RAK Half Marathon 2012

I was in Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE  last weekend to participate in the RAK Half Marathon 2012. It is one of the most prestigious Half Marathon events in the world by being one of the 12 half marathon races with IAAF Gold Label.

This was my second ever half marathon after the disasterous 1st half marathon at PBIM. This time I came with a little bit more trainings, and it really helps. I can actually finish the 21.1km without a feeling like my knees would fall out of their patellas. My pace was still very very slow (I was about 8 km behind most seasoned runners) but the fact that my legs held on to their places for the whole duration of the race was something that I am grateful for. I had shin splints at kilometre 6 but it went away very quickly. 

My only problem was stamina. I felt like I had consumed all my energy upon completing 10 kilometers. My original plan was to complete the race in 2hour 30 Min., and I was still within the target at KM 10. But it getting harder after that. I walked for about 200 - 400 meters after every kilometer and totally abandon my 2:30 target. It was especially harder from KM 12-18. I felt like quitting or just walk all the way to the finish line. The weather condition was not helping either. It was windy and dusty. At some point I had to cover my nose and mouth with my shirt. It was that bad that I can literally taste grit in my teeth. I tried to keep my motivation by running behind some, for a lack of better word, 'overweight' runners and the makciks, but they too were hard to keep up with. After KM 18, I got my motivation back and kept telling myself that if I can do this, I can do anything but the last 2 km was like a never ending journey. It seemed so far, but I just kept on going and used whatever spare energy I had left to sprint the last home stretch to the finishing line.

I completed the race in 2:45:56. Sixteen minutes off from my original target and ranked 1476 from the total of 1616 finishers, almost at the tail end of the running pack. Mind you this race has many elites and very high propotion of quality runners which is appropriate for an IAAF Gold Label race. 40% of the finishers completed the race under 2 hours and the average finishing time was 2:08:00. My 2:45:56 could very well put me in the top half of PBIM. However, it was still a massive improvement from my laughable PBIM time of 3:19:59.75.

Though I was satisfied and grateful to be able to complete the race. My heart goes to the 25 runners who did not. I saw one incident near KM 6 where a male runner, who looks very athletic was given an emergency chest compression by an emergency response team in the middle of the road. He was unconscious and the situation looked frantic. I wanted to stop and join several other onlookers, but decided not to and kept running. I did not want to crowd the area and disturb the resuscitation effort. I hope he is alright and pray to ALLAH for his safety. That is why it is very important to listen to your body when running and know your limit.

Apart from the weather, which is beyond the organiser's control, the event was actually very well organised. Well the race village was quiet dead when I collected my race kit and lacking the atmosphere of a big race but they make it up during the race day. There were more spectators in this race than the Dubai Marathon. The city dwellers including South Asian labours in their kain pelikats were lining up the street giving support to the runners. The many runners in Team Relay competition placed at various point along the route also provided us half marathoners with fantastic support. Every aspect of the race from water stations, inflatable arch mileage marker, toilets, showers, finishers medals, printing of certificate, race photographs, bananas etc. was very well organised. I am sure this is good enough reason for me to come back to RAK next year. Until we meet again, thank you RAK for the great memories.

In the mean time I have to keep practicing and hope I can break that 2:30 barrier in the upcoming Brooks Half Marathon in Kuala Lumpur in March and 2:15 in Gold Coast in July. I have to be able to run the half comfortably sub 2:15 before I can even think of running a full marathon. Terus lagu Kau Boleh bermain dalam telinga. 

Race Pack Collection 
Love the bib no.

Timing chip from Premier Marathon

In action
Sprinting towards the finishing line
I wish I could finish a full marathon in that time


notahankypankyminah said…
its envy me to c those who have a career but still have time for exercise...lately, most of people die at young age..1st n foremost...Allah dh tetapkan tarikh mati n 2ndly is due too hectic n no time for exercise..hope for panjang umur n dlm barakah selalu.amin
Anonymous said…
salam bro, tgh carik2 bnde kat internet tiba2 smpi sini.haha

nk tanye abg dulu stadi ape? keje macam masyuk je.saya baru je grad dlm chemical eng.teringin gk nk jd expat kat middle east ni.kene amek certificate/ exam ape2 ke?

tolong beri tunjuk ajar ye!terima kasih..

reply cincai2 je kat x_horizon@hotmail.com kalo ade mase.tq byk2
Anonymous said…
I just can not imagine with incredibly blog greatly that helped me! Thank you “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” - Albert Einstein
Anonymous said…

Well done for completing the race.

whitelighter said…
Notahankypankyminah: Actually I started running after receiving a rather alarming result in my healh screen test at work.

RM: Thanks.. so u run your first marathon in Dubai. I hope I can do that next year. I dont think i am ready yet this year.

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