24 OCTOBER 2010
It was 5.30am…
Our meeting point… the cross junction right outside my house. Ben was there… early as usual as we waited for Sarah who was on the bus service 87.
Sarah arrive looking ready and energized for the race… unlike me who seems to be a bit lost at that point of time “-_- Soon after, we took a cab and head down to pick up Princess Melissa from her White Castle.
She waited for us by the curb… with her ever sunshine face, looking ready to have a beautiful run.
It was 6.15am…
My pre-race ritual… to go to the loo, followed by taping up my busted knees.
It was 7.15am…
Several of the Crossers and I managed to get a good spot at the start point. As we wish each other the best… each of us have a goal in mind. Some wanted podium finish after missing by just a little bit the last time around while others just wanted to give their best as it was their first time participating in the Nike Race.
As the horn blows, everyone dash trying to get into good position. Soon after, the elites were far in the horizon.
I was in the front pack with familiar faces. Patrick was right in front of me. I told myself to keep close to him. At the same time, to take note of my knees… making sure that they did not hurt as I pound the tarmac. Justin was on my left… as we had intended to do the race together and motivate each other in the process.
It was a competitive pack indeed as the competitors took turn to push the pace… getting faster as the time goes by. At about 7km mark, the pack starts to break apart. Patrick began to pull away after the 8km mark. Eventually, I finish the race with my training kaki… Justin.
The Nike Race began in 2008. Back then it was call The Human Race which was more meaningful then now. I was in NUS X-Country for about 3 weeks before going for the race. Hence, it was like gauging my standard when I just joined the team. My first public race and everything seems foreign to me. The feelings I got… the atmosphere… and I was alone at the starting point. I managed to clock 45mins. I was happy as I knew it was my PB. I was 88th position overall.
Then came the second edition of The Human Race in 2009. Slightly more than a year have past. I was waiting for my knee operation which was a couple of months away. I started well and felt really comfortable. But I don’t really have a race strategy. I was running behind Vivien Tang at one point and kept up with her. At the 5km mark, she took a cup of 100plus. Well, looking at how well she is doing… 2nd for her category at that point of time… I decide to do the same thing. Guess it was a bad move as I kind of choke on the 100plus as I was not use to running and drinking at the same time. But I tried not to let that affect me. I managed to complete the race in 39mins 7secs obtaining 20th position overall. I was really happy as I never go under 40mins before.
Came the 2010 edition of the Nike Race. It was change to the City run. After training so hard for several months, I was determined to do well and improve on my timing. And improve I did. I completed the race in 36mins 1sec clinching the 14th position overall. The route was shorter. But even so, I was definitely going at a faster pace compared to 2009. I was really happy to found out that I was 9th position under the Mens Under 25 Category. I was happy not because I beat Justin, but happy that both of us were in top ten and achieve what we set in the first place… to do the race together. But even happier to beat a guy that had been squeezing between Justin and me throughout the race… throwing him off the top ten in the process.
By now, most of you would have known that I had been pushing myself more than what my body can take… especially my knees. It’s been a long time since I run without using any kind of knee support… either a strap or tapes. Some of you would have noticed that I have stopped doing intervals. I have not given up running yet. Just taking a break to rest my knees and strengthen it at the same time. Not sure for how long yet. But I’ll definitely be back… better… faster… stronger!!! I will never abandon the team that had shown me the joy of running!
luv u guys…