Asics Half Marathon, Gold Coast 2012

I could barely sleep the night before the race. Too much anxiety. I kept visualising running the event according to my race plan and achieved my goal of completing the half marathon in sub 2 hours for the first time ever. My current PB is 2:03:27 which I did last month during training. The alarm finally went off at 4.15 am. I left the apartment at 4.45am with my mate Zuki after having a slice of peanut butter sandwich. Zuki is an avid marathoner and will be running his 9th full marathon. It was a cold morning, luckily I did not have to wait long for the race to start as I only arrived at the start village 30 minutes before the flag off. I straight away checked my bag and did some warm up runs with Zuki. I felt the urge to empty my bowel 10 minutes to flag off, and went searching for the toilet. There was a long winding line at the toilets. This is ridiculous I said, so I went looking if there is another toilets nearby, but was nowhere to be seen. I knew I should have studied the race village map carefully. I had no choice but to go back and joined the queue. I was 15th in line with 5 minutes left. Some runners (including the ladies) gave up waiting went to the nearby bushes, barriers or someplace secluded to pee. I would have done the same if I only need to pee. With 3 minutes left, I gave up and told myself just to forget about it and hope to find some porta loos along the route.

I found Corral C located almost at the back of the line. Mind you that this is a high quality race with 2:05:52 average finish time. The 2:15:00 expected finish time I put on my registration form placed me in corral C. The third of 4 starting corrals among the casual and recreational runners. Well I was a 2:30++ type runner when I registered for this race in April (Read about it HERE).

My race plan was simple, run easy the first 2-3 kms, maintain a steady pace and come home strong. I have to run sub 5:27/km for a 1:55:00 finish. I have the pace splits written on my arms as a guide and will try to stick to it. Starting from the back of the line was really hard. It was too crowded and I had no choice but just go with the flow with the mass while use every opportunity to weave my way through the crowd. I only managed to run 5:48/km the first km. So I tried to make up for the loss time. It was really hard. The course was crowded the whole way with some bottlenecks. I was zip zapping and carefully watching my steps the whole way. I had to run on the sidewalks, road median and the kerbs. However, I still managed to keep my pace above 5:20/km and had 2 minute 'credits' at km 14. I have never run in an event this big before. It was like running a 21.1km obstacle course. I get tired and hurt my knees in the process. I started to feel the pain on my knees after 14 km. Each step was a torture. I had to take several long recovery walks at km 15, 17 and 20 and spent my 2 minutes time savings. But this is the race I cannot loose. I have come too far to give up. I have sacrificed too much, time, money, etc. My wife too had sacrificed a lot. She must be devastated should I fail. I cannot let it all go to waste. I thought I had nothing left at km 20, then I remembered the Run With Your Core technique thought by my fitness instructor aka running buddy, May Lee. I clenched my gut and focussing on the power from my core. It was amazing how I suddenly feel myself floating and sprinted the last Km.

See how I sprinted the last KM
I crossed the Finish line with a Nett Time of 1:56:11. The 8 minutes it took to cross the Start line from the flag off translated into 2:04:50 Overall Time. I cannot describe my feeling at that time. I felt so relieved that I got what I came here for. All the sacrifices, pain, sweat, time, money, seems all worth it. I was so proud of myself when a volunteer passed me the medal. It was like winning an Olympic gold. Tears start falling on my cheek and I was hyper-ventilating by the time I got to the baggage claim desk.

It may not be an Olympic Gold, but the feeling of having it was nevertheless the same
This is for my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, Doha Bay Running Club, for Malaysia, for Qatar and for everyone who would be inspired to run after reading this. This event mark a year since I took the first step running around my house compound. A year ago, I cannot even run the full 1 km and weighed 65 kg (10 kg over weight) and today I am officially a Sub 2 Hour Half Marathoner with an ideal weight of 55kg. You can see my progress HERE. So come on go out there and take that first step if you have not done so already.

Race Statistics

Bib No: H02039
Nett Time: 1:56:11
Gross Time: 2:04:50
Rank All: 4031/10015
Rank Age Group: 491/858
Rank Malaysian: N/A
Shoe: Nike Pegasus

I DID IT

Comments

Anonymous said…
Salam,

Very well done, first on the PB and second on the weight loss.
riki jorden said…
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