Monday, June 29, 2009

KL Marathon (photos later)

I woke up at 3a.m. got myself together and then went to face the coffee machine. It had broken two days earlier and the day before I hoped I'd found the problem and expoxyed up a small component and left it to dry overnight. I reassembled the machine and turned it on - to my delight out came the freshly ground, liquefied black elixir.

Panic over, four strong cups of coffee and I was ready for anything (believe me coffee works, if you don't drink it before an endurance event YOU ARE LEAVING TIME ON THE COURSE, blah blah blah, I shan't bore you [until the next time]).

My buddy Ian picked me up at 3:45 and we drove to Merdeka Square and parked in the underground car park, right underneath the start area. SORTED.

Drank water, found the loos, warmed up for a couple of K, lined up for the start, said hi to loads of buddies, it started to rain AWESOME, the gun went and we were off.

I'd squeezed my way to the front as today was intended to be a fast (painful) one. I got into a solid rhythm straightaway although my right foot was clearly injured and would need to be nursed through this one.

After about 5k Angus came storming by said hi and asked if I wanted to run with him. "No thanks dude, I've got my pace, have a good one" was my reply (or words to that effect). Off he went and was out of sight within minutes.

I'd memorised the route reasonably well so knew roughly what to expect. I'd also got my pacing wristband see previous post. I was enthused about it before the race and quite frankly I'm now convinced that this is an ESSENTIAL tool for anyone doing a marathon. At 9k it was clear that I was going too slow so I picked up the pace and started reeling people in.

I guess it was around 13k that I came across Wei, I'd heard he's just become a father so I congratulated him and we chatted for a few seconds before I carried on my way. Before I did though he confirmed that he'd soon be making a tri come back!

By 14k the pace timing was back on track although the pain was starting to mount. Especially in my left leg and left knee. I never have knee problems so I had little doubt that this was because I was overcompensating for my right foot.

At about 20k I came across Angus at the side of the road, to far away to chat with him but afterwards he told me he'd already thrown up at the 15k mark. He still put in a good time which is amazing considering.

I ran past my office and then down into Chinatown only to be greeted by some mad western women. Hang on a minute they're cheering my name, they seem to know me! It was Hayley and Julie going bonkers - what a huge pick me up that was. It's a tad quiet running around the dark streets of KL at 5a.m. in the morning believe me - you don't do the KL Marathon for the crowd support.

Hayley shouted "You're looking so smooth", I thought to myself wow, she's like the smoothest runner of them all, what a huge compliment. but then she followed it up by "You're obviously not trying hard enough, get a move on".

Half a k later and I was 2/3rd of the way round at 28K. Tim was good I was a few seconds ahead of the pace I needed to be (you've got to love the pace wristband). Grabbed a gel from the Powerbar boys (thanks Powerbar). Then round the corner and a short little hill. That's probably the time that the hips ankles, feet and hamstrings started screaming "STOOOOOOP". The pain was really setting in now.

Never mind, send the pain away on a little holiday and keep on going. Then I came upon the half marathoners and a little later the 10k runners (or should I say walkers), there were thousands of them and literally it was a case of either taking the long way around the bends or weaving amongst them - very frustrating.

Then the road narrowed and there was no choice but to play weaving, barging and dodging the walkers/slow runners. I picked up a couple of marathoners who were lagging a bit and they stuck to me like glue. One of them even apologised for pacing off me. "No problem" I replied, "We are almost there, we'll motivate each other".

Hayley and Julie appeared again screaming their heads off - what great supporters - thanks guys you were awesome. Although I'm surprised that you didn't get carted off under the ISA (internal security act, google it if you're not sure what I'm on about).

At last the 1/2 marathoners turned right, then the 10kers which was a bit of an unpleasant surprise, when were we going to u-turn to the finish. It came soon enough although it felt like an eternity. Then just 1K to the finish, we had to dodge traffic and work our way around the back of a bus. Then there it was the finishing chute. At last finished 3hrs24mins9secs official time.

I'd missed out on qualifying for Boston Marathon by 3minutes+, but wasn't in the slightest but unhappy about that. The crowds of runners/walkers had slowed me down but probably not by that much so I was very philosophical about that.

I'd missed out on beating Chris Wayman's recent personal best at the London Marathon by 2 seconds, bit miffed about losing the bragging rights on that one but never mind, I'm gonna kick his butt at Alpe d'Huez.

I did however achieve the real goal that I'd coveted for the past 28 years and that was achieving a sub 3hr30min marathon and somehow I'd achieved it in a hot and humid climate so I was absolutely stoked.

Of course I can barely walk from my desk to the bathroom now but hopefully that will pass sooner rather than later.

Shilpa ran the half marathon and with barely any running in the last couple of months she still finished in a credible 2hrs17mins. She could be amazing, if only I had her natural talent!!!!

My buddy Ian had a tough day and finished in 5hrs20ish but was totally delighted with his race. And let me tell you, he is in a far better state than me this morning.

A great race, a great day, pity about the merging of the finishing of the 1/2 marathon and the 10k runs so far out from the finish and I hear that some runners were without water from the 21k point onwards - there's no excuse if you're reading this organisers - get that right next years otherwise this race will have a tarnished reputation for many years to come.


John said...

Well done! Congrats!

sofiantriathlete said...

well done Simon

yipwt said...

28 years to get sub 3:30...hmm..will take me a long long time then.

Congrats on your superb timing.

Anonymous said...

I think I got snap Ian pics.pls check my site..

well done to u results.