Decided to try out the MR Ultramarathon on 31 Dec 2006. The reason is to test my body and see how it copes by running / walking in the undulating MR terrain for a straight 12-hours. The days prior to the ultra, it was raining non-stop every other day so many of us prayed for good weather, i.e. cool and dry weather on the day.
Well, we got what we asked for came 31 Dec. The sky was cleared when I left home at 5.50am. Sotong was very kind to pick Cosmic_wind and myself up at the Aljunied MRT and we reached MR at around 6.45am. There were many other runners and SGRunners there. After registration, we lined-up and LauKaYu took a group photos of SGRunners before we commenced the run.
I tried my best to keep up with the runners since I was not familiar with the route. But soon I was left behind even before we reached the Rangers Station. Luckily for me, I met Kayano, who was kind to lead me to the tree top. By the time we reached the golf course, I could only see a handful of runners. Gosh, was I slow or what! The route after the golf course was the most challenging. There were many roots and the ground was muddy and slippery. I couldn't run at all. So I was glad (at first), when I hit the main road.
Running along the main road was very tough as well, due to the 3 hills that you need to manoveure. The best part was when I turned into the MR carpark. It just gave me that oomph to go a little faster. And I completed my 1st lap in 1hr 30mins. I stopped to get some drinks from the end-point, rest for a few minutes, and proceed with the 2nd lap, which I attempted to run just like what I did for the 1st lap. Still, I wasn't sure about the direction. But luckily for me, I managed to follow some runners, like Flip, who zoomed past me. I found that the 2nd lap was slightly easier as I know what to expect. And managed to complete my 2nd lap in 1hr 30mins as well.
Before I went for my 3rd lap, I collected my sports drink from Sotong. Now, I decided I would walk all the way for the remaining laps. I met Shutehelup and we decided to pace each other for the 3rd lap. We also decided to run whenever there was good ground, e.g. the tree-top consisting of wooden planks, the route to the golf course, around the golf course and the main road. After we ran till the golf course, my momentum got the better of me. So I left Shut behind. :( Once I reached the main road, I jogged at a leisurely pace to the end point.
For my 3rd lap, I completed in 2 hours (about 12.00pm). At the transition / end point, I took some water melons and drinks before I started for my 4th lap. Again, I walked throughout the entire loop, opting to run when I reached the wooden planks and golf course areas. Along the main road, I met Sotong, Cheow12 and his doggie! It was sweet of them to walk in the opposite direction to take our photos. And so I completed my 4th lap in 2 hours. Although my lunch was already ready, I decided just to take 2 scoops of whipped potato. I know I couldn't each much as I drank a lot of water.
For my 5th lap, I took it even slowly then the previous 2 laps. Even for the wooden planks route, I decided to just fast walk as I was dead tired. Inside the trail, I met Sotong, Cheow12 and his dog. After taking photo, I continued my journey back to the end point, which I managed to complete in 2 hours 15 mins. By then, it was 4:15pm and I decided to continue for my 6th lap as I now I should be able to complete by 12 hours. At the start of my 6th lap, I met Uncle Chan (I think that's his name). He was doing his 5th lap and I offered to walk with him. However, he encourage me to go at my own pace. So I wished him good luck and walked ahead. Throughout my entire 6th lap, only a few runners ran past me, including Ultraman, who said I could complete the last part of the trail in 10mins before I hit the main road.
How right he was! He also said I could complete the last section of the route in 20mins. Due to fatigue, I walked almost the entire portion, and only run when the route was flat. Once I turned into the MR carpartk, I gave myself one last shot and I managed to complete my 6th laps with the same timing as my 5th. I had completed 63km in 11 hours 28 mins 9 secs. Felt really tired and just want shutdown my body and sleep. When I reached the end point, I ate my chicken rice and although it was already cold, it taste great! After collecting my finishing singlet and certificate, I went straight home.
It was a fulfilling run / walk for me and I met the objective (almost) of running / walking for 11 hours 28 mins 9 secs. I know exactly what I need to do if I opt to run in the 50-miler race in South Africa, 28 Apr. Based on my current fitness, I should complete between 18-20 hours. This is because the terrain in South Africa is much challenging and undulating. Plus, the route is not run in laps so every part of the running route would be new. But I believe that I would be able to do it in 18-20 hours if I train properly for it. And looks like I'll be running in MR every other weekend till then.
Lastly, I must mention about the great supporters from sgrunners. Without them, every step of this ultramarathon would weigh a ton heavier. I know I exaggerated a bit here but great thanks to you all out there. :)