Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2006

I did my maiden marathon last year 2005, and registered a 4hr8min timing. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, though it was one heluva tough run. I vowed to be back to tackle the 4hr barrier for 2006, and went about training for it.

Exuberant SgRunners before the start of SCSM 2006

The day of reckoning arrived today. I was part of 9,000 full marathoners doing the 42.195km distance, a record turnout. A total of 30,000 runners registered for SCSM06, making it one of the key running events in the region. I started my carbo-loading on Friday, topped with a steamboat dinner with the SAFRA MF group, and continued on to Saturday with ramen, sweet potato soup, crab-meat fried rice and lots of salty snacks :). Woke up with just 2hrs sleep at 3am, and got ready with Beverly (who did her maiden 21km in a very good time of 2hr12min). Picked DO and LTH up, and we reached the Tan Kim Seng Fountain at 4.30am. Met up with many SgRunners, and we had a group photo prior to the race. I proceeded to The Esplanade and found the SAFRA MF group assembled there. Trainer Ong, Kumaran, all looking set to do very well.

The Race
When I got out from the toilet, it was 10min to flag-off time, and I found myself stuck behind a long queue. I was trying to move up nearer to the 4hr Trifam pace team, but there was no way I could get past the dense crowd. Finallly settled next to lcpSimon, and we wished each other good luck. Minister Khaw flagged off the race, and it took me a few minutes to get to the front...phew. This is one race that took me so long to reach the starting chipmat. As I crossed the mat, I found myself stuck behind runners doing 6min/km pace. It took me at least 4km to get out of that, all the way turning into Marina South. IMD was nice to take a photo of me, with words of encouragement. He was out to enjoy the race.

The First 21km
I met Sok Hwa, Wong and Phei Sunn along the way, and as I pass them, I gave the thumbs up. As I ran into Marina South, met Sandy and then Shirlyn. I passed the 11km in 1hr2min...wah, very slow man. I was able to pick up speed as the crowd had thinned. As I exited from Marina South and along Shenton Way and Nicholl Highway, the weather was still very cool....no sun at all. I remembered clearly this stretch was hot last year. The zipper of the pouch in my fuel belt gave way...yikes, what a time...I spent a good 5min fiddling with the zipper to no avail...shucks, this thing is new leh. I then transferred my car keys to my back pouch, and continued on. Gotta catch up for lost time yet again :(.

22km-34km (East Coast Parkway)
I entered East Coast Parkway, and crossed the 22km mark in 2hr2min...still off, but have made up for a bit of lost time. Saw the SgRunners support station and Fd took a shot...thanks Fd. Then saw kkchin who depsite injury was doing a 4hr pacer job. He mentioned that we were slightly behind schedule, and that the 4hr pace group was in front. I couldn't see them, but based on timing, I know they cannot be too far in front. The ECP were lined with casual supporters, holding out bananas and drinks...a nice gesture which I didn't see last year. I took a banana from a family who handed out, and munched happily as I soaked in the cheers. As I moved to the 25km mark, I could see many familiar faces from SAFRA zooming back....fast lah... Benson, Ong, Sam, Tech Hou, Derrick, Eddie, Melvin, Jimmy were some of those I can recall. Shouted to them words of encouragement and gave the thumbs up. I was trying to take it easy and slowly catch up, but was a bit concerned that I was so far away....hmm.

Getting into the Reservoir area, I could see Ultra coming back...wah, he was easily 2km ahead...*impressed*. I still don't see the Trifam 4hr pace group leh...they surely must be running below 4hr pace. I took another portion of my PowerGel mix, and continued to move on. I could feel a little tightness, but was able to maintain pace. At the Food Centre, I saw OP and touched his back...he was nice to take a photo shot of me....thanks OP. I continued back along the Cable-Ski area, and on the way back saw Brokie...shouted at her, but she was so focused...she was just about 2km behind me....wah, got chance for good timing. At the 28km, a slight cramp hit me and I slowed down. Took lots of deep heat from the support station, and continued on...no time to lose.

30km Support Station
I passed the SgRunners 30km support station, and was cheered by a large group of supporters...Roonz, James, Fd as I remembered their faces....I think James passed me a sponge....wow, that was heavenly...great to have that kind of support at that critical stage. I reached the 30km in 1hr45min...a quick calculation told me I had 75min to do 12km, which roughly translates to a 6min+ pace. I quickened the pace to bank in more buffer, in case I get heat with severe cramps in the final stages. I spotted Colleen at the 32km mark, and she was moving so strong and steady. Told her to keep up the good pace, before proceeding to pace this tall ang moh who was walking/sprinting....somehow they like to adopt this kind of running tactics.

