Saturday, March 31, 2007

MacRitchie after 3 months

Its been 3 months since I did the MR25 Ultramarathon at MR. Went down for a 21km (Carpark -> Northern Trail -> SICC -> UPR -> AirCond Road -> U-Turn at OUTR Main Gate -> UPR -> AirCond Road -> SICC -> Northern Trail -> Carpark). The carpark at MR was expanded and there were lots of parking slots available. The entrance carpark to the left was closed for upgrading. Met tBee, Ronnie, Piglet and the whole tigger family warming up for their regular Sat run. Run3 and taz were there for some ninja trail training too. Fennel, DO, Cheow12 and I started at 7:08am in what was very clear weather.

Because of my runny nose and sore throat, I decided to do an easy pace. Came out of Northern Trail with the group in 22min...hmm, havent't ran trails for some time, and could feel my ankles a little wobbly.....good thing I had on my Nike Vomero, which offered ample cushioning such that I don;t feel the rocky surface. Tackled the chunky slopes along SICC before proceeding to cross the bridge towards UPR. It was a pretty humid and sunny morning, and the aircond breeze was most welcomed along the stretch. Ronnie and Tigger were running out as we approached the power station. I was glad I had my fuel belt as my throat and mouth were feeling dry from the medication. We turned left towards UPR and manouvred the 2.5 slopes pretty smoothly. Cheow12 and DO were just behind, and enjoying themselves.

Did a U-turn at the Main Gate, and ran back the reverse 2.5 slopes, and onto AirCond Road for the second loop. We wanted to avoid the messy Sime Trail and the landslide area near the Ranger station, so did the AirCond Rd again to make up. On the way in AirCond, saw Ronnie coming out already. On the way out, saw Bug (who was late for 30min) come in....good that he caught up quite a fair bit. We did a water stop at the UPR toilet area, before running back along the rolling slopes of SICC. Other than for the blocked nose which made my breathing a little difficult, I was otherwise feeling ok. The final 4km stretch of Northern Trail in reverse was by then (8.30am) rather crowded with trekkers and students. It made a nice obstacle course as it required some deft footwork to manouvre those many people. Some of the slopes, especially the steeper ones, did not make it any easier.

Was glad to complete the 21km in less than 2hr, as the sun was by then beating down fiercely. Fennel who went the wrong way, had finished just earlier. She liked this MR route a lot, and vowed to be back for more. Cheow12 and DO soon came back, and Bug came back in another 20min. Spotted Commando doing his intensive training....its been some time since we ran with him :). Was glad to bump into stazla and her friend, plus Burnz who ran with tigger's group. I enjoyed the nice catching-up and chit-chatting, before breaking off for my next appointment. I should be starting to do more runs at MR...just wish that there would be better wash-up facilities soon.

Distance: 21km XC__Time: 1hr56min__Pace: 5:31min/km

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Twin Cemetaries n Ghurkhas

Received an interesting email from DO, informing of his latest find of a 10km route around my home. His email went "I ran fm my place down to Maris Stella > bartley rd > turn left toward potong pasir > enter the old muslim cementery thru the side rd entry near the mosque> followed the existing road path till i hit a dead end due to some construction work fence > U-Turn back to the mosque> proceed to the christian cementery > did 2 loop ard there > then head back to bartley rd > then home ... the easy run took abt 55min ... guess it abt 10km..or less.. ".

I couldn't wait to try out the route, and asked Bev to join me for the recce run. As we turned off from the usual Bartley Rd to Upp. Serangoon Rd towards Potong Pasir, we spotted the
mosque. It dawned on me that it was the area where I always wondered whenever I drove past. It looked like a vast piece of wooded land. As Bev n I turned into the small road leading into the old Muslim Cemetary, we were greeted by a serene setting. As we trotted through the quiet woods, we could hear ourselves pant as we manouvred the slight slopes skirting Mt. Vernon Crematorium and then Maris Stella High School. We could see quite a number of people running along the roadside. We did the U-turn as mentioned by DO, and headed out the same way we came in, though we could take a detour into the Crematorium time bah.

