Like most people, I have a regular sleep cycle. Which is to sleep early(actually much closer to midnight) and wake up early. I try not do anything that will disrupt this cycle. Otherwise poof, you become a zombie with limited cognitive abilities for the entire day. So, why did I sign up for this half-marathon during the wee hours of the morning? It was a mistake.
So far I have been toying with the idea of completing one of those half-marathons. Unfortunately, the flag off timings for this category was usually 5am in the morning. That means you have to wake up at the unearthly hour of 3.30am or even earlier. Get yourself together in the shortest possible time and make your way down to the race venue. Seriously how do you eat breakfast or even poop properly? That in itself already sounded like another race.
As a non-runner in my previous life, I have heard about this Osim Sundown on and off in the media. Never knew about the start time and all those specific details. To my simple mind, this is going to happen when the sun goes down right? Which is around 7pm right? During my sign up for the event, it says the race village will open around 5pm.(There wasn’t any indication of the flag off time on the website at that point). Awesome. Using my powers of assumption, I thought I could complete the entire event and be back home by midnight. Big mistake. Which is why people, never ever assume anything.
After reeling from the initial shock of the start time, I decided to suck it up and go ahead for the run. This is going to be a first of many. I have never ran at the ridiculous time of 11.45pm before. I have never completed a 21.1km so far. I have never ran 2 days in a row. I have never gone down to a race event at the F1 pit building before. With all these new and exciting challenges waiting for me, I think becoming a zombie the next day might be totally worth it.
I knew that this event was big but didn’t expect it to be this big. By the time I got off the Promenade MRT station, crowds were already everywhere. Some were waiting for their friends. While the rest were queuing up for a last minute release at the station’s toilet. Since I was slightly early, I decided to make my way to the F1 pit building to have a look first.
Upon arrival at the pit building, there were other fringe activities. You have people playing dodge ball and basketball. Are these people doing the run after their game? I have no idea. But if they are, they will truly be the epitome of what you define as limitless(if there is such a thing since limitless is well, limitless).
Since I was a bit early, I thought I might take my time to visit the portable toilet to get rid of any excess weight in my bladder. I may be sweating buckets later but I’m sure the only way the water in my bladder is going, is only downwards.
After the refreshing release of the excess water, it was time to join the queue for the 21.1km. The race was supposed to start at 11.45pm but there was a delay of maybe 30 minutes. Guess I won’t be running 2 days in a row after all. After being ushered into the pit building, the giant start sign was right up front. To prevent a stampede due to the massive crowd, I can understand why batches of runners were released. As for the delay, it might be due to some runners taking selfies at the start point. This turned the MC into a broken recorder which she kept saying, “Please do not take any selfies at the start point!”
I did my first 10km fairly easily. I mean since you are running with people of similar fitness level, you don’t really encounter any sudden stops or jams. The road was pretty wide save the part at East Coast Park. In terms of personal space, it wasn’t as tightly packed as some of the other races I have been to. The running environment was good, my body however, was starting to tell a very different story. After doing the fitness challenges at the S.Smiles event earlier, the soreness in my thigh muscles started to surface. It was bearable at first but the pain started to get to an annoying level that got worse with every step.
Somewhere around the 12km mark, I spotted a medic. I always knew these guys have a tube of analgesic cream on them. The medic got to work in no time on my thighs and I was off. The throbbing pain was now replaced by a burning pain. The burning sensation made me feel so incredibly awake that I just ran past other runners for the next 5km.
Around, the 17km mark, the effects of the cream wore off and I was back to normal. This time round, the throbbing pain came back with twice the vengeance and I was reduced to walking. There was absolutely no way to run a single step. I tried to get back into a running pace but my legs did not listen to me. I could use some mind over matter but that might give me a new injury. So, it is time to take it slow like most of the runners around me.