I participated in the Sundown Marathon 2012 this morning and was thrilled to have completed my 21km race with the finishing timing better than what I have expected! Earlier this week, I went on a 4 days cruise trip on SuperStar Libra and had been feasting non-stop on food and haven’t been training much despite the race this weekend.
It was an unnerving experience to be given priority race position to be right at front of the starting line along with all the elites. A guy next to me ask me if I’m aiming to complete my 21km below 1hr 30mins and I was a bit taken back by all the professionals who are preparation their mind and body to ace the race.
I was taking photos away with my phone like a tourist while some people were looking at me, probably thinking “what on earth is this guy doing?!” Well, I am not a competitive runner like the rest of the them and running to me, is a form of leisure and hobby. Most importantly, it trains me mentally to have positive self-thoughts to overcome myself physical from fatigue.
This was the view of the crowd from where I was standing at the start line. More than 17,000 runners from the 21km and 42km categories were in the crowd and ready for the flag off at 12.30am! Marathon pacers from Team FatBird were present to guide runners who wish to finish with certain timings. Luckily, they were being flagged off batch by batch according to the goal timings of the pacers.
For myself, although my goal timing was 2 hours for my 21km run, I paced myself at 5 minutes per 1km throughout my 21km race so I can have a bit of buffer time to recharge myself at the various hydration stations. The water, 100 plus, bananas and energy gel were great but I was hoping for more road marshals especially since it is a night race and some routes can really be dark and uneven especially the ones after Marina Barrage. Some of the marshals were really cheering loudly despite the wee hours. Kudos to all of you!
Along Gardens by the Bay, I slowed down my pace to enjoy Marina Bay’s night skyline as it was a rare opportunity for me to be here at 1am. This is certainly one of the perks of Sundown Marathon 2012 with the new route!
Although the race was long and tiring, I enjoyed the run with the night breeze blowing against my face. Fatigue didn’t had a chance to set in as other runners along with me lengthened our stride and ran our way to the finishing line when we hit the 19km point. I blazed across Merdeka Bridge which spans over Kallang Basin with all my might and the last kilometer seems forever as I couldn’t see the other end of the bridge.
I told myself not to slow down and speed up as I was nearing the end of the race. Before I knew it, I was already at the finishing line with my medal! According to my bib number, here’s the timing which I was very happy about being ranked 108 among thousands of participants in the 21km category.
Mary Joy Tabal, 22 (PHI) came in 1st for the 21km Female category when she crossed the finish line at the 1h25m28s. Coincidentally, her coach John Philip Dueñas (PHI), 25, also won the 21km Male category at 1hr14m28s. What a double victory!
In this 5th edition of Sundown Marathon 2012, it saw a recording breaking number of more than 28,000 participants and it is the biggest night race in Singapore! This year, runners were brought to through a new scenic route from Nicoll Highway to Marina Bay Sands, Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay and the eastern tracks of Singapore unlike the past 4 years.
Some of my friends who are running the 42km marathon welcomed the rain at the second half of the run while some did not. For those who participate in Sundown Marathon 2012, do comment below and share your experience of your run with me! Also, if you missed this year’s Sundown, will you be participating next year?
* All my photos are taken using HTC One X smartphone.