I signed up for this year’s marathon again. When there is a marathon event, the excitement is always there. Somehow, I have short-term memory. I always forget how painful a marathon is, how agonizing running 42.195km is, until I am running it past 35KM. At this stage, I am being reminded again that it is hard. It is extremely hard running this distance at one go, no matter how many times you have run it.
I am very happy I met up with my long-time Strava friend Nurul. She told me a few days ago to book my cab in advance just in case I can’t get one due to high demand at 3 am. But as I was using Gojek app, there is no advance-booking function. So I started to book at around 2:59 am but true enough, there was no one answering the request due to less car and high demand! I was panicking quite a bit and quickly activated Comfort Delgro app. Viola, managed to book one immediately, cheaper too because there is $3 discount voucher. I was not taking the shuttle bus again because like last year, the pickup time was 1:30 am! Who want to take their bus at 1:30 am!
I met Nurul near Pen D and E entrance. We took a picture together and had some chats before we separated and entered our respective pen. Nurul is a strong runner and so athletic! I am always amazed at her running ability. We both ran the 50-hour non stop run event at Bedok Reservoir in 2018 but didn’t get to meet due to different timing I think. Now finally we met!
This time, flag-off time was delayed by 15 minutes. I don’t know why that SCSM flag-off timing is always delayed and never on time. There was no rain this time. But a 15-minute delay is better than an hour delay (last year!).
At the beginning of the run, I found myself running together with 5:00hr pacers. I planned to run at a comfortable pace and since I was quite comfortable so just stuck to them until I lost them. We ran from F1 to West Coast Highway, back to Marina Boulevard, then to East Coast Park Service Road and U-turn back to Marina Barrage again. The sunrise was beautiful at Marina Reservoir and some runners stopped to take photos but I wasn’t going to stop to take photos, better focus on running. The weather was quite humid and suffocating in the early morning but it soon disappeared after rain started to fall. Nurul was right, she said hoped it would rain after sunrise and true enough, it rained!!! No heavy rain, just light and cooling rain and it felt so good!
I saw some funny signs along the route where supporters were standing holding cardboard. I giggled at “I like your stamina, call me”. These supporters were so cheerful and lively at these early hours.
At the splitting point between half marathon and marathon, I heard someone say: “Bye half marathoners”. He sounded a bit sad, probably regretting his decision to run a marathon now. There was still another 21k to go!!! We ran double what half marathon runners ran. I told myself, keep going keep running, stop looking for the distance marker, just run don’t look.
At around 36k, 5:15hr pacers ran past me so I hitched a ride and followed behind them. There was a sudden spurt of energy but only lasted for about 3k and I lost them too. At this debilitating stage, I was questioning myself a lot. I was scolding myself: why do you want to sign up for marathon, now you’re asked to run 42k non-stop, is it very satisfying? is it very fun? See if you want to run marathon again, next time you still want to run the marathon again?! Don’t be silly.
Along the course, people were spraying the muscle spray a lot, I didn’t need it so I kept going but the smell of the spray was so strong, it went into my throat and I felt like I was eating the spray mist. I hoped they would stop spraying.
Running along Benjamin Sheares Bridge at 38km was so energy-draining. I was down to walking although I really didn’t want to walk! And I was disappointed that I was forced to walk, I was beyond exhausted and my legs were begging me to stop. At 40k, someone was cursing the course was too long, how come not reaching yet? Saw someone holding the sign: “If your legs are tired, run with your heart”. I appreciate their kindness. But at this point, my heart was also very very tired!!! It has been beating hard for 5+ hours for goodness sake!!!
Soon, I ran into the National Stadium and crossed the finish line. Collected the finisher tee and medal, cold mineral water, 100plus, banana, cold wet towel and oatside oatmilk drinks. Just when I wanted to sit down for the first time, Nurul saw me and she looked so fresh, she didn’t look like she had just run a sub-5 marathon! My inspiration.
So I finished another marathon. End of story. Congratulations to all finishers! All of you are amazing!