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Sunday, May 23, 2010

100Plus Passion Run 2010

The first long race above 20km for me since December 2008. Didn't even realised that I done not done any half marathon or above for the whole of 2009. That shows how slacked I had become and of course as a result, I paid the price for this race.

I didn't really know how I will fare for this. A niggling knee problem 3 weeks ago had me worried a bit and hence the last 2 weeks build up was drastically reduced and I didn't get to do the last 2 long runs to prep for this.  So I wasn't really mentally prepared for this. I told myself to just take this as a training run for next month KL Marathon but still I wanted to see how I fare and I was targeting a conservative 2:30 finish. As insurance, I resurrected my Cho-pat knee strap, slap on T-Max on the knees and finally, my magic portion from the people at Lynk Biotech. Will this be enough to see me through the race?

It was raining the whole day and the sky looks cool and inviting until 4pm when the sun finally peeked out. There goes the cool weather but thankfully, it wasn't as hot as expected and with a light sea breeze and patches of shades along the beach, it was ideal weather for a nice run.

There was supposed to be 3 waves but we wasn't so clear what was going on and decided to start with the first wave as I didn't want to be caught behind all the walkers. I was running with M in the 50km Duo but we have agreed we will run separately and not together.

The first part was normal stuck behind a big group of runners until about 2 km later where the crowd thins out a bit. Distance markers seem very accurate and I was clocking a fairly consistent 6 minutes pace and I was hopeful of achieving my 2:30. The knee was okay but my tight left calf was reminding me to take it easy. At 5km, I was spot on at 30 minutes. Reached the water point after Big Splash and the Princess was there with her classmates serving drinks. M was probably about 50 metres behind at that point in time. Managed to maintain the pace despite the left calf complaining with every step. Time at 10km was 1:00:16 which cheered me up a lot.


At the water point around the 13km, decided to take the SIS gel which I got from the F1 Nature Run last month. Hopefully, that will kicked in 30 minutes later giving me enough reserve to last the last 10km. Continued to plod on but I was getting tired and I was scared my left calf will start to cramp. Still I hit 15km almost on the dot at 1:30:38. But it started going downhill from there. The lack of mileage started to hit me and I got slower and slower and the people in the 2nd and 3rd waves started overtaking me. At 20km, I was struggling and at 2:02:50, I knew I was not going to pull the 2:30. I was running out of reserve. Thank God, there was only 5 km left. If it had been longer, I would have definitely hit the wall. I stopped at every drink stations from this point onward just taking the opportunity to walk and take a breather. The calf was still screaming but it held. Maybe the magic portion does work! As far as I can feel, the legs were still okay, it was my weak mind that was screaming for me to stop. I eventually crossed the finish line at 2:38:11 (my watch time) almost 8 minutes behind target.

While I am a tad disappointed, given the long layoff and the recent problem, I think this was a rather credible timing. Looking at the bright side, the legs held despite my doing forefoot all the way and other than the tight left calf, there wasn't any other issues. So I think I will credit this run to the magic portion without which I think I will have done much worse. And what exactly is the magic portion? Sorry you gonna wait for the next post if any of you want to find out.

Some last words on the race organisation. Other than the little bit of confusion at the start, it was a very well organised race. There were adequate water points with a rotation of water and 100plus. Route directions were clear and distance markers spot on. The student volunteers were full of cheer and support despite being there from 11am in the morning. The finish point was spacious. There was a concert which unfortunately started a bit late and most of the runners had disappeared (probably for dinner). The goodie bag was fairly generous. There were a Bods singlet and gel (given out with the race pack), and a duffel bag with a finisher tee, a medal, and a pack of medicated plaster. I heard there was some hiccups with the free transport and cut off timing but other than that, I think most people were satisfied with the organisation of the race.

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