When we were back out from the Muslim Cemetary, we had done about 25min of running. We then moved along towards Mt. Vernon Road, and spotted a vast piece of land across, with lots of runners all over a myriad of small roads...hmm, interesting. We decided to run in there, and as we approached the Potong Pasir MRT, I realized it could be the Christian Cemetary. We immediately turn inwards, and started to run all over the vast expanse. Lots of runners were in there....the whole place seemed to be full of Ghurkhas....easily 15-20 of them, all very fit and lean looking too. Then I realized where the Ghurkhas do their ninja those cemetaries. Very good training groud. As we went up and down the slopes (it was real fun for me...hehe), Bev was commenting how hard the workout was and how much she was loving the pain...hahaha.

We spent 20min in the Christian Cemetary grounds, and had a very enjoyable time zig-zagging and criss-crossing the whole place...:). We went off towards Mt. Vernon Rd, passing the Ghurkha Contingent camp on our way back home. It was one interesting and fun run for me, and it was good that Bev had a good workout too. She mentioned there were no gals in the area, and we did only see 1 lone gal on a bike....otherwise, it was full of Ghurkhas...I would suggest that SuperGal spend some time doing her ninja training there...she will love it...hehe. We did a bit more in the housing estates for a 11km run...I will definitely spend some time to visit the place again, and maybe organize a fun run with some kakis.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

AniMILES Revisited

Heard that the AniMILES Runners were doing a 27km to the Zoo on Saturday, and went down with a few SgRunners to join them at a crazy 5am start time. I slept for about 2 hours the previous night, woke up at 2.30am, did some work on the comp till it was time to go pick DO. When we arrived to Lower Pierce Reservoir Carpark, SC5, WaterGal and Swoop were already there. Then Lieu and the rest of the fast AniMILES arrived. SgRunners Bug, Cheow12, Fennel, tktan and doraemon_red also joined us.

We started off into the not-so-cool morning at 5.10am. The stretch of meandering Old Upper Thomson Road were really not so good for the legs. I did feel a little strain on my left ankle, trying to land properly on the winding sides. We were running as a group all along OUTR onto Upper Thomson Road, before Cheow12, DO and myself went towards Seletar Resevoir for an extra 700m. I took the lead for a bit, and was surprised to see so many dogs (there must have been at least 10 of them) lurking along the road to the Reservoir. I remained calm as I ran past them, and did not get any eye contact with they pretty much left our small group alone (they did bark at other groups then went past them subsequently).

We took a quick toilet stop, and away we went towards Mandai Road. I tried to maintain a steady pace, as I ran towards the zoo. My Nike Vomero provided the necessary cushion for the hard concrete along that stretch. It seemed quite long, and by the time I reached the road leading to the zoo, it was 1hr8min...then I realized my stopwatch was not set...aiya, I tried to fiddle with it a little, but could not get back the elapsed time. Into the zoo, the front group like Lieu and Bug were already coming out. Met SC5 and BostonGal making their turn, and I followed them out. Once out onto Mandai Road, I waved SC5 who stopped at his mobile water point for a drink, as I made my way for the remaining 12km home stretch. After running about 18km, I felt my legs getting heavy, and my glycogen tank running low. I did not really eat much for this run, wanting to use it to deplete any excesses.

As I approached the Crematorium area, I saw a blinking light in the distance. I got nearer and saw that it was Swoop. At the junction turning back to Seletar Reservoir, I decided to just go straight ahead. Swoop and DO followed from behind. I turned into Upper Thomson Road again, and daylight had broken. My legs felt heavy, but its quite normal for me after running for 20km+ at a 5:30min/km pace. As I got back to OUTR, I decided to walk that small slope just to give my aching ankle some reprieve. After that 50m stretch of walk, it was all the way through the winding OUTR road. I could feel my left ankle taking the strain....this stretch really not good for the legs. Finally finished the 27.5km run in 2hr32min with the group of 27km and 19km runners already resting. Took a cold refreshing drink of 100plus, thanks to Bug. I enjoyed this AniMILES run and the good company, and importantly, I have done my weekend run and will have Sunday to rest.

