Click here for the latest on RunEatGossip »

Monday, June 03, 2013

Sundown Marathon 2013

After a few sleepless nights and days of torture , the day or rather the night dawn? The day of the Sundown Marathon. Heck, I wasn’t even signed up for this shit and I as kancheong as the sidekick. She complains of upset tummy which I think is more like butterflies than real pain. Funny, considering that this is not her first marathon. Maybe it finally sink in that I not gonna be running side by side with her?

Anyway, the kancheong part – just to show how kancheong I was. We drove down to the race site at about 10.40 pm. I got out my camera, my media pass and walked with her to the race site. The plan was while she goes to the race pen, I will go to the front, flash my media pass and take pictures of her (errr - of everybody) at the starting line. We reached the race village and I started fiddling with the settings. Hmmm something wrong. The camera is not working. Open up the battery compartment and shit… where is the battery? Then I remember – it still in the charger……. at home. Oh well, nevermind I have a spare but its in the car at Millennia Walk. So I walked back while the sidekick went ahead. And I reached the car and took out the camera bag and … battery! Die. The spare was sitting inside the battery grip which I had conveniently left behind at home to reduce the weight! Sighed…. By this time, it was too late to walk back to the Race site. And I probably can’t spot her even if I did so off I went after sending her a short SMS. 

2 hours later, I am now at Garden by the Bay East somewhere around the 36km mark. I didn’t expect her to reach that fast but a few of us have decided to kaypoh a bit and cheer on the runners here. After all, she had set herself a target of 5 hours which means she will only pass along this way about 4 hours after the start. So I had a long wait. We brought with us some coke, hot drinks and heat rub for our friends who were running.

The first few runners had already passed when we reached. Marcus set up his vantage point to shoot for Running Shots and we started cheering the runners. The front runners were all fixed on the race and most of them probably didn’t even realize we were there. None of them stop for our drinks even though we offered it to them. The next wave of runners came later – those hoping to finish between 4 hours to 5 hours. Some of them stopped when they see us – to chit chat, get a drink but generally they were in a hurry and did not dally too long.

I expected the sidekick to be in this group. I see her "very the up", though she is very short :) During our training runs, she was doing well and averaging about 7+ minutes pace and I expect her to do better during the race. In fact, I was optimistic that she could even do 4.30. But she did not appear. Not even when the 5 hours pacers passed. Which made me more kancheong. Did she cramp up? Did she dit the wall? Was the stomach upset she complained about real after all? But eventually she came into view. She stopped for Brokie's famed honey water before moving off. But her 5 hours target was gone not unless she could run the balance 7km in 40 minutes which I doubt she could - not after running for 4 hours +.

By now the main bulk of runners were coming in hard and fast, oh wait some were not so fast. Quite a number were walking by now and we hit a sweet spot with a lot of them because we had a prized commodity with us - heat rub and water! It seems the water station ahead of us had ran out of water tle and those who were desperate enough, summoned up courage to ask for water from us. There also seem to be no aid station and our heat rub was in hot demand (pun intended). I do hope in our little way we had helped to make the rest of the race easier for those who managed to get the drinks and the heat rub from us before we too ran out.

The sidekick managed to finish in 5 hours 10 minutes. She complained that there were certain sections along Tanjong Rhu where there were bottleneck and passable only 1 or 2 at a time and she had to walk these sections. In addition, some stretches were dark and there were empty gel packets, banana skins, cups and bottles strewed all over and she had to gingerly jog these areas so that she won't slip. Excuses  , excuses.... But I think overall she was quite satisfied with the results considering this is her first night full marathon and she was running this distance alone for the first time too, meaning I was not there to run with her. But then again, I think if I was running, she will probably end up with a 6 hours + timing!

Looking at the runners enduring sleep and tiredness to complete this race, I am glad I am not running. It certainly isn't easy to run against the body clock and the humidity and gruelling distance. On top of that, most runners appears to be very ill prepared to take on the challenge which makes me wonder - why did they do this? For the medal or finisher tee?


  1. i might have come to you guys for the Heat Rub, i think 90% sure bcos i was stopping by at almost every single volunteers' booth asking for it lol.
    there's simply no heat rub to be found from any of the official volunteers.
    will BYO next race.

    anyway, couldn't thank all good Samaritans enough. hence, 2 weeks later still posting lol.

    hmmm, how come you didn't sign up (just curious) ?

  2. Hi there,

    Its was fun seeing you guys torturing yourself. That why I didn't sign up so that people won't see my torturing myself.

    I hope you managed to get the heat rub from us? We ran out quite fast too.