Sunday, April 24, 2011

Energizer Nightmare Race FM, 'Fun' Marathon 2011

This was my sixth time out running FM and what a disappointing race event it turned out to be.

I didn't have much expectation of this race as I was not well-prepared for the full marathon. Due to heavy workload, I got little time to train. When I did have the time, I was too tired. Anyway, the intention was to experience the night FM and running on the F1 track.

Last year, I joined the HM only and it was a tough race. Running at night was not easy as I usually train in the morning.

This year, the event attracted 10,000 runners. New event organiser was contracted to run the event. I have not heard about this organiser before.

On race day, I arrived only one hour before the race start. There were no or little signage to direct the runners to the start/finish area. There were also long queue going into the tunnels to the paddock area. I went on the other tunnel and found myself near the event main staging area.

When I found out where was the baggage area, it was already long queue waiting and I had only less than half an hour to start. I didn't manage to get permission from the other runners to deposit my bag in front of the queue. Luckily I saw Paul Liong queuing and asked for his help to deposit mine together. Then I rushed to the start/finish line with only 10 minutes left. No time to do any warm up.

The race started on time. I started with good pace around 5 min/km. The FM runners made a right turn to head to outside of the paddock area. The FM runners would run 5 loops outside the F1 circuit and only 1 loop in the F1 circuit.

The outside loop was really dark in half of the distance. It was not good to run and the route was hilly in some parts too.

Anyway, the first 2 laps was quite comfortable. The last 2 laps outside were really tough as I was getting tired quite fast. I also drank too much in a few water stations that caused me to have a stitch on my right abdomen.

I made my return to the paddock area after 5 loops outside and was greeted by cheers and claps by the exiting 5.5km and 11km runners who had already finished their race.

The last 5.5km around the track was really mind over body. My pace was getting slower and slower and eventually being overtook by 3 runners.

In the end, I finished my race in 3:45:31. The distance covered was only 39.4km according to my Garmin GPS. This was definitely under-distance as originally predicted by many runners.

At the finish line, I tried to look for water but couldn't find any. There were also no medical tent near the finish line. There were only Gatorade near the staging area.

Paul Liong greeted me and passed me my bag. I expressed my gratitude to him as he had already finished his HM race much earlier. He told me that there was some commotion in the goodie bags/medal collection area. The organiser had to stop distributing the goodie bags and medals.

I chatted with some runner friends and went back the way I came. By then it was around 1:00am.

This was the worst run event that I had ever joined. Not many positive things that I could take back from this race.

After a streak of 4 consecutive FMs that I set Personal Best, I was brought down to earth by this result:

Official time: 3:45:31
Rank Category: 16
Rank Mixed: 27
Rank Overall: 28

Until the next run, do train hard and stay healthy.