Just recently, I joined the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2015, which was held on the 6th of December. Being my first out-of-country race, I was very excited about it. Although I learned from one of my runner friends that it would be my hottest, toughest, and probably longest marathon, my excitement did not die down. I arrived in Singapore three days before the race so I had some time to get used to the climate there, and boy, was it humid. Sooo humid that when I went out for a run, I was already dripping in sweat within the first kilometer.
I got up early on race day, as I usually do. Only this time, the flag off time was at 5:00am, which was waaayyy too late compared to what we're used to here in the Philippines. So I had lots of idle time before the race. I saw my friends before the race started, and we just had enough time for some quick chitchat before we were off.
First few minutes into the race, I was doing okay. I was on my usual race pace and I was already in the zone. Unexpectedly, I had the urge to go to the restroom before the third kilometer, and so I did. After that, I planned to resume my pace, but as it often happens when least expected, tragedy struck. I started having side stitch. While I have experienced it a few times during training, it has never happened to me during a race so I did not know what to do. I slowed down because it was the most obvious solution. When I felt some relief, I started to run again and the side stitch returned. It went on several times during the first six or kilometers. Eventually, the side stitch fully subsided.
I started to accelerate again from around the 10th to the 25th kilometer, while doing the 4:1 run-walk. The sun was already up by then, but this part of the route was on the East Coast Park which was surrounded by trees, so it was okay. After passing through the park, I started to feel the hot sun on my shoulders. I also started to feel dehydrated, even though I stopped at every drink station. Although I did some heat training back in the Philippines, it was not enough for the heat and the humidity that day. I still did the run-walk, but in a much slower pace. When I knew that I would not able to make a sub-6 finish whatsoever, I finally decided to walk all the way to the finish line. This was around the 37th kilometer, I think. My feet were hurting, not out of injury, but out of fatigue. I was sunburned, and I was feeling very, very lazy. I took this time to just enjoy the scenery around me and what Singapore had to offer, while ignoring the pain on both of my feet.
credits to marathon-photos.com
I picked up my pace again on the 40th kilometer mark. At this point, I switched the song on my iPod to "All the Way" by Timeflies, which also happened to be TBR 2015's batch song, to psych myself up. I was smiling yet in tears, as I sprinted through the last stretch to the finish line.
credits to marathon-photos.com
It really was a tough race. Perhaps, the toughest, not because of the route but because of the weather conditions. The route was actually very nice. It was mostly on flat road, with only a few hilly parts that are just gradually inclined. The sights on most parts of the route were stunning. Or maybe because everything that I saw was totally new to me, but whatever. I felt like I was on a tour, but on foot. What made it difficult was the hot and humid weather.
The drink stations were okay, except that the water did not have any ice in it. There were cups of 100 Plus, which is a brand of isotonic drink, every other station but I was not used to it. There were also energy gels and bananas. And I liked that there were LOTS of medics throughout the entire route, holding tubes of what looked like muscle pain-reliever gels, which I did not try because I was wearing compression pants and it would be a hassle to apply them on my legs.
Overall, it was very well-organized running event. It was evident during the race that it was well-supported by the locals as there were many spectators throughout the race, cheering the runners on, giving high-fives, and holding cards with encouraging words. It was something that I truly appreciated.
Thank you to my UPLB Stats org-mate, Rodel, for the free race kit. Thank you as well to Doni and Carl. Congratulations to all the finishers, especially to my friends and team mates who participated in this event. :)
rank: 5117th out of 9612 runners, official chip time: 6:27:43 :D