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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It ain't fun - Timex Tri-Run 2010

This wasn’t a race that was on my schedule but got greedy when found out there was a free Timex watch worth about $80.00.  The way I figured, I was going to do a long run during the weekend anyway and since my current Timex had been cruelly mutilated by the dog, why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone?

So that’s was how I found myself with a small crowd of 2000 people at Sengkang although strangely the race was touted to be in Punggol. That was the first omen but hey who’s paying attention to such small details?

The 21km route was on a course of 3 loops of 7 km. A lot of the runners were touting this as a PB route. I wasn’t looking for a PB but after my experience 2 weeks ago at KL, I was quietly confident of regaining my sub-2. I even got it all worked out. All I need to do was to run each loop in an average time of 40 minutes or a safe 5:35 mins pace. Very achievable or so I thought. But nobody told me there was 2 freaking long inclines and both of them had us staring directly into the sun. Times 3 loops both way and that was 12 bladdy slopes in the bladdy freaking hot sun! 2nd omen.

It started well enough though. Did the 1st loop in 37:59 mins with almost 2 minutes to spare. There were no isotonic drinks provided along the entire route. Only warm mineral water.  3rd bad omen. Didn’t think too much of it though at that point in time. Nevermind, at the second loop u-turn which I reckoned should be 10.5, took a packet of SIS Gel. Time checked: Closed to 56minutes. Slightly over an hour to complete under sub 2. But the sun was up and blazing strongly by then. At the foot of the incline to the start/finish/u-turn, I stared at the sun and the distance to go and was thinking – wah this one like the New Balance Real Run final stretch – only thing was I have to do this and then repeat one more time. At that point in time, the weak mind took over and my plan went to pieces. I struggled to go up the slopes (about 1.2km?) and my mind keep telling me – why torture yourself – let’s stop here. I was seriously entertaining a DNF. That would be a first for me! Time checked: 40:43 for the 2nd loop a very drastic drop of almost 3 minutes. Time elapsed: 1:18:52. But heck, with another 42 minutes and only 7km more, I was still on course for a sub 2 and so somehow I convinced myself to push on for the 3rd lap.

And then somehow along the 16km just before the next incline, my body crashed and inexplicably, I stopped and started to walk. I was totally gone. Drained of all energy. I walked for maybe 100 metres before I resumed running or jog and this went on and on with each walking break getting longer. My sub-2 was gone. I contemplated stopping totally and waiting for M who was behind and apparently in the same bad shape. But somehow, at the last bend towards the run, I managed to squeeze some life into the body and ran back (cannot malu) to finish in 2:07:06, my worst ever finish for a half marathon.

Sometime I surprised myself. After the - what everybody described as tough KL route 2 weeks ago, I thought I was prepared sufficiently for this and should improve on the timing. Moreover, I was enjoying all my runs and doing well with no injuries unlike the past years and yet the timings are getting from bad to worse. Maybe it’s the age catching up. Maybe it’s the slacking. Whatever, but one thing for sure, I not coming back to do this next year. Not going to torture myself one more time.

Now where is my freaking hard earned Timex watch?

Photos here


  1. Well, at least you have done sub 2 hrs before. Somehow I have a feeling that I will never ever achieve that! I will be in Singapore for the Singapore Bay Run in September. But I heard there will be a steep slope. Can't imagine slope in Singapore, but of course my knowledge is very unreliable! At the sound of slopes, I immediately made up my mind that I'm not even gonna try for a sub 2 hrs!

    By the way, I've been meaning to ask you about the Newton 30km in October. Although there is an option to register online, somehow that is not working. I tried to pay with 2 credit cards but both rejected. I used one of those cards to pay for the Singapore Bay Run, and it worked on the first try. And of course that link wherefrom we supposedly can get help, that doesn't work at all. Do you know what's going on? Is there an alternative way to sign up without having to appear in person to fill up forms?

  2. Hi Cornelius, Put in some efforts and you will get there just as I am going to as well. Die die (hopefully not literally) must do it by end of the year.
    The slope in the SBR is just the short slope up the expressway and it's at the beginning so its not too bad.
    The Newton race - I contact you via email