Distance: 27.5km__Time: 2hr32min__Pace: 5:32min/km

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tempo & Fartlek

It rained a little just before we were about to set off from SAFFRA MF Clubhouse. I decided to change into my old pair of adiZero SN (1000km mileage) and put on my adidas cap. The large group of us proceeded to trod through the series of traffic junctions along Henderson Road, all the way to Tiong Bahru Park. We bypassed the turn into Tiong Bahru Park because of some construction, thereby cutting down the 14km distance to an estimated 12km.

This route being relatively flat and easy and with the distance cut short, I thought I should just do a tempo run to practise running at a sustained hard pace. I broke away from the rear group along the Delta Canal, and ran by myself at a constant, but not too fast pace. At the end of the Canal, I saw Ong walking back, and the whole group of frontrunners waiting by the bridge. I thought they were waiting for us at the was later that I realized that Ong had fallen and cut himself rather deep. That was the same spot that Sok Hwa fell and cut herself 1.5years ago, landing her in hospital for a few days. Ong later went to the Hospital and fortunately had his injured leg taken care of.

From Delta Canal into Ridley Park, I moved up to run alongside Alber, Bill, PS, just behind Jim. They were setting a good pace for me to up my tempo. I maintained that, and increased a little down to Dempsey Road, where I saw DO waiting. We ran together from there, with a new runner KK drafting me closely. KK has good pace and steady strides. We moved along steadily along Margaret Drive and all the way back to Delta Canal. I could feel KK increasing his pace, and I decided to push it as well. Along Delta Canal, I could feel KK breathing hard, and he was maintaining very good pace...well done. With about 3km left, I did some fartlek-style running, speeding up and then steadying the pace, varying my strides from short to mid. All those while, KK was running alongside me....He later said it was a blistering, but good pace.

We reached Henderson Road to be joined by Alber, PS and a few others. With 1km left, I told KK to push it, and we finished off at the ClubHouse feeling very satisfied with the hard run. The stretching routine led by Julie was good. When I had washed up, and on my way to my favourite Red Rice Wine Chicken Soup, I received a call from Jaime, who said Alber found my cap lying outside the gym...Arghh, so forgetful of me...I am just not used to having a running cap with me :)

Distance: 12km__Time: 1hr__Pace: 5min/km average

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Staircase cum Hill Training

SAFRA MF have begun to include a series of circuit and staircase training to the running program. We did a hill run on Tuesday evening, followed by staircase loops. There was a large turnout of about 30 runners. A few new runners joined in too..jeremy, desmond from trifam. We started off at 6.45pm and headed towards MF carpark. On the slope up Morse Road, we did a 'chiong-ing' run as a group, it was fun, and I was drained with all the lactic acid built up.

We took a rest and started on 4 sets of the 1.6km MF Loop. The first 2 loops were really tough, as I was feeling the strain from the dash-up earlier....hehe. Took some water at the end of the 2nd loop and felt much better. Each time up the MF slopes was really a hard workout on the cardio and the legs. I could see many of the runners tiring, but still they persisted to complete. Some of the new runners were impressive, doing their best to keep up.

I sure was glad to complete the 4 MF loops, and immediately followed trainer Ong to do 3 sets of staircase climbs up to MF via the 200+ steps near the mosque. I did a steady walkup, and then jogged down the slopes, and ran down the flight of steps....reminded me of running down Tiphohon Gate at Mt. Kinabalu. The stairs training was quite nice for a change, and combined with the hillrun sets, made for a hard workout with a nice variation...I liked it.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rainy days & Runnin days

The heavens opened with no mercy on Tuesday evening. I was looking forward to a 14km long run to burn away the excesses. We waited for a while at SAFRA MF, and when there were no signs of letting down, trainer Ong decided to have us do circuit training. We did 5 sets of squats, heel-raises, burpees, steps-up and leg-raises...1min each exercise, before moving on to the next exercise with 2 min rest in between. The burpees were the toughest, and my muscles were aching the next day. The circuit training finished at 8pm, and since there was some time, I went for a quickie 5km run around 1 loops of Telok Blangah Rise.

It rained on Wednesday, and fortunately the weather cleared by 6pm. I did the usual recovery run with Beverly. My inner thighs and quads were aching from the previous night's circuit training. Still I managed to maintain a steady pace throughout the 52min 10.5km. I was surprised by Bev's 57min 10km this evening...apparently she had been applying some of the techniques in the Chi-Running book of mine she has been reading...haha. Well done!

