Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Singapore Army Half Marathon 2007


Ths Army Half Marathon this year was to be held in conjunction with the Singapore Bay Run, and the finish point was to be the temporary Spectator Grandstand by the Marina Bay. The route this year was to be revised after last year's fiasco, and lots of runners were looking towards it. With my reduced training this year, I was just hoping to do 1hr45min....more important was Beverly's maiden AHM, and I was hoping she could go below 2hr10min.

DO, Bev and I arrived at Marina Square at 4.10am, and made our way to the Grandstand...the finish looked rather narrow, but the spectator gallery looked pretty majestic. As we walked towards the start point near the Esplanade, we met many SAFRA Runners, SgRunners and other running friends...Wong, Peter, Freddy, RealRunner, Ultraman, IMD, Yee Hua, Balasing, among others. I did a short warm-up, and light stretches, before proceeding to the start line. The start/finish this year for competive and non-competitive were segregated, allowing for a much more organized event.

The horn sounded at 5.30am sharp, and we went on a relatively fuss-free start. With the competitive runners lined up in front, there wasn't much of a 'jam' as we turned into Cross Street, and then Chinatown. There were pacers this year for 2hr, 2:15 and 2:30, but they did not seemed to be an organized bunch, with many of them running disparately and at different range of paces....there were some 2hr pacers running at a sub 5-min pace, which I thought were excessive. As we ran up the Sheares' Bridge, things became quite smooth as some of those that started too fast fell back. I was a little surprised to see MR25's Lim Lian Hock running at that pace...probably a Sunday stroll for him today, although he did move up after a while.

Down the Bridge and into Fort Road, I trailed JJ most of the way and was maintaining a 4:50min/km pace...hoped to maintain that pace for as long as I could. Into Fort Road and along ECP, the front-runners (Indian Army I heard) came zooming out...wow, very fast, much faster than our local runners...and they looked so nonchalant, running as a group of 5-6. I upped the pace slightly, and overtook a few runners, and crossed the 10km mark in 48min+...quite happy with that, as I sipped on my powergel mix. I was happy when we finallly turned around at C4 area, and I could see a stream on people coming in on the other side. It was hard for me to make out people in the darkness of dawn...I continued to move so as not to slow down too much.

Up to 15km, I still had a 2min buffer in the bank, and I knew I had to stretch that buffer further if I hoped to do my PB. I calculated that it would not be at this race, as I was barely maintaining a sub 5min/km pace. Many of the runners were starting to push, with some trailing off as their 'energy' levels tapered off. Roda and JJ were in front by about 100m, as we exited ECP onto Mountbatten Road. I could make out Anna from aniMILES, and I attempted to run abreast her for a bit. I then went forward as we ran into Nicholl Highway. With 4km to go, I was feeling a strain on my 'tank'....I wished I had more gels to provide extra 'power', but there was none already. I had to draw on my remaining reserves to pull me through the final 3km up and down Nicholl Highway.

I could hear Music blaring in the distance, and the cheer groups were out in force. First light had broken as we ran the seemingly endless final stretch. I wanted to push, but was just happy to maintain pace, as some stronger runners overtook me. I tried to maintain a reasonable distance as I continued to push on. IMD overtook me at the final 1.5km, and I gestured him to move up. From there, I just kept up the pace to the final km. My watch read 1hr38min. I just wanted to finish the run in good form, and steadied myself all the way, and slowed down at the finish with my hands raised for some good pictures. My watch time showed 1hr42min, the chip timing could at best be 1hr41min.

Realized only much later that many fellow runners were just behind me...cfred, SC5, notme, DO and whoever else that did not tell me...haha...real close, these speed animals. I was just expecting someone familiar to touch my back at the final 2km stretch...Downed 3 cans of 100plus, a banana, returned the Championchip and collected finisher's medal. I went back to the finish line to wait for Beverly...spoke with Tekko and Cheow12, who were also waiting for their ex-gf to return. Bev finally came in with a PB of 2hr4min...a very good timing, given that this was only her second half marathon. Well done.


After doing warm downs, and replenishing with 100plus, we joined the SAFRA Running Club and SgRunners for group photo sessions. It was a good time to catch up with some of the running kakis whom I have not met for some time. We basked a bit in the sun, chatting, taking photos, catching up. Went for makan at Marina Food Square, and will proceed to attend the Nike Running Fit talk, after washing up and having a short rest at home. With the AHM out of the run calendar, the next run will be next Sunday's MR25 30km Progressive Run, and then more training for SCSM07...looking forward to some long, slow and tempo runs. Will also take some time out to join in SCSM Pacer training as well as participate in more fun runs.


Distance: 21,1km__Time: 1hr42min__Pace: 4:50min/km

Photos courtesy of Dasher's camera.

Waiting for official results and more photos

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2 Comments:

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Pearls said...

Hi! :) I was doing a search on Yahoo for the New balance real run and came across your blog. :)
I'm a 19 year old female sports enthusiast, and I'm training to take part in more marathons hoping firstly to improve my stamina as well as to lose weight. The only run I have taken part in and ran non-stop was the MILKrun (4km). I've been having troubles running as I have knee problems (it could be due to my weight), thus I have to resort to swimming most of the time.
Any advice for someone who would like to train up for marathons? :)
(You could email me at classic_dork@yahoo.com.sg if you're free!) Thank u! :) And it's awesome going through your blog and seeing the number of marathons you've taken part in! I'm really inspired.

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger The Dream Runner said...

Pearls,
good to have you visit my blog, and glad to hear that we have a young marathon enthusiast.

For more information on marathons, and very good training advice, discussions, and sharing, I would like to point you to http://sgrunners.com/forum/
You can find a wealth of running information in there, plus lots of group runs you can join. I am pretty active in there as DreamRunner.

I will be at the New Balance Real Run as well...hope to catch you then :)

 

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