Saturday, November 24, 2012

Exclusive: How Chris Dalton & Ning Baizura Made the Best Out of Their Trip Despite the Cancellation of ING NYC Marathon 2012

This year's New York City marathon was cancelled in the aftermath of the super storm Sandy. The marathon is the largest in the world, with more than 47,000 runners - about 20,000 of them from overseas - registered to take part this year. Avid runner, hubby and manager of R&B Songstress Ning Baizura, Chris Dalton talked to us about his trip New York for the now cancelled ING New York Marathon.

How did you prepare for the NYC Marathon?

It would have been so my third marathon this year, KL and River Jungle Run being the previous two. So they were my warm up. I know I could put a PB in NYM, so I focused everything towards that. I was running twice to three times a week; 20k at weekends, plus twice in the gym and weights to build up my strength.
I even did the Mt Kinabalu Climbathon. I finished it. It was the hardest event I have taken place in. I did it to give me some altitude training and boost my body's ability to push the limit. I think a marathon is easier than that race!

What was your expectation?

Not sure really. Excitement, adrenaline, crazy crowds, a PB. I have spoken to many runners who had done it. They told me there is no other marathon like it. The route and the crowd make a huge difference, plus the sheer numbers of runners, 47000 of them. Never will I have run with that many people!

We heard you were running for charity. Tell us more?

I was raising money for Make A Wish Malaysia. Ning is one of their ambassadors. They grant terminally ill children their last wish. It is a heart-felt cause.

When did you know the marathon was cancelled?

The Friday night before around 7pm.

What was your feeling and your reaction then?

Half expected to land on Wednesday in NY and find out they had called it off. It wasn't so all the talk was to donate money to the victims of Sandy and run for recovery of the city. The media didn't like it and wanted to target the marathon. The New York Post was especially out spoken. It was the media and then subsequent peer pressure from citizens of New York that got it cancelled.

Logistically it could still go ahead. No one spoke out about the Knicks games that same night, which had 10,000 fans turn up and then the New York Giants game which went ahead on marathon day. That had 80,000 fans turn up. So could it have happened, sure it could just like the rest of the major sporting events that weekend. NYRR just totally mishandled it. I think the Knicks and Giants game should have been called off too.

How did Ning take the news of the cancellation?

She was upset of course, but not much she can do.

How did you make the best out of the trip despite the cancellation?

I still ran in Central Park on the Sunday morning, along with 10000 other runners. Lots of spectators turned up. The atmosphere was electric. If that was 10% of what the real race is like, i was gutted but still happy to be out there.

Some runners still did the full run. I only did 10K as we decided to do other things that day. It was crisp morning so good for sight-seeing. Later in the week I did a timed 10K and 21K run in central park. The temperature was low around 12 deg. I did two personal best, beating my previous PB times by 8 minutes for each run. I would have loved to see how much I could have taken off the full length.

How did the trip go overall?

We went for a holiday too. So we had planned to spend 12 days in NY. We made the best of it and still had a great time!

Are you planning to do NYC marathon next year?

If they give me an automatic entry, sure I will be there next year. I had a taste of it, now I want the full cake!

What is your next race?

Singapore half 2nd Dec 2012.

Note: Photos are courtesy of Chris Dalton.

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