It threatened to rain on Thursday evening again. Since I was going to be near town, I decided to drop by for the Running Lab Run, instead of going up to SAFRA MF. It was many moons since I went down to the RL run. It was great to see and catch up with RL runners...Eddie, tekko and mrs, VRP gals Karen & Michelle...SgRunners taz, cfred, SV, Alvo....and new friends like Norbert and many new faces. Maybe its because I haven't seen them for a while, it seemed that Karen and Michelle have really lost weight.....much slimmer....might be due to more runs...hehe. We did a 11km run from Esplanade area to Kallang Bridge and back. The pace was fast and furious, and I had trouble catching the front runners, and was glad to settle into a more comfortable 5min/km pace. Finished the run in 54min....good workout.

Went down to SAFRA MF on Sunday for a 5+15km run. DO and I went early and did a 5km warm-up run around the Telok Blangah loop. Rested for a bit, and joined the smallish group of 15 MF Runners for a 15km loop up to Mt. Faber. I felt quite drained after 10km, probably because I didn't have breakfast. I had to stop twice for water. Managed to finish the final 5km loop reasonably ok. After the run, we attended a talk on 'Stengthening & Conditioning For Runners' by Angelin, a pro fitness instructor who had recently joined SAFRA MF. There was good theory and hands-on....very good session, thanks to Angelin for the free advise and tips.
Distance: 20km__Time: 1hr50min__Pace: 5:30min/km

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

HK Marathon 2007 : Trip Photo Memories

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

HK Marathon 2007: Marathon Photo memories...

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Demoralizing Route Revisited

It was some time since we did the demoralizing Changi Coastal Road stretch...last could be in November last year in preparation for SCSM06. DO, Cokiee, doraemon and I reached F2 carpark at 7.05am. Shutehelup, SassyRunner, teelee, Alvo, Meteor and Shut's friend also just arrived. tktan, sealboon, Ultraman were already waiting. RealRunner had set off to run at 6am. While waiting for Brokie and tooty, the few of us did a to/fro from F2 to Lagoon and back for a 20min warm-up run, covered about 3.5km.

When we reached back to F2 carpark, Brokie and tooty had arrived. The whole group started off for our 'actual' run towards the demoralizing route. The morning promised to be a hot and sunny one. xdd and tktan were leading the way, whilst the rest of us followed closely from behind. Some discussion broke out about the ergonomics of running, and Ultraman and Cokiee offered some good advise. Once out along NSRCC and onto Coastal Road, we were pretty much running in a straight line. I moved up at about a 5:20min/km pace and maintained that mostly for the 8km stretch of the demoralizing road, about 200m from teelee.

It was still cool with the shade offered by the large trees along the roadside. There were lots of cyclists and trucks moving against our direction. This stretch of the coastal road is really 'mental' and 'demoralizing' because it seemed so long and never-ending. As I was not carrying any water, what kept me going was the toilet/water point ahead at the Changi Beach Ferry Terminal. I finally completed the first stretch in 1hr3min. The few of us estimated that distance to be 12-12.5km. Teelee went further up for extra distance, while I took a nice water break and soon the rest came in, all very glad to see this first pit-stop :).

After the quick break, we ran back with the sun beating on our backs. I was pacing Brokie for a good 25min, and having a good chat about many things...that was really helpful to distract me from the monotonous demoralizing road. Large trucks breezed by us a number of times, and they seemed to be getting quite close to us....hmm, we must run on the other side of the road the next time. With about 3km to the turn off back to NSRCC, I ran slightly ahead and broke off from brokie. I could see teelee and tktan in front, and I just followed on. I was still feeling good, albeit a little disturbed by the heat. tktan signalled me to go ahead, and into NSRCC, I paced with teelee for a good 2km or so.

