Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sundown Ultramarathon (84km)...

This was my 4th event for 2008. But it would be my first completed ultra event if I managed to complete it due to my DNF for Addo Elephant 100-mile earlier this month. Frankly speaking, since I flew to South Africa for my 100-mile event, I had not really train for both the Copenhagen Marathon and the Sundown Ultramarathon, due to the fact that I had just 1 week of rest in between these 3 events. Must be quite idiotic of me to plan for such events, come to think of it. I wouldn't suggest novice runners or even experienced runners to try this out - I must be really out of my mind, crazy, insane, etc while I was registering for the events I guess. :p

Since the ultramarathon starting time was at 8:30pm, I decided to sleep late on Friday night. My plan was to watch a midnight movie on Friday, and sleep till I wake up on Saturday on my own, without the help of alarm clocks. But you see, plan is only a plan and most times, plans change. Though I did not set any alarm clock, I managed to wake up at mid-morning. Surfed the internet and SGRunners' forum. After a quick wash up, I decided to go to East Point Mall's Eighteen Chef for a carbo-loading lunch. They served great baked rice and my favourite was Garlic Fish Baked Rice without cheese. I ordered an extra plate of garlic bread and a can of Coke (with calories - well, I'll need all the extra calories!!!) :p I went back home after lunch and tried to sleep. Somehow, I was too active to sleep and I end up surfing the internet instead of resting.

By 3pm, I was getting sleep again. Went to take a nap and managed to get around an hour's of rest. Then I received an sms from TLR, who was checking if I'll be going down to the SGRunners booth at the event start/end point. We agreed to meet up earlier to setup the booth. In fact, TLR was so kind to give me a lift. [Thanks, Boss!] So TLR, Fd, Philip and me arrived at the Sundown's Start/End Point to prepare our booth. By then, most of the booths were already setup. TLR brought his laptops, as well as samples of the past SGRunners running gear. His plan was to attract more members by promoting SGRunners so that we could share and learn from each other. Indeed, we saw some new members signing up as well as buying the 3rd generation SGRunners running gear. By 7pm, some SGRunners were already mingling and chatting around.

At 8pm, I went to deposit my baggage for the transition area and proceeded to the start point for warm-ups. There, I saw Jodan and kcslchin who were taking part in the 42km relay where each runner had to run a 10km segment. [Oops, couldn't recall who were your other 2 members.] The 42km relay was also starting at the same time as those doing the ultramarathon 84km event. At 8.30pm sharp, the organiser flagged off the race. I felt heavy in my stomach. :( Should have had my lunch earlier but it was too late now. So I jogged slowly. At the 5km u-turn point (where the relay runners u-turn to the start/end point, the rest of us continue running towards the ECP directions. After about 2km, I felt better and was able to pick up my pace. I passed Cfred84 and also our MP, Mr Teo Ser Luck, though I expect both of them to run past me eventually, which Cfred84 did. :p

I was feeling good and continued running at my own comfortable pace. Along ECP, I saw Fd and her family. Then Tiwazz, Charlotte, Alvo and Meteor. I waved to them and signaled to Tiwazz that I'll took my gel from him after the u-turn at Big Splash, which I did. It was a godsend having the support team and their encouragement got me going. Then, I saw BrokenRunner, Raven, DreamRunner and DO! Which could only meant that I had been running too fast. I deliberately slowed down and they eventually ran passed me along the Siglap Park Connector, with BrokenRunner and Ravenrunning passed me after the 2nd support team situated along Bedok Reservoir. Nevertheless, I was still full of energy and not one bit did I felt sleepy at all!

I passed Fennel just before the 40km marker and then ran together with ...Kk... for the last few hundreds to cross the 42km mark at approximately 5hrs 40mins. This was 40mins off my target as I was hoping to do a sub-5 marathon in local climate but apparently, this was still a tall order for me due to the heat and humidity. After changing to a new pair of shoes and wrist band, I grabbed a packet of milo and continued for the 2nd lap. It was a tough 2nd lap. I started walking 100 steps and running 100 steps before slowly increasing to 200 steps (running) and 100 steps (walking) and then 300 steps (running) and 100 steps (walking). Eventually, I slowly built up to running 1,000 steps followed by walking 100 steps. This, together with the lightnings that flashed ahead, kept my mind alert! I was so happy to see Tiwazz and Charlotte again along ECP. By then, it was about 6am plus in the morning.

Then it started raining. It was refreshing as I was feeling the heat. After I passed by the 2nd support team into Bedok Reservoir, I met Commando. We then passed and gotten passed each other numerous time, until before the Pasir Ris Park where I lost him for good. At approximately the 78km mark, I met Stardust and I decided to take a break by walking the last 6km with him. :p We managed to cross the tape at 10:20am, after running/walking for 13 hours 50 minutes! Well done to all the ultramarathon finishers!!!

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