Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sundown Marathon 2008

What? Sundown Marathon 2008

When? 11:59pm (31 May 2008)

Where? Singapore

Distance? 42 f*cking km! (Oops!....This must be from the influence of Sex and the City. LOL!)

On Friday the 30 May 2008, Jamie, Frank, Choi, Cheang, Shine, Guna and I boarded the First Coach to SIngapore. In the same bus , we met Uncle Sonny and Ultraman Tey.

It was my first travel expereince with them. It was a pleasant journey. RM115 return, it is much cheaper Aeroline. No meal was provided. Only a bottle of water and a bun. Was listening to the 80's ans 90's songs from the indibvidual entertainment unit. I was quite impressed with the movie selection but too lazy to watch it on the teenie weenie screen. I would definitely travel with them again.

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The Arrival. That's Frank with his big suitcase. :)

The Race Kit Bag....

My 3 Ms target for this trip to Singapore is Music, Movie and Marathon.

Got my music. Raided HMV and Gramophone. Never left those shop empty handed. LOL!

Got the Movie. Watched Sex and the City! It is a f*cking fantastic movie. Opps...There I went again. Heheh! Pun well intended.

And now the MARATHON....(Insert violins and harps here)

After dinner, all of us (except Shine who left earlier for his Ultra Multra) took the MRT to Pasir Ris. From there we boarded the chartered shuttle bus to the start point. The bus ride cost SGD2.50. Nothing is free in Singapore. :)

Wah!....The bus was packed like sardines. Thank God no smell like sardines. LOL!

The start point was carnival like. Load music. Tents. People everywhere. There, we "reunited" with Jamie who left us earlier after arriving in Singapore. Justin der Hopper also there to give us moral support! Thanks, dude!

After the obligatory group photo, I went around looking for Amelia. She had registered for the Ultra Marathon but had to gave it up due to some health reason.

I inched my way to the start point about 10 minutes to blast off. I stood near this signboard. Heheh! I know my standard. Confession: I have not been training hard for this. My longest run before this marathon was the RMAF held a week ago. Suicidal? Maybe. LOL!

My aim was to finish before the cut off timing and to document my first night marathon as detail as possible in photos and video. So, timing was not my first concern.

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Blast off! As the clock stroke 12:00am, we were set off with a bang. Like any other race in Singapore, we had to shuffle before we could run - too many runners!

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The night was humid and balmy. For the first few km, we ran on nice even tarmac road. The road was well lit as you can see here.

The start point was in Changi. So, we got planes flying over our heads. Didn't manage to catch one on video. :)

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I think this was the first drinking station. Skipped it because there were too many people! Anyway, I was not feeling thirsty yet.

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We were given glow-in-the-dark sticks for the run. Some wore them around the neck. Some on the ankles (like this sweet young thing). I wore mine round my wrist like a bangle.

Wonderful supporters along the route. Thank you! I guess they must be runners themselves judging from the sport gear they had on.

Step by step. Bit by Bit...I'm gonna make it.

You gotta have faith!

Finish???? No way. Still a long way to go. It was for a bike event.

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Beautiful night view. I really enjoyed the first half of the run. It was brightly lit and scenic. And many supporters along the way.

My nose and saliva gland worked overtime here - great wonderful BBQ smell from the family picnics along the coast. Heheh! It was a great night to be out there, you know.

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I particularly like this video snippet. It captured the spirit of the Sundown Marathon. It was dark but the glow sticks led the way, beautifully. :)

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Bad bad water station! Huge crowd. Drink was not ready for the dehydrated runners. We even had to mix our own 100plus Isotonic drink as evident from this video! Bad! Bad!

Note to organiser - please pour the water or mix the drink way way before the runners arrive. When they arrive, you wouldn't have time to serve them.

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It was the weirdest marathon route I have ever ran - it included FIVE pedestrian bridges!!!! What's with that? They were narrow. Some even badly lit like this one shown.

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And then the grand tour around Singapore flats....:P

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My least favourite part of the run. A long stretch along the Bedok Resevoir. It was dark. I got wet sand into my shoes. Dang! What is this? A friggin cross country? LOL!