The stretch along Fort Road was punishing, and when I stopped to get a drink amidst the cheers of a large Runspirator group, I was hit with cramps...wow, pain pain. I walked for 10m for the calf cramp to subside, before running again. I overtook the ang moh guy, and he 'chionged' some more. We paced one another along Mountbatten Road, and I left him when it was 7km to go. Time was 3hr8min, meaning I had 52min to cover 7km+. I spotted doraemon_red and Sok Hwa in front. Both were running steadily. I used them as 'eyes' for a while, and overtake them along Nicholl Highway. There was still good cloud cover. With 5km to go, Lim Ngee Huat ran up. He was going steady and the group of us were all going for a sub-4hr of course. I just hoped that my cramps do not act up. I was still running very cautiously up to that point.

Final 5km
The final 5km stretch is always a 'mental' run as this part see us going along the kallang area, and traffic was already crawling by the side. Fumes were being emitted by the car exhausts. Fortunately, there was no heat to contend with. I crossed the 38km mark with 36min to spare...hmm, can afford to run at 8min pace...hehe. As I ran along downslope, I spotted TLR in front, and he was having a ball of a time...as I was 'beo-ing' TLR, I heard someone shouted 'Dream'. I looked over and saw it was RealRunner...he was down with a medic...he must have had cramps or something...I put up a hand to acknowledge, as I had already gone past (RR did finish the race in 4hr+, after an hour of waiting for the cramps to subside *salute*). I entered the familiar Marina Promenade area with 3km to go. I had 27min to spare...hmm, ok, if I don't get cramps, I should be home in sub-4hr.

As I was 'dreaming'...hehe, someone shouted at me...it was Teck Heng, who was getting medical attention for cramps. He gave the thumbs up, and said 'well done'. (LTH went on to finish in 4hr10min after his cramps were being treated...well done for the finish). I pushed on, and soon caught up with LNH, and overtook him with 2km to go. I could see the Trifam gal who used to run the Animiles run in front...she was strong. I overtook her with 1km to go. I had 12min to spare.

The Finish
I pushed on and finished round The Padang with my hands raised. I looked up and the Clock read 3:55...As I crossed the finish, my watch read 3:54...will wait for the official net chip timings. It was a satisfying run, but it was hard on me as I had to play catch up all the way. Eng Hwa passed me a drink, and yes...Sok Hwa and tktan was just in front of me...good timings. Took a photo with Sok Hwa, and then went to collect my finisher's medal and T-Shirt. Met Richy who mentioned it was his toughest marathon race yet. Then spotted Divey on the other side of the rail...she did pretty well for her 21km, with no pain whatsoever. I got updates on the who's who that came back from the Marathon from her....haha...thanks Divey!

The SAFRA Team did very well...Kumaran 3:25, Ong 3:30, Melvin 3:38, Derrick 3:44, Freddy 3:45, Jimmy 3:53 among others. Collen did exceptionally well, recording her first sub-4hr marathon at 3:59. She was close to tears of joy. Brokie came back shortly in 4:16, and she too had emotions of joy written on her face. Cokiee, Philip, shortlegs, Igloo, OP, George, dasher, notme, stazla, acleong, Vincent all did very well. The Golden Boys Ultra did 3:50 and DO 3:52. I congratulated David Tay on his very steady 4hr pace, and his team did very well to do 3:53. I was happy enough with my sub-4hr performance, and though it is not my marathon PB, I will take it as a PB for SCSM, one of the toughest marathons I have encountered (because of its very flat terrain and humid conditions). Now for some well deserved rest, and post-race dinner with the HK and Sg Runners at Brewerkz :).

Distance: 42.195km__Time: 3hr54min__Pace: 5:33min/km

A SgRunners SCSM06 Video - Courtesy of tekko

Official Results Out!

Detailed RACE Results!

Marathon-Photos HERE!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


At 3:44 PM, Blogger Tinly said...

Hi Dream Runner

Enjoy each moment of your article.

Whether PB a not, most important is you enjoy your run.


At 6:14 PM, Blogger doraemon_red said...

DR, congrads on ur good timing! Glad my red top served as a good target for u :P


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