It was so HOT at that stretch....I just couldn't wait to finish it and get some water on my parched, salty lips. Soon I was running alone as teelee had decided to cool off his engine. Since it was just 2km more to the finish, I maintained pace and finished the run, taking about 1hr for this return stretch. Meteor and tooty had already finished their shorter run, and was cheering us as we ran back. There was a nice drinks van selling iced-cold isotonic drinks for $1 a pop...a godsend for a steamy hot day. Soon everyone came back, all yelling out that it was a 'tough run'...yes, for sure it was hot and really mental running this sealboon finally understood why its termed The Demoralizing Run...hehe. We had a good washup before proceeding to Changi Village Food centre for the highly-recommended beef noodles...hmm, yummy...a well deserved reward for a hard run.

Distance: 28km__Time: 2hr36min__Pace: 5:34min/km

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Recovery Week After HK Marathon

My legs were feeling much better already on Monday...not much fatigue this time. Had wanted to do a recovery run on Tuesday just to keep up the exercise routine. As Bev went out to open the gate at about 6.15pm, raindrops started falling. I heard it had been raining for the past few days when I was in HK...wah, lots of deprivation of runs. Because of the boring stuff on TV, I decided to do a quickie at about 8.30pm. Went out in my Speedstar (I had actually used the Nike Vomero for my HK marathon....Gosh!) and it felt cushiony and light. The night was cool and quiet as I ran a approximate 5:30min/km pace to complete was a shiokz run.

Since Bev didn't get to run on Tuesday, I ran with her on Wednesday around the 10km route. As usual I will add 500m to my routine. It threatened to rain, but held out in the end. I felt a little tired in the second 5km of the run, probably starting out a little fast, and still recovering from the HK run. Was spotted by taz running along Upper Serangoon Road stretch...haha. Completed the 10.5km route in 56min, and walked a stretch to wait for Bev. She came home in exactly an hour, not bad, considering she visited the toilet and waited for a few traffic lights :)

My new adiZero KAHA from HK

Took my new adiZero KAHA (bought from HK sale) for its maiden run at SAFRA MF on Thursday evening. It was a recovery run for the runners who just came back from the HK Marathon...we did a new route from Telok Blangah -> Tiong Bahru Park -> Kim Seng Bridge -> Fort Canning -> Esplanade -> and back the same way. Ended with about 12km done in 1hr10min. The KAHA wore very well, with ample cushion and spring, and felt very light. According to taz, this is a similar model to adiZero Breeze, which was the latest model (with the KAHA being phased out as the previous model). Many runners noticed my new shoes, and they have already lost count of the number of pairs of new shoes I have...hahaha. New shoes and running gear give me the motivation to run, and keep the running experiences very fresh indeed...NICE!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Hong Kong Marathon 2007: The Race Report

Met the SAFRA MF group (20+ people) at Changi Terminal 1 at 4.45am. Our Jetstar Airways flight landed in HK on Friday afternoon. After we checked into Kimberley Hotel, we did a long walk around the Mongkok and Tsim Tsar Chui area. My legs were sore from the walking. I took lots of food to begin the carbo-loading process...sweet potato, smelly tofu, dessert, lots of other local favourites porridge, noodles, beef hor fun. Managed to get the casio watch we have been looking.

More Carbo Loading
Went with Alan and cm on Saturday for more food near the Times Square area...Sampan porridge, butterfly bun. Also bought a pair of adiZero KAHA (Singapore doesn't seem to have this model) at a good sale price. Ricci, Elaine, DO and I decided to do a 'traditional' pre-race carbo-load dinner at The Spaghetti House. It was a 'first' for me...having pasta for carbo-loading. I had a cream-sauced linguine, which I thought was not too bad. The others enjoyed their pasta meal thoroughly. I was so stuffed that night. I ate so much over the past 2 days that I weighed in at 67kg, another kg piled on, my heaviest for the past one year *sweat* haha

Race Day
Woke up at 5.30am on Sunday..had 4-5 hours sleep. Washed up, and had breakfast of raisin bun, meusli bar and a coffee. A check with the weather on TV showed some light rain and high humidity... hmm, hoped it won't rain bad. Went down to the Hotel Lobby at 6.50am and met up with the SAFRA MF gang. We proceeded to the start point just a street up near to Miramar Hotel along Nathan Road, and they were just about to flag off the 10km social runners. The 10km and 21km competitive were flagged off much earlier to avoid having them crash into the full marathoners. We took some photos, and bumped into a few familiar faces. The atmosphere in HK is markedly different from that at the Singapore loud music, no 'get-them-up' chants from professional MCs.. pretty quiet, despite the much larger turnout than in Singapore. There were 43,000 runners this year at HK Marathon...gosh!

