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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sundown Marathon

Yesterday was the night of the first night race in Singapore and I was there - to take in the sights and sound and kaypoh a bit but not run. The Sundown Marathon comprise a 84km Ultra marathon or a 42km marathon ran along the Eastern Park Connector. It is a tough route to run - mainly on roads and hard pavement with long stretches of boring roads. I can imagine how mentally tough it will be to run along these roads especially in the wake of the night with nobody to cheer you on and nothing to hear or see except your imagination. So anyway, to all my friends who have completed the Sundown, well done and have a good rest before signing up for another long race. Give the body some time to recover.

I have been having a certain thought the past few days and what I saw at the Sundown Marathon certainly reinforce it.

Common sense and conventional wisdom dictate that a person need to train for a marathon. What does this 'training' entails? Countless grueling hours of toil, sweat and pain in sweltering hot weather over period of at least 3 months. Not counting the opportunity cost - time which could have been better utilised to sleep in, go out and 'partall', etc etc And than what happen on race day? You still end up with pain and fatigue. No training can ever fully prepare one for a marathon.

So why train when end of the day you still have to suffer? Why suffer so many days of training? Just go and run. After all, you still end up with pain on race day. At most you suffer for a few days after but it still is better than the countless hours of training? No? At least I can see many people who believe in this strategy looking at the hordes of people who were walking when they reached our support table at the 27km mark. These people obviously believe that there is no need for training and are prepared to suffer later for it. and further looking at my friends doing the Sundown, most of them have trained long hours for it yet look at how they suffer Seeing the agony on their face, their shacked look, how they limped and dragged themselves, and knowing that they have trained so hard for it, it really makes me wonder........ Did they got it all wrong?

Disclaimer: Take my above advice at your own risk? Me - I think I will still stick to the countless hours of training:)

Photos of the sundown here.


  1. Of course proper training is required to do a marathon... heck, even Lance Armstrong suffers when he completes under 3hrs.. but he enjoys the suffering.

    Anyways, suffering can definitely be minimized. (1) Proper training/rest (2) Peak for the event.

    It just boggles my mind why so many people choose to take part in order to put a notch on their life resume, so to speak. Disclaimer - I used to be a pretty decent runner, 52 sec for 400m to sub 40min for 10km. Truth to tell, anything above 5km and I was starting to get bored... so 10km was the max I would run. 42km - can do it, but why??? hehehe

  2. for the more serious runners, I guess the event just provides the goal/objective for us to go through the training and run sessions which we mostly enjoy...the journey itself is the true reward for us.

    I share with you the love for the many hours of training. Even for those that did not complete the race, I felt they have been already rewarded by having gone through the entire journey.


  3. thanks tekko for the foto and drinks...

    wanna help me take pics for my punggol race jun 22 ?...

  4. Hi Mike I not so pro for the photography leh. U need to find someone good. Maybe Fennel?