MOM #1 (My Own Marathon #1) Doha, 28 June 2013

28 June 2013 

First I was supposed to run the Standard Chartered KL Marathon this weekend, had I stayed with my old job and having my long summer holidays in Malaysia. But since I just started a new job and still in probation, I should just forget about it. I decided to register in a small marathon in Forges Les Eaux, France with Stephanie as a substitute just two weeks ago, and confident that my employer will not have any problem to let me go for 2 days on unpaid leave. But I was wrong. They have no leniency towards the policy and my leave application remain pending until last Thursday. I was supposed to fly to Paris that evening. Earlier in the week, I started talking with few friends about the possibility of running my own marathon if I am unable to go to France. I first talked to Lily, one of my running buddies. She knew about my situation. The funny thing was, she said Yes even before I could finish my sentence. Then I invited few others. In the end I had My self, Lily, Hozumi and Becky Bortwright running the full marathon and Wendy Fitzmaurice, Nickel Nijman and Paul Concannon running the half marathon. I named it MOM (My Own Marathon) Doha, 2013.

Gear check, Meeting place near the rotating sculpture, participants of the inaugural MOM series, our drink station

We ran the MOM at the Aspire zone. One lap of the Aspire track is about 9.8 km so we did 4+ laps to achieve the distance. My wife, Hani, volunteered to look after the water station that we set up at the starting point near the Aspire rotating sculpture. I have trained to run a marathon at 5:07/km pace but we decided to run at 5:18/km pace considering the heat which was already near 40 degree Celsius at 3:30 am.

The first 2 laps were very easy and we managed to stick to the pace without any problems. We were still running in a group Lily, Becky, Wendy, Myself and Hozumi.  

Wendy stop after completing 2 laps as she is tapering for her Al Andalus Ultra Marathon, a 250km race to be completed in 5 days. I had great conversation with her during the run. She is a very strong runner at her age and she is not slowing down anytime soon. She told me she only  started running and cycle in her 40s. Her PB for a full marathon is 3:30s and she did 2 Ironman already. 

I started feeling tired during the 3rd lap. Becky, Hozumi and Lily were all far in front, spaced out perfectly according to our marathon PBs 3:17; 3:27; 3:37 and myself 3:55 languishing at the back. My legs felt heavier and the heat has becoming more unforgiving after the sunrise. 

The 4th lap was a battle. I was on the verge of giving up. I had chest pain every time i try to take a deep breath. I also pulled my glutes, which was something new to me, but i just ran through it. My left toes hurt every time i land, seems like i lost a toe nail. This Adidas trainers were too narrow for my square feet. And my left knees hurt, even with the Rock tape on. On top of that i felt so dehydrated. Apparently 1 water station every 10 km was the biggest mistake I made in organising this impromptu run. I felt sorry for my friends who had to suffer because of me. I walked more frequently, sometime for a full kilometer. Even the last 200 meter felt like an eternity. But i finished it. I completed the 42.2 km in 4:09:46. Not a sub 4 and not a PB. But i was happy i made it, given the circumstances. 

The hardest marathon i have run so far; we did it! Thank you guys, i could have never done it without you.

I dedicate this MOM to Anna and Evelyn, my first ever running buddies when i started running with DBRC on January 2012. Today was Evelyn last day in Qatar too; Dave and other DBRC friends made me a very special medal;

I cannot thank all of you who ran with me this morning enough. You guys came even without any incentives like in an official race. Sacrificed your lie in and were already at the meeting place before 3:30 am. You guys are all winners! congratulations to Nickel for completing his first Half Marathon. I am proud of you my frien. Also special thanks to my wife. You were the reason that motivated us to complete each lap as fast as we could. We cannot wait to see your smiling face for water!

They can stop me from participating a marathon but they cannot stop me from running My Own Marathon. But I really hope this will me my one and only MOM though.


RaYzeef said…
This what i am talking about..great job bro.
A marathon still a marathon, this is a special one yet.
Thanks Ray.. wah nampak gaya macam masih boleh run SCKLM with you.

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