The Race
From those who went last year, we were advised that all runners will rush on the start, and may push slower runners if they do not get out of the way. So, we decided to queue about 100m from the start point. The race started without any gun nor horn, and we didn't even know other than for the shuffle up front. We walked slowly for quite a while...heh, the race had actually started...the runners cheered... but why were the people walking? Where was the 'rush'. I decided to start my own time after about a min of walking. I crossed the Championchip mat, and the race began for me. I was unable to move fast, and decided to be patient and jog slowly. I could see Derrick, DO, Bug, Alan moving ahead...Kumaran, Ong, Jimmy must have been further upfront.

After shuffling for what seemed like eternity, I caught a glimpse of the 2km marker...looked at my watch, and it showed 14min+...WTF, 7min+ per km? and I was still not moving in that sea of runners...Cham! I decided to weave around a bit, and tried to recover. We hit the highway after about another 500m, and it got slightly better. I was able to move on to 5:45min/km pace, and this went on for up to the 6km time was like 35min. Waah! so slow man! I saw some of the impatient runners running outside the boundaty, and I followed suit. That allowed me to increase pace...ok...time for me to catch up. The waether was rather humid, and many runners were complaining. It was ok for me, coming from humid Singapore. I hit the 10km mark in, lots more to go. More breathing room along that stretch of boring highway, as I made my way towards the First Bridge (Cheung Tsing Bridge)...ahhh, some scenery of the massive sea and mountain/tall buildings backdrop.

A light drizzle had started. Along the Bridge, some of the front runners were spotted. Kumaran was on the return as I reached the 13km mark. Ong and Bug were about 1km behind, then followed by Derrick, and Jimmy Chow. Wow, I was real far back, as I was still running towards the Bridge U-turn. Then I saw DO...he must have been at least 1km in front. Then only I realized that I must have been stuck behind the crowd for too long. I increased my pace, and it was full throttle from then on. I reached the 15km mark at about 1hr22min... Then it was onto the Second Bridge (Ting Kau Bridge). I was maintaining a 5:20min/km pace. Saw Ong and Ricci on the return, then Derrick. Reached the 21km point (U-turn at TK Bridge) in 1hr56min.

The next stretch was just back along the boring highway, and into the tunnel. Bug had told us that he cramped last year at the 28km mark, just coming out of the tunnel. I was watching out for that section. Drinks were ample along the way. Bananas and Kit Kat were given at various points starting from 23km. The road on the highway were quite uneven, and not so nice for running. It was a lot better in the tunnel. The bus (to pick up injured runners and those that could not make the cutoff at various points were moving along the leftmost lane). I saw a familiar SAFRA running top at about the 26km closer, it was Alan. I urged him to keep going in spite of his not too good 'throat'. I came out of the tunnel (28km mark) and saw the upslope that Bug spoke about. It was ok, but quite a few people were slowing down. I overtook lots of people from that stretch onwards. 30km was reached in 2hr43min. The numerous downslopes were straining my hamstrings, and I was fearing for cramps from that point.

It was boring and pretty 'mental' running this route, though the weather was ok for me. There were many runners aound me thoughout the run to provide some distractions, else my mind could have drifted away easily. It was another tunnel around the 33km mark. I tried to increase speed further to attempt to finish below 3hr50min. It was good going along that long tunnel stretch, and I was quite happy I managed to hold off the cramps thus far. Came out of the tunnel at the 38km mark, and was met with quite a huge and curvy slope. I had to slow down as it was quite hard to run. 2 gal runners overtook me strongly at that point. I tried to follow them, and they just got further away. From then on, more challenges, more steep slopes laid ahead...I was surprised with the large numbers of runners walking up the slopes at that point... they were all on time for sub-4hr, so I wasn't sure why they were not pushing for the final leg... maybe they knew better that more slopes await them ahead?

