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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bali Marathon 2012

My very first race of the year and it almost didn't got off the ground. 1 week before, I caught a bug. Okay it wasn't a big bad bug but a teeny weeny little cold. But I was scare it was going to become full blown. Added to that, I had 4 ulcers in my mouth. And the medical report last week... M was adamant that either I don't run or if I do, not to push. Sighed.... Anyway, when we reached Bali, the cold had disappeared. Thank goodness. The ulcers were still there but getting better but to my horror, I discovered I had a pain in my jaw and couldn't open my mouth fully! What a bad bad way to start the holiday!

But life still has to go on. And so we collected our race pack at the beautiful Sanur Beach Hotel. Nothing much inside except an event tee which was too big for M, a cap, a box of corn flakes and plenty of vouchers. 

We had dinner that night at a local warung near the hotel and bummed into a group of Kenyans. The Kenyans seems to be everywhere probably because the prize money for this is pretty generous!

M with the Kenyan ladies. Who are they?
We woke up bright and early at 2pm and took a taxi to the bus pick up point where there were lots of Singaporean waiting for the bus as well. The bus took us to the race site outside the Bali Safari Park.

We were doing the half marathon so we waited while the full marathon people got flagged off first. Then our turn came.

The first part of the race was done in darkness. At 5.30 am, it was still dark and some part of the streets had no street lamps and were lit up by people with live torches. The first water point was at about 2km and I skipped that. The next water point was around the 4km mark and I took a sip. Luckily I did that. 
We u-turned somewhere after the 5km and ran past the waterpoint which I skipped to my big regret. From there, we turned into the villages instead of running on the highway.

Just like in Angkor Wat, the scenery was beautiful and crowd support were fantastic. The route wind through the villages with many up and down. I wouldn't call them slopes since most were only about 10 - 20 metres long but I can imagine for those used to our flat ground at ECP, it should be a nightmare.

Mountain and paddy fields set among the rising sun
The sun came out about 6.15am. I started to feel thirsty about 8km into the race but there were no more waterpoint. We ran and ran and still no water point. Until almost close to 11km, there was a sign that said water point 100metres. I took my last packet of expired gel and got the shock of my life when I reached the water point to find it empty! Where was the water? It can't have finish! As far as I can see, we were the first group past this place. Although I wasn't running fast, I reckoned I wasn't too far behind either. They can't possibly have ran out of water so early! How about the full marathoners? 

Villagers out in full support

M getting the drink
Finally at the 14km mark, we decided to stop and buy a drink from one of the stalls along the way. M said she was charged RP5000 for the drink whereas the angmoh in front of her paid RP10000! We continued to plod along, enjoying the sights and sounds. Some villagers were handling out drinks later on - not too sure of their own accord or from the organiser. If it was the organiser, it was certainly insufficient looking at the small carton box. And there were no isotonic drink although I did managed to get one from a local who was handing it out. Again not too sure whether it was from their own pocket or from the organiser. 

Anyway, that drink charged me up a bit as by now the lack of mileage was starting to show and I was struggling in the sun. Although I was not running fast, I was stopping to take photograph and then playing catching up with M which soon worn me out. Thank goodness we were only doing the half!

All we got for our 2 over hours of ''suffering''
Finally we finished hand in hand again crossing the finish line in a slow time of 2:18 but nevertheless enjoying the race experience.

More photos here

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