Sleep Can Wait. Beat the Sunrise

May 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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Itchyfingers gave ourselves a big challenge last December. We decided to join our first night race, the Sundown Marathon. After much consideration and a lot of self doubt, I decided to sign for the 21km Half Marathon while Tisu Boy signed for the 42.195km Full Marathon, since he already tried the half distance during the last Safra Bay Run and Army Half Marathon. We thought we had a good half a year to train…but as usual, with busy work schedules as well unwillingness to compromise on our travel plans and nature outings, the longest distance Itchyfingers had ever ran together during trainings was up to 15km at East Coast Park. For my Half Marathon, this is still considered reasonable training distance, with the remaining 6km to be completed hopefully with a strong determination. But for the Full Marathon, this is not really enough training…

Race Day finally arrived! 28 May 2011!

I always like Sundown’s promotional poster…so inspiring…hahah

The starting time for Half Marathon was 8pm whereas the Full Marathon was 10pm. So we gotta reach the venue by 7pm. But the traffic started to get bad at Changi Coast Road, with cars and 10km Runners sharing the road. It only got better at Aviation Road…

10km Runners on the way back to the Changi Exhibition Centre. There were
some who were only starting their race now…think they were late… 

Then we were told by road marshall that there were no more parking lots and were asked to park our car at the road side and walk down two lamp poles to take the free shuttle bus inside. Had to clarify this cos on the Facebook page, many runners taking the shuttle bus from Singapore Expo thought drivers had parked their cars indiscriminately at the road side, hence causing traffic jams. There used to be another carpark but now it was closed, probably due to some construction work. We din take the shuttle bus cos we weren’t sure how long we gotta wait for the bus to fill up and walked in with some other runners. Didn’t know the stretch of road was alread two kilometres…Sweating already by the time we reached the Exhibition Centre. Poor Tisu Boy had to walk back to fetch the spare car key so that I could get my clothings for change after my run.. 😮 While waiting for him, I did my warm up but was getting anxious and nervous….This was my first race for the year. Had a cramp on my right calf on Friday night while sleeping and unfortunately, I was inconvenienced by my monthly cycle…sh*t…what lousy timing for my maiden Half Marathon attempt. In the end, I think I started my race six or seven minutes late…gotta try to calm my nerves…

The route I was supposed to run..gosh…what a straight boring road….This was where we did
our New Balance Real Run last year, but then we had a mixture of trails whereas this was
 on the road…with no scenery on the way…it was too dark to see anything anyway…hahah 

If you think the 21km looked scary, wait till you see the 42km route! My goodness! What a
straight long, long….road!!!! 

I was feeling strong at the beginning, with very constant pace. The temperature was not too hot but it was still quite humid. As I carried my own water, I skipped the first three water points…it was so crowded too…But just as I was still keeping good pace, my calves started to cramp at about eight to nine kilometres…Gotta slow down a little..wanted to get some 100plus at the 10km water point but there was only water. The next two water points were also water, with one of them ran outta 100plus…Aiyo…Many runners also crowded around the tables after getting their drinks; other times, the volunteers were not quick enough to fill up the cups. Crossed the 10km marker at around 1.18hr…didn’t wanna do it faster as it was not my usual 10km race, so needed to conserve some energy for the second leg of the run. By the time I hit 15km, it was around the same time as during our training, which was around two hours…My calfs were still cramping up, so I stopped for a while to do some stretching before continuing to press on. I told myself consistantly that I can do it as I was still feeling very good other than the cramps on the calves, which I really gotta control them from worsening by not trying to go any faster…

Luckily the long road which Itchyfingers ran during our training didn’t feel so boring cos there were many runners in front that kinda distract you a bit, making it a bit interesting. And it was always good feeling if you could catch up with them, one by one…hahah… :p

As last, I reached the last hydration point before heading back to the Exhibition Centre on the dark road. At one point it was really dark, so if you were among the fastest or slowest runners, you might find yourselves alone in the dark…quite scary….hahah…Luckily I had kept some water to last me through this last stretch…

Then…after what seemed like eternity, I finally saw the Exhibition Centre with the big Sundown Balloon. With the last dash of energy, I finally crossed the finishing line! :D! I had wished for a 2hr 30 min timing but was more confident of a more realistic timing of three hours given the limited training sessions and my calf condition. In the end, I finished under three hours, about 2hr 56min…but will need to see the official result later. :p

The next few hours while waiting for Tisu Boy to come back, I kept myself busy by changing into a fresh set of clothings (which I needed to walk 2km with a slight limp back to the car and stupidly walked back another 2km cos I CANNOT DRIVE the car nearer now that carpark lots were emptied by those who left!!!!) Watched some B grade movie that the organiser showed, which was really boring, while worrying if Tisu Boy could finish his race and come back in one piece… :p

Waited at the finishing line for nearly an hour and at about 3 plus in the morning, received a SMS from Tisu Boy saying he was reaching…Then finally saw him ran across the finishing line! My goodness! He made it! Nevermind the timing, cos it was already an achievement to finish a full distance marathon, especially when the route was so boring, it was really a test of determination to finish!

The finishing line…The cut off time for the Half Marathon was 5hours while
the Full Marathon was 9hours. Actually with a relatively early starting time at
10pm for the Full Marathon, unless you were really the slowest walker/runner,
most could beat the sunrise, which only happens at around 7.15am here… 

Tisu Boy suffered from old heels injury after the second half of the route…
but luckily he bumped into one of the 6hours pacer and followed him…and
managed to finish faster than that…

Tisu Girl with her medal

Itchyfingers had made it! And we did it not too far from our projected
timing…not so bad for first timers I guess…hahah

Finisher tee for the 42km runners…I wanna have one of these one day….

Results out for the master categories of the various distances…

Sleep can wait….We all waited…everyone was a winner!


Some Sundowners were still hanging around when we left…probably too
tired to move those legs…We ended our night (day?) with MacDonalds
brekky at East Coast with my friend Butterfly and her running buddy… 

Yeah! My first 21km running medal! Actually I am not sure if I can do this
if it was not a night race…the hot sun would be such a killer…

The back

Yeah! Tisu Boy’s medal!

Also see related posts:
> The Fox Legacy Runs On
First Marathon
Scaling New Height
Taking Baby Steps
Life is Great – Great Eastern Women 10K Run
The Ultimate X-Terrain Challenge – New Balance Real Run 2010
Ten Ten Ten Ten – The Prelude
An Uphill Task
Getting into Shape
Stepping Up @ NLB
Tortoise and Hare



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  1. yeah happy to catch up with you guys.. i really like that slp can wait balloon..

    u can give full marathon a thought.. but perhaps do something in between… maybe do more half marathon first.. then try a 30km one heehee… and u must start to be selective already else very shiong on pocket haha..

    • Hahah…not too sure abt when can do a FM….road seems so long… 😀

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