RAK Half Marathon 2014

I came back to the UAE just three weeks after Dubai Marathon, this time for my favourite annual race, the RAK Half Marathon. I was hoping for a 1:35 ish finish this time but my coach has warned against pushing it too hard as I was still recovering from my marathon. She estimated a 1:42 finish for me. But I just ignored her warning and try to run at 4:30 ish min/km. She was right. I was tired since KM 5! Paul Concannon, my friend from DBRC asked me about my race plan earlier in the race. I told him that I was going for 1:35. That was his goal too and we agreed to pace each other. I was struggling and I knew he did too. I can tell by the way he breathed. I could not keep the the same pace without struggling too much. I was running in anaerobic heart rate zone. I was perplexed; I should still feel 'comfortable' at that pace. But I just tired. My pace slipping away from KM 6. Paul, though struggling, managed to maintained the effort and continue. He finished the race in 1:37.

I slowed down and tried to run at 4:45 min/km. It was still a struggle but manageable. At KM 15, Davy Muller, another friend from DBRC overtook me. I was not supposed to let him beat me because we had a deal that the loser will have to pay 500 Riyal to the winner. Luckily the bet was cancelled. But I was too tired to chase. I would've fought for it had the deal went through.  I just kept the same effort and tried to give one last push in the last KM. I finished the race in 1:39:38. A 6 min improvement from my previous Personal Best.

I was happy despite not achieving my initial target. I gave my best. I went to the race tired because I did not stop racing since Munich last October. So I have decided that I will not run the Dubai Marathon or any marathon 3 months before RAK Half Marathon next year. My strategy is to run a fast half marathon at RAK and build up for a marathon in spring.

RAK Half Marathon is officially the world's fastest with so many elite runners completed the race sub 60 minutes year after year.
With the Doha Bay Running Club's contingent at post race breakfast
Congratulations my friend Ashran aka Bulat, on his first half marathon. Bulat only started running 4 months ago. His next goal is to run Barcelona Marathon next month.
This is how I spent my Valentine's Day, by running a half marathon.

Garmin Details :
RAK Half Marathon 2014 by Syafei at Garmin Connect - Details

Race Statistics:

Time (Nett): 1:39:38
Rank Total: 277th / 2398
Rank Male: 235th / 1525
Shoe: Asics Gel Excel 33 

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