever i felt tired. But I knew I was still within medal contention. With the sighting of more runners approaching, I continue to push, at least for another 20km.

Crossing the first overhead bridge for the 2nd Marathon, I continue the run into Siglap Park Connector. From here on, the drive to continue running was solely the fear of being overtaken, especially the fact that I had come this far. Then, I bumped into a fellow tracker from my JC, who is in SMU now, and happened to be an official for the event. Since he was just riding besides me, I was able to just follow him and subsequently, pick up my pacing. He stopped after 3km, leaving me to continue the run again. I continued my erratic run/walk routine  while still looking back to check my status. By the time I reach Bedok Reservoir, I can only sustain a 5mins run with at least 2mins walking break. And looking back, the rest of the runners are within sight again.

Shortly after passing the 74km mark, I looked back. It was then that I told Benedict, who is still with me, “Hey, I think I’ll stopped here.” Within seconds, 2 runners overtook me to become the 9th and 10th position. For me, the medal contention is over. From there onwards, it would be a long 10k walk back to the finishing line. Every step was an agony; I’ve to stop at almost every bus-stop to elevate my feet to relieve the pressure on my feet, with countless people asking me whether I was fine.  It took me more than 2hrs of walking before Changi Village was still in sight, and I was still walking, with countless of full Marathon runners already overtook me. Just then, 2 fellow Ultra-Marathoners whom I talked to while walking, jogged pass me and with the little strength they had remained, they turned back and gave me a  ‘let’s go’ sign. I joined them for the last 1k for the Ultra, pushing with every step. The quads were sore, my chest felt tight and painful, breathing becomes a chore even though I was still within the aerobic effort zone. Eventually, I finished the race.

Special credits to Benedict, who spent about $80  just so that he could ride around the 84km while I ran, for taking photos and supporting me on this long night and also the well wishes I’ve received, epecially Melvin and Kelvin who called to check out on my progress during the run. Not forgeting the tights, for if not for it, my legs could be in a much worse state earlier in the run. And congrats to Darren (he’s from NUS, in case some of you don’t know, used to run with us a few times before) for coming in 4th overall!

Well, until the registration for the next Ultra Marathon opens, I wouldn’t want to be reminded of the pain again. Of course, there is still this very possibility that I might run again next year. Who knows?

So, when is it going to be your turn?

 

 
Your friendly site admin,
W L Ang
Ultra-Marathon Finisher

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