Final km & Finish
The final 2.5km was all slopes, both up and down. My calves and hamstrings were 'beaten' to death. I could feel my claves trembling, threatening to erupt into cramps. I slowed down many times, and it was just fortunate the calves were cool enough not to seize up from the heat generated...Phew. With 1km to go, I decided to give it a burst...The remaining slopes had taken whatever time I have made up in the earlier stretches...I knew I could not make my PB of 3hr48min at that point. I was just happy to finish the run without any cramps, within my target of sub-4hr for this race. Someone shouted at the final 200m for a photo shot...I turned, and gave a smile. At the finish, I made sure there weren't anyone as I crossed with my arms raised. Alvin captured a nice photo of me with the Clock Time of 3hr51min. Chairman and Jaime were positioned just after the finishing line to get another pose from me...nice work of them to get themselves into such a strategic spot. I stopped my watch, and it showed 3hr50min40sec. I estimate that the Chip Time to be 3hr49min+...will see the official results later.

I could see DO walking towards the water point. Derrick who finished just a min behind came up to give me a Kit Kat...haha. Yah, time for a break! We walked together to get water, and met up with Kumaran, Ong, Ricci and Jimmy to cool down. Kumaran did 3hr30min, Ricci 3hr37min, Ong 3hr38min, Jimmy 3hr44min, David 3hr48min, Derrick 3hr50min, Wong 4hr4min, Alan 4hr8min, Phei Sun 4hr20min. All did very well, especially for Jimmy and Ricci. However Ricci's knees really took a beating and he was limping very badly after the race...hope he will now rest and recover well. Desmond (sci) came to join us...he did 3hr51min, very good too. We all took some nice group photos, returned out chips, and took the Star Ferry back to Hotel for a nice wash up. By 2.30pm, we were out of the Hotel and went on to Times Square, Causeway Bay for yummy wanton noodles, dessert and the famous Hui Lao San dessert. In the evening, we went up The Peak and visited the Wax Museum. This is the first time I did not suffer any cramp in a full marathon, and due to our good conditioning at training, I did not suffer much aches at all. It was as if I just did a normal weekend, I hope all my future runs would be like this.

I took the morning flight back to Singapore the next day (Monday). The rest of the SAFRA gang stayed on for another day to visit Macau, Disneyland and do more shopping.

Gun Time: 3hr51min22sec Nett Chip Time: 3hr49min52sec
Distance: 42.195km Pace: 5:25min/km
Age Group Position: 247 Overall Position: 705

Full Results (Men Master I) HERE!

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HK Marathon 2006: Completed

Unofficial results of my 42.195km @ HK Marathon 2007

Gun Time: 3hr51min
Chip Time: 3hr49min

Race Report will be out in a few days. Stay Tuned!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Countdown To HK Marathon 2007

Monday: Managed to squeeze in a recovery run, just after the bout of afternoon showers. Had a good, but painful massage session on Sunday...I can really feel a lot looser. Started off quite fast, and Beverly was hot on my heels. She overtook at the usual spot (where I always turned a short distance into the private estate along Braddel rd). It took me a longer while to finally overtake her only at the turnoff at the Mosque. I finished my 10.5km run in 54min. Bev finished her 10km in 57min+, a PB for that distance and this route...she is improving well this year. Looks set to easily do a sub-1hr 10km.

Tuesday: Joined a large group of SAFRA MF runners for the tapering 10km run into Canterbury Estates. All those going to HK this weekend were in good condition, and using the run just to warm up their engines. The rest were there to burn off some excesses from CNY :). I ran the whole route at a steady pace....the yellow ASICS Gel Speedstar looked good and felt light, with ample cushion for that distance. I finished in 47min, about the same as the time trial last week. Prior to tghe run, cm announced there would be a Mizuo sponsored, MR25 organized 10km race at MF, starting from Henderson CC, to be held in April.

Thursday: Did my final run before the HK Marathon on Sunday...a short 9km, slow-paced run just to get the engine warmed up. Felt good...should be ready for a trouble-free run on Sunday, just hoping no cramps this time. I shall leave for HK tomorrow early morning, with the SAFRA MF gang for company. See you next week :)

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