In three days’ time, we will be running in a world-class event – Singapore International Marathon (SIM) on 3 December 2006. This event attracts a record number of participants – 28,000 runners – and well surpassing last year’s mark. Just after two months of opening for registration, the window was abruptly closed as the number was fast approaching threshold limit of maintaining proper crowd control.
Quite a number of the runners were pleasantly surprised (for those who have registered), or shock (for those who have not registered) with the overwhelming responses. The organizer of SIM was most considerate to extend another 50 numbers to Pacesetters members but without the special discount. How I wish such hot response were happening here in our turf – the mediocre KLIM (Kuala Lumpur International Marathon). Nevertheless, nothing is impossible to improve the situation.
This time, there were six runners – 3 guys and 3 girls – in my group in attempting their maiden full marathon. Talk about group motivation: I presume it started with a girl runner who has decided that it is time to upgrade to run a full marathon. She in turn invited her friends and it spread like wild fire. I remember one of them said, “Just run only, die die lah.” I remember reading one article that says: when we need more challenges in life, then run a full marathon.
With months of preparation and dutifully follow the training schedule for long runs, I presume the scenario is quite different now. Though the fear factor is there, the situation is manageable. Too much test run is incomplete; let’s try it in a real marathon race.
While there is limit to our physical capabilities, the mental power is boundless. During the moments of adversities, the encouragement or the presence of running friends would charge runners up for the necessary fuel to the finishing line.
As for me, when I run a marathon, I always set my goal to repeat my timing of sub-4 hours which I gloriously did it in 2004 SIM for 3 hours 51 minutes. Goal setting is the strongest force for human motivation; set a goal and make it come true. Aim high, and if I don’t succeed, I hope I would not be too far off target.
Coincidently, my best timing was achieved when the cheerleading teams in SIM 2004 were keenly competing for the best cheerleading title. When I passed the cheerleading groups, automatically, I was charged up by their roar and motivational quotes, and ran faster. Interestingly, my timing was slower in subsequent marathons in the absence of cheerleading teams.
The mode of travelling to Singapore by runners is varied: by Pacesetters coaches, by Friday 10:30 p.m. south-bound train, by Friday mid-night TransNational bus, by car-pooling and by MAS flight. But the objectives are similar: let’s have lots of funs running the marathon and complete the race.
To the seasoned runners: wishing you a good run and achieve your objective that you have set mentally. To the maiden-attempt runners: wishing you a pleasant run in crossing the finishing line. It takes a lot of courage to be standing tall at the starting line in a full marathon race. Enjoy the feeling of elation and satisfaction when completing the race.
Passion --> Energy
One person that I would like to praise is the photographer of Pacesetters Club, Chan Wing Kai. He shows renewed enthusiasm in taking photos for the Club: 19 November in Ipoh Cross-country race; a week later he flew to Bangkok International Marathon; third consecutive Sundays, to Singapore International Marathon.
Contrary to most runners’ perception, all photographic equipment and expenses are self-financed. Yeah, passion fuels energy in sustaining our endeavour. So, when you see a Club photographer in action, raise your hands or jump up and down (beware of muscle cramp), attract his attention and give your best smile, will ya?
Written By KC
The Line-up (of runners that I know)
Jason Chin (Penguin-12)
Chin YH -- maiden attempt
Leslie Yee - maiden attempt
Foong Weng Horn - maiden attempt
Lim Fang Woei
Chong Yin Fook
Yan Tuck Wing
MoCheng - maiden attempt
Maryann - maiden attempt
Ong Siok Bee - maiden attempt
Lim Peck Yah
Eric Teo (Penguin-10)
Ong Siok Leng
Comment by MoCheng, who is attempting her maiden full marathon in SIM:
With the countdown to Singapore marathon, I am excited amid worry and anxiety. I have completed only one 30km training run. However, I am not sure whether I have done enough training but my coach is very optimistic and positive.
Running a marathon is very much a mental game, as I was told: You can, if you think you can. On race day, I hope I am energized and feeling terrific in overcoming obstacles (leg pain or muscle cramp) beyond 30km mark. Since I am going into uncharted water, I shall expect the unexpected.
Are there any handsome guy cheerleaders in SIM to give me a boost in my energy level when the going gets tough (and the tough goes running marathon)?
Comment by Leslie Yee. He is running his first full marathon:
My training is Okay so far but may not be enough to run a satisfactory marathon. It’s my first – and maybe the last – so my training schedule was just meeting the minimum requirement of running mileage.
In preparation before training run or running any race, eating banana or PowerBar is something I always do to provide the necessary energy. So it will be the same formula during competition. My last race was running Bidor Half marathon a few weeks ago. During the tapering week, I have been sleeping at 10pm and waking up at 6am to do short jogs -- what a super healthy lifestyle.
I am feeling well-prepared mentally and physically. Since there are many factors that affect performance and timing, I will do my best on race day.
I'm targeting to complete in 5 hours. My strategy is to run at slower pace for 15km and then run slightly faster for next 15km and then maintain my steady speed till crossing the finishing line.