I was very thirty and sleepy. Gotta have my caffeine fix. I did the unimaginable on a marathon course! Ran into a convenient store at a Shell station and get myself a can of COKE. LOL!

Hmmmmm...very nice. Still can remember the fresh tingly feeling down my throat as I gulped down that bubbly can of Coke. BTW, This post is not sponsored by Coca~cola.

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My nightmare! And I was not even sleeping!!!!

It started raining in a sudden. Complete with loud thunder and lightning as I about 6 km to the finish line. Why? Why now?

I marched on despite the rain. Miserable. Cold. And hungry. (Insert sniffle and whimper here)

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I was quite happy when I see that I have two more KMs to go. Then I saw the road was all the way up hill. Yikes! The marathon route must be designed by some sado-machocist dude who loves torturing people! (Insert whipping sound effects here) video

Finally, swaggering to the FINISH line!

Yay! I made it through the rain! My timing sucks but hey I made it!

I collected two bottles of drink, a banana, finisher T and medal. Then I saw the beautiful sunrise and glad that it was all over. I ran all night.

All my other marathoner friends had completed their run and changed to dry clothes. I was still drenched from head to toes. Then Frank pointed out something in the sky....

Wow! It was a beautiful rainbow stretching across the blue sky. All the pain and aches just disappeared temporarily.

What a wonderful gift. Then I remember a quote from country singer Dolly Parton - If you want the rainbow, sometimes you have to put up with the rain. How true!!!

My precious.....First and the last night marathon for me. :)

Bragging rights.....The logo at the back of the finisher T.

Overall, I enjoyed myslef tremendously in this trip to Singapore. I got to do my 3 Ms. Music. Movie. and Marathon.

What kept the motor running:

1) Genrally well organised run. On-line registration was a breeze.

2) Race kit collection for oversea runners was easy.

3) Those glow stick thingy. It add the fun factor into the run. Not to mention safety.

4) Batallion of helpful volunteers along the way.

5) Beautiful medal and finisher T.

What got on our tits.

1) Distance Marker. Should be available every km. The distance also need to calibrated. My friend's satelite Garmin thingy recorded a total distance of 43km for the marathon. An extra km for the marathoners and two for the ultra! That's really crazy.

2) Drinking Stations - need to improved. Water should be poured and ready before the runners arrival. We can't be expected to mix our own drink.

3) No overhead bridges - they are narrow, dark and not runners friendly.

4) No running along smelly moonsoon drains please.

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Bye Bye Singapore. :)

Acknowledgment:

Amelia Ang - Thank you for coming all the way from KL to support us. Hope you can run with us soon.

My travel entourage - Jamie, Choi, Cheang, Frank, Guna and Shine. Thanks for the arrangement. Thank you for waiting for me, the last of the lot. LOL!

Familiar faces from Malaysia - Haza, Tey, Ms. Leong, Uncle Sonny, Corrine, Jeffrey, Justin etc. Thank you for being there. It's nice to see a familiar face on a "foreign" land.

The organiser, traffic police officers and the volunteers. Thanks for giving up your sleep to organise such a wonderful event.

The strangers cum supporters along the the route. Though I don't know you, every cheers and every encouragement from you kept me going. Thank you!

I'd love to dedicate this songs to all of you guys....

Birds flying high you know how I feel

Sun in the sky you know how I feel

Reeds driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me

And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel

River running free you know how I feel

Blossoms in the tree you know how I feel

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know

Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean

Sleep in peace when day is done

That’s what I mean

And this old world is a new world

And a bold world

For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel

Scent of the pine you know how I feel

Oh freedom is mine

And I know how I feel

Note: This song has a story behind it. Shine was telling himself to give it up when approaching the pit stop after 42km as the knee was giving way already. Somehow he just garnered the strength to keep going despite the pain. He sang this song to keep him going during his second half of his gruelling 84km run. Very inspiring this. Congrats, Shine! You got taste in music-lah! :P

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