When I ran my first race in Dec 2014 at SCMS, I did not imagine myself taking part in any distance race beyond 10km. Running a half marathon was last thing on my mind even just six months ago. The decision came about 3 months ago when I signed up for ST Run. I thought to mysef; if I could run 18.45km, then 21km would be doable.  How I got to the HM from 2014 would be left for another blog post.

The night before the race, I went to bed at 9.30pm, hoping to get up at 3am to get to the start point early. I made it to the floating platform at about 4am; with a slightly sleepy head.  The caffeine did not quite wake me up totally.  Did some warm-up, felt less sleepy and I was ready to go.  When the horn blared exactly at 5am, the elite runners were off and I was just about 10 metres behind the starting arch.  Seeing the pacer balloons cheered me somewhat.  I made a mental note to follow the 2:30 pacers.  After all, it’s my first HM, I should play it safe.


The familiar Marina Bay loomed into view at around the 2km mark.  Suddenly, I felt an urge to visit the loo but held it off till I reached the Gardens.  Made a quickie and resumed my pace; thankfully it did not break my pace.  Kept to my pace through the darkness of the early morning and a gentle breeze caressing my face.  To my pleasant surprise, I soon passed the 2:20 pacers.  I felt good and enjoyed the route until I reached the 8km mark when we hit the dirt road.  It broke my pace and I had to make a concerted effort to maintain my pace till I reached Tanjong Rhu.  The beautitful reflection of the new stadium over the waters welcomed the runners as they entered into the second half of the race.  A few has slowed to a jog or even resigned to walking but I pressed on, stopping briefly to refuel at the hydration points with the isotonic drinks.  Oh yeah, I brought my energy gel as well.  In fact, the mango/passion fruit gel tasted surprisingly yummy.  While I enjoyed the gel, I also noticed the skies ushering in the first light.

As I left the stadium area and headed towards the Merdeka Bridge, I knew that I was entering the final phase of the race.  And I felt my body starting to protest, especially my legs.  Refueled again at the 16km mark; this time it was banana/berry flavoured gel.  With the new energy boost, I psyched myself up for the last 5km as the route took me into the heart of the city and doubled back to the floating platform again.

Picking up my pace, I heard the chatter and talk of the 2:20 pacers fading away behind me.  The thought of me finishing my first half marathon within my target time brought a smile of my face.  Nevertheless, I still needed to stay focus and ignored the slight fatigue that started to spread from my legs to the rest of the body.  When I finally saw the viewing gallery of the Float, I knew I was on the home stretch.  Opened up and tried to look strong, in case I was caught by one of the photographers.

I eventually crossed the line at 2:16:09.  Perhaps I could have done better than 2:15 if not for the toilet break and stops at the hydration points. But then again, I might not have achieved this timing if I were not properly hydrated or refuelled.  Guess I would never know.

Posted by SY
November 13, 2015 04:15
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