Monday, October 13, 2008

Race report: Borneo Marathon

(Pictures courtesy of DAVID)
In the true spirit of a Sunday morning run my first official marathon is now done and dusted. Gadget Girl, Randy and myself woke up at 2.30am and left the hotel at 3.30ish Malaysian time to the Likas Stadium. After the prerequisite of toilet stops we moved over to the start line. It was quiet, very quiet. Neither of us could quite comprehend how few starters there were! A shame really as the support crew and Marshalls were top notch, very helpful and surprisingly nearly all expats – (I am not being bias here, but they just went out of their way to help you).
I had a plan for today’s race. It wasn’t my plan (I come from the school of winging it), it was a plan from Ironguides Coach Vinnie. He had decided to let me run after learning of my poorly knee and followed up with a 3-step strategy to apply to the race. “Don’t get caught on splits, your goal should be running everything without slowing down.” Sounded simple enough.
I started out with Randy, he seemed to think I wouldn’t talk and be no fun but I think I proved him wrong. The early stages were VERY entertaining and we kept each other company, laughing and joking along the way – ala a regular Sunday run. The pace was slower than slow (as instructed), then after only 2k I was in dire need of a toilet stop, luckily it was only a number ONE! Alas there were no bushes to duck, cover and moon. So I had to continue on until the 6k mark where I had read there would be a porta-loo – hummmn. Of course I shared my busting bladder need with Randy and he subsequently then needed to go. Just when I was beginning to get really uncomfortable, there was the warm glow of a shell station that beckoned us in. Ahhhhhh. We both ducked off course and I shot in the ladies (no key required at Shell), while Randy hung around outside as the men’s was locked. I spent my penny QUICK and opened the door to let the bursting Randy in the LADIES!
Once we were both done with our toilet needs the time was already 34mins plus and as per my instructions it was time to pick up the pace a wee bit. Randy kept asking what are “we” doing, what is “our” plan?? I asked him what is all this “we” stuff? “I am tagging along for the ride,” he said “and will stay as long as I can”. Fair nuff – I was having fun.
Well it was fun until 23/4k. My knee had been doing fine, the cycling side was behaving itself but there was a nasty pain creeping into the right side that was eventually altering my stride and pace. NOT GOOD. It got to a stage where Randy was pulling away a bit so I told him to go. I was considering stopping, not something I wanted to do but I was trying to be sensible and kept telling myself it was only “a training run”. Yeah, well, I carried on. At the 2hr30min mark I was supposed to go into the 3rd stage and up the pace again, this proved very difficult and it happened only in fits and starts.
Out by Sutera Harbour the road went on and on and on. Markers were irregular and very misleading and at about 30k I started to feel a bit better and said to Randy – we finish together – RIGHT? So long as we beat Simon’s PB – we will finish together. He didn’t say much.
With 8k to go I looked at my watch and picked up the pace again. I felt Randy dropping off my shoulder and tried to egg him on. Go, he said. And so I went. Felt pretty good at this point, glasses on, the usual focused glare, I found some energy and thought ok let’s try punching out 5min K’s here – easy!!!!!
Before the 3k marker I saw a marker that I thought said 2.5k, WOW going good. Five minutes later I saw a 3k marker. F*!K. NOT GOOD. Severe stitch, nearly threw up I was feeling a shuffle coming on.
I finished in 3.54 (including toilet stop & taking into consideration the distance by Gadget Girls GPS 42.6). Once across the line I was informed I was 3rd! Well blow me down with a feather – how about that? So when the prize giving came round I was waiting for my name to be announced – it never came. Someone else was there??
Apparently her time was 3.32 which is something I would not have been able to manage even with good knees. Did she take a short cut? Why was her card not in the tub when I finished? Lots of questions but I am sure it was all above board. Went over then to Stadium entrance to see Randy finish and as I said I would finish with him, yup – I ran the track to the finish line again! Well done Randy, 4.01 – (which would have been a sub if not for SHELL Stop). I did the same for Gadget girl, 4.25 – (but unlike Randy who was slowing down, BEE decided to speed up! Christ I had to shout at her to slow down. “It’s the last 100m,” she yelled. GOD that hurt me but as promised we all finished together in some shape or form. Bee was also the first Malaysian women in the Open Category – Well done!
Ivie had an amazing 10k run. Usually our official photographer she took the day off leaving my brother David to snap the pic’s whilst she joined in. 1hour4min – a great time Ivie can we now hope to see more of you running rather than snapping?
Would we do this race again?? I just asked Bee and Randy and their answer is NO. The course is flat-ish, but starting at 4.30am is probably too late – the heat suddenly bites you even at 7.30 in the morning. It is the first time the race has been held so maybe next year there will be more competitors but the lack of support is always a downside I guess. One positive though as mentioned before is the organisers and volunteers – not easy for them with so little action but they did a great job. Plenty of water too and 100PLUS. Would I do it again?? I think it is perfectly positioned as a good training run for TTH, early enough not to damage Lumut preparation but good enough to gage how training is going.
My only complaint would be...why only prizes 1-3? Come on lah, I will probably never place 4th in a marathon ever again and I got ZERO, we didn’t even get finishers shirts! Oh well, feeling good this morning, no real aches and pains – back to week 2 of training!
A special thanks to Big Bruv & Nik for your support - great having you there for my first marathon - X

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wah...congrate to 3 of u,I think all of u hv a lot of potential,sure can dip to atleast 3:30 (Emma n Randy) n 3:50 for SB.

Ivie sure can run soon sub 60mins,then 55mins...50mins..

How can it happen for mix the top 3 cards ? impossible,not 300 cards,something wrong I believe,what is the organiser explain ?

I think they should start like Bangkok marathon time 3am ?

Hope they will improve next yr.

So..SB invite u all a meal ? Since she is fastest Mas Gal in marathon,.congrate to her a..cheers !