Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alliance Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012

Race Name: Penang Bridge Marathon 2012
Date: 18 November 2012
Distance: 42k aka Full Marathon
Running Buddies:
  1. Yana – Register for 10k, came but did not run because of food poisoning that night
  2. Lat – not new to the running scene but first time running with us, she did the 10k but later regret; wishing she done the half instead
Chapter 1 – The new job  
I started on my new job on November 14, 2012, yes 4 days away from the day of the event. This is due to my brilliant and understanding husband agreeing on my behalf on my starting day. Anyway that is all water under the bridge now, and it turns out ok as I did not have time to freak out and go on last minute training frenzy. The sad thing was I did not get to be in KL 1 week early and my entire plan for the super delicious very much needed carbo-loading did not happen… Oh well…. Sigh….

Chapter 2 – The hotel reservation
Lesson learnt from last year, we selected and booked our accommodation way ahead of time. We check and double check on the dates so that there will be no problem this year. Anyway on Friday (November 16, 2012) I decided to call the contact person for the accommodation, we decided to book an apartment since at that time there will be 6 of us, hence an apartment is cheaper and more comfortable. The location of the apartment is also a plus as it is within the walking distance from the event.

Talking to the person in charge, I quickly got upset and annoyed. The apartment is under renovation!!!! According to him the website where I did my booking from knew about this. Thank you very much AGODA.COM. Anyway I call agoda.com and have a nice chat with them; they need confirmation with the person in charge. (Yes, Agoda I am lying to you about my booking not being available and my flight is tonight duhhhh!!!) They did their confirmation, stated they will refund my money, sorry for the trouble and I can get 10% discount on my next booking. (Really 10% oh! how nice yes I will surely book via your website again NOT EVER !!!!!)

I send SOS to all concerning parties (running buddies; at this point there was only 4 of us left) and ask them to look for a hotel room for all of us. We were lucky to get a room in Equatorial Penang but of course the price so superbly cutthroat. What can we do, we need a room. On the plus side, the hotel room was nice, huge and the view was beautiful.

Chapter 3 – The race
I woke-up super early, can’t really sleep too excited about the race. Can anyone blame me I waited 1 year for the race …..waited ok not trained ok :-P …. Got there in time, no traffic because I was early and got to see the opening ceremony. Seriously you guys there was lion dance and Gang-nam style performance at 2am.

The race started on time and there I go…. Yeay me…

The plan was to following the 6.00hrs pacers; let me tell you now, IT DID NOT WORK. I was doing well on the bridge going and returning back but the stretch on the highway was killing me. My pace was getting slower and slower and alternating between walking and running became permanently walking.  I hit my wall at the in front of Tesco a few kilometers ahead where the 21k runners did their U-turn. I was really tempted to turn I did not know where I got it from but the race route that was in my head keep saying that the U-turn for the full marathon was in front of the Tesco building but it was not !!!!! Disappointed when the U-turn is still a long way to go I just don’t want to run anymore (hahahahaha like I can run anymore at that point)

Anyway the highway route was really long, at some point I was swearing at the distance marker where it says 5km to U-turn. A returning runner saw me and smile he said it is not that far you can do it. What can I do? Keep walking and every now and then I keep looking back and wishing (PRAYING) for the sweeper. The sweeper bus never came. I thought of quitting, I saw a couple of place where I can arrange for the group designated driver to pick me up but my mobile run out of batteries. I am totally useless without my mobile, can’t remember anyone’s number even mine so I just keep on walking …..

Chapter 4 – The finishing line
In the last 5km to the finishing line, I meet up with the 10k run for fun group … this is great, this is good, this is F*$#@g amazing Ithought,  it will not be that embarrassing finishing with them nobody will see me I just blend in. Just my luck the 10k runner finishing line was at a different location. 1km towards the finishing we depart way. I was really tempted just to blend in with them as it is really embarrassing but I saw 1 runner in front of me and I knew there are a few others behind me. What the hell smile and just get to the finishing line there are still people around. I am sure they have not removed or dismantle the finishing line sign ….errr I hope ….

Yups I cross the finishing lime at 7hrs 12 min …. Embarrassing? Yes. But my friends was there cheering me on taking pictures and upating them on facebooks instantly. The crowd was great…. I was happy to finish!!! The amazing part was there this Race Marshall telling me to hurry this way and saying they will be closing the gate in 5 more minute. Closing the gate? 5 more minutes? Yeah I can think straight after completing 42k. Anyway I just did what he asked, just follow the direction he was pointing too. Hey!!! I got to collect the 42 finisher T-Shirt and Medal hahahahahaha …… Along the way I was feeling slightly sad as I passed the 6hrs marked. Read somewhere that the cut off time was 6hrs but I guess they decided to extend the timeline. I am not complaining :-)  Yeay... I got the t-shirt ... I got the t-shirt

Chapter 4 – Returning Home
Collected my t-shirt had a drink of water and walk to the car. I release my feet from my shoe and walk bared foot from the hotel parking lot to my room. I was not the only one doing that …. I can't describe the feeling... My feet was singing as soon as un-tie the shoe lace

Anyway I soaked myself fully cloth in the tub, alternating between cold and hot water. It was heaven. I took a bath and nap for a while. Woke-up with sore everything…. Have a couple of bruises and blisters at the most amazing places on my body.

Anyway had my lunch and continue sleeping. I extended my hours in the hotel, my running buddies left for KL after lunch. I was taking the flight straight to Singapore later in the evening.

On the flight I proudly wore my t-shirt. Again I was not alone. There were a lot of us on the same flight wearing the same t-shirt. The feeling was GREAT (borrowing from Arman – IT WAS AWESOME!!!)

Chapter 5 – Recovery
After completing the (ehem) full marathon I realize I do not really know what to do after completing the race. What are the do’s and don’ts ? As anyone in this day and age will do, I ask Google for the answer. Read a couple of things and decided to write a checklist and post it on my blog. BUT I have not done it yet!!!! But I will before my full marathon next year!

Yes I will be entering the Penang Bridge Marathon in 2013. It will be held at the new bridge. I will conquer that bridge and improve my time ….I aim to finish within 5:30hrs next year …… Next time around I will proudly cross that finishing line :-)

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