It was not in the script, at least not in mine: a rain-soaked PBIM 2010.
This year, I opted to only to take part in the half marathon for PBIM 2010. When I was about to registered for PBIM earlier in the year, I asked my wife to join the half marathon. I said if she said ok, I will run in the half as well. She was not confident at first as she only ran once a week. But with some encouragement she finally agreed. That was the main reason I opted for half, as I felt it would be good to be in the same distance category with her, or perhaps I could run with her.
This year, the race routes for full and half marathon were the same as last year. My wife and I arrived at around 1:00am to get parking space and do warm-up. I took chance to snap some photos before the race and planned to snap more after the race. I managed to meet up with some friends like Wong Jin Ji, Choo Cheng Liang, Kwang Leng, Winnie Wong, and Cornelius. I was looking for other friends but couldn’t see them in the sea of runners.
The full marathon was flagged-off slightly ahead of schedule. I managed to snap a few starting photos for the full marathon. Then I quickly checked in my stuffs to the baggage area and warmed up together with my wife.
I had planned to run my race and then paced my wife later. Earlier, I had thought of running with her in her maiden half marathon. But after some consideration (by both of us), we felt it would be better for me to pace her later in the race rather the whole race.
The men half marathon started 15 minutes earlier than the women category. I started not too far from the front along with Kwang Leng. I took this chance to see if I could crack 1:45. My previous best was only 1:52. Kwang Leng had run more than 25 half marathons and had PB in the sub-1:45. I figured if I could follow him, I could stand a chance. But I couldn’t follow his initial pace (4.5 minutes/km), so I had to hope that I could pick up the pace later.
My split at the first turn at the bridge (9.4km marker) was around 48 minutes. About 10-15 minutes later, which was around 4:00am, the rain started and it got heavier soon after. It was difficult to run as the heavy rain drops just smacked in my face and eyes. The shoes also get wet and heavier and not forgetting the cold with strong winds blowing. I had to pit-stop for a while to turn off my MP3 and handphone, then, put them in the pocket of my fuel belt. I wasted some precious time there.
After I made the U-turn near E-Gate building, the rain seemed to be subsiding. I increased my pace back to 5 minutes/km. But it was too late, I knew I couldn’t beat the 1:45 barrier. Next target was improving my time if I could. Finally, I completed the race in 1:51:10, my personal best in an AIMS-certified half marathon race course.
I collected my medal and baggage quickly and saw Kwang Leng again. He did it in 1:47, a very good time actually considering the condition of the race. The rain became heavy again, and I was worried about my wife. So I quickly put down my stuffs in the car and removed my shoes. Then I walked toward the finish line and ran the course barefoot in reverse direction to look for my wife.
On my reverse run, I saw many half marathon runners were coming in. The running lane became crowded as some road lanes were blocked off. I saw some full marathoner friends like Ben Swee and Alam Shah running in the crowded lane, overtaking slower half marathoners.
I ran at a very slow pace for the fear of missed out my wife in the dark and crowded running lane. I finally saw my wife 3km from the finish line. I had brought her a new bottle of Gatorade as she doesn’t take any Powergel or any other energy/fuel gel.
I checked my time and realized that she could finish the race within 3 hours. I gave some encouragement and paced her all the way to finish line. In the end, she clocked 2:51 (official gun time) for her maiden half marathon. She had done really well. Her initially target was 3.5 hours as she feared her knees will give her problem. Luckily her knees did hold for most of the race.
I saw that she was really exhausted and she could barely walk. She was also drenched and cold. I brought her towel to dry up and we rested for a few minutes. Then I decided to abandon my plan to snap more photos and sent her home.
I was very happy for my wife for completing her maiden half marathon. Perhaps, one day, she will join me for a full marathon.
Until next run, do take care and stay healthy. Not forgetting, do train harder and prepare yourself more if you want to suffer less or improve your time.