Monday, March 19, 2007

KL Marathon - 18 March 2007

Having somehow struggled through the Langkawi Ironman I embarked upon a crusade to Twickenham to watch England do what they have done for centuries and ravage the French. A fitting encore was a pilgrimage to the Guinness Factory in Dublin. You can imagine how "tired" I was by the time I got back!

Shilpa reminded me that in two days time I had the KL Marathon to complete. I was a tad surprised as I'd been following one of my favourite training regimens - "Denial". Oh well it's never too late to start training, so on Friday night Shilpa and I went for a 6.25k run. Unfortunately after 4.4k I had to stop because my Achilles tendons were hurting too much. NOT A GOOD SIGN.

Sunday soon arrived and I woke up at 2:40 a.m. to see England lose the rugby to Wales, India lose the cricket to Bangladesh, Pakistan defeated by Ireland and sent packing from the world cup (very significant to Shilpa and I, as you will see in later posts) and Leeds United yet again fail to win a game. Not a good day. Oh yes, I almost forgot it was also my birthday.

The race started at 4:30 a.m. so after a visit to the loo I made it in good time 4:31. Actually it worked out well as I intended to start at the back anyway. I started off gently intending to do negative splits (doing the second half of the race faster than the first), this is the only way to run a marathon, so say all the books and I can't agree more.

I managed to get to 21k relatively unscathed except the pain was setting in the legs and pelvis. At this point I took a salt table and a gel which helped considerably. Soon after I ran past my office and towards the start line; this is a little cruel as the course then turns away and you have another 17 kilometres to do before you see the finish again.

At 30k I got the much talked about but seldom experienced "runners high", a first for me. I was running along considerably faster than I had been, still in pain but singing "I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky..." with a big silly smile on my face. That lasted for about 8k and then the wheels temporarily fell off. I had 2k of misery doing the Ironman shuffle, head down shoulders hunched - not very pretty. The last 2k were a little easier for the simple fact that it was almost over.

I finished in 4 hours 4 minutes and 13 seconds which was over 7 minutes quicker than last year. I was also in a far better state at the end of it. So all said and done a great result.

A few mentions: -

John Gilchrist stormed around the marathon in 3:16 and 18th place - nice one John.

I met Hayley before the race and she could hardly talk. She'd got some sort of cold and fever, not to mention the swollen throat. She really should have been at home in bed - can you believe it she still did 3:22 and came 4th! WOW!

Hairul Azwar ( completed the marathon in a very credible 4:51 just 3 weeks after Ironman.

Julie continues with her superb form and came second in her category - AWESOME JULIE!

Emma had a tough day but still managed 2:01 and 25th place.

Ian did his first half marathon in a few years and knocked out a very worthy 2:16.

Joey did the 10k and achieved a personal best of 1:30. I met her at the finish and she was deservedly and proudly wearing her medal. Well done Joey, great job again.

Shilpa and Bella also did the 10k. They had a ding dong battle all the way through, each taking turns overtaking each other. With 1k to go Shilpa made her move and Bella just couldn't respond to Shilpa's blistering final kick. Shilpa achieved a personal best of 57:57 and Bella was a second or two behind.

Christopher did a great job in the 7k and Asha was awesome in the 3k.