Thursday, January 31, 2013


I ran my first full marathon in May 2011 and have not stopped since (although I have reduced the frequency drastically). Each has its own trial and tribulation, and it was such a great feeling to be able to overcome them and crossed the finishing line. within the targetted time. The charitable me then thought "hey, it would be even better if I could help others to complete their full marathon." And with that my journey as a full marathon pacer began.

It started in June 2012 when I volunteered to be the pacer for the most prestigious race in Malaysia, the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon. 

I did not know what I was expected to do apart from running while carrying a big balloon. In the morning of the race, I met other 5:30 pacers and felt a surge of relief when I found out that I would be pacing with those who have done this a few times before. We started the run together but as the gap widened among the runners, KK and I led the 5:30 runners and Kelvin and Chooi Wan acted as sweepers at the back. We talked and laughed all the way and crossed the finishing line together at 5:29. It was one of the best things I did in my running life.

The great experience at SCKLM spurred the thought to pace again, so, I volunteered to pace at Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) in 2012. But this time I decided to go for a bit of a challenge and signed up as a 5:00 hour pacer.

Challenge was exactly what I got at PBIM. It was a tough route with a few long climbs and the fact that the run started at some god forsaken hour didn't help either. 

I was tired even before we hit the 30km mark but I would hate to fail the runners who had put their hopes in me. So, I ran and pushed and finally, 4 hours and 55 minutes later, we made it to the finishing line! That was a real hard work and even though I only managed to bring only 3 guys to the end, it was indeed very satisfying. 

Note to self: I think I will stick to being a 5:30 pacer! 

Obviously I didn't take note of the Note to Self above as I again volunteered to become a 5:00 hour pacer at SCKLM in 2013.

However due to the injury sustained during a cycling incident a few weeks before the race, I contacted the organiser and they agreed for me to pace for 5:30. This time, I ran with Ilyana as the other pacer and a few friends who were running their first FM. I love this pace as it allowed me to relax and focused on the runners. Again, there was a lot of chit chatting and stretching along the way and most who followed us from the start made it to the finishing line well within time. Another great day's work for me. 

And now let's see what 2014 holds for me....

Yoma Yangon Marathon 2013

My 1st full marathon for 2013 but the 12th FM in my running life and I still managed to do everything wrong prior to this race:

THURSDAY 24/1/2013
Full of vigour, I did 10km of hill run, cycled on a trainer for an hour and swam 3km. It felt great on the day but in hindsight, they were the worst things I could ever do while tapering. 

FRIDAY 25/1/2013
Overexertion coupled with the lack of sleep, I felt a sore throat and cold coming. Despite that, I braved the 2:30 hour plane ride to Yangon and despite sleeping most of the day, my cold became worse. Worried that I was not going to be fit for the race, I took some drastic actions in the hope of getting drastic results - I started downing clarinase and paracetamol.

SATURDAY 26/1/2013

I really felt groggy from the meds and my thighs were still sore from the bike and the run on Thursday! Not a feeling you want to experience on pre-race day! The only thing I could muster myself to do was to walk across the hotel to pick up the race kit where I met the usual suspects. I wasn't in the mood to socialise so, said my hi and bye and went back to the hotel room to sleep. I was also suppose to carbo load but I had no appetite, my throat was still inflamed and my nose was bocked, so, I loaded myself with more meds instead. 

SUNDAY 27/1/2013

When I woke up on the race day, I was still not feeling 100% but being the adrenalin junkie that I am, I was immediately on a high as soon as I saw the starting line and some of the familiar happy faces. 

The event started with no drama and I ran oh so beautifully covering 20 km in 2 hours in the temperature of just over 20C. It was a great feeling. 

The great feeling was however shortlived with the rising of the sun. I started having runner's stitch and despite all the tricks in the book, I couldn't get rid of it, so, I reduced the pace and ran with my hand on my rib trying to ease the pain. 9km later, the pain disappeared, but the soreness in the thighs started to kick in and as it was getting hotter, my nose started to run again!

I was so glad to see the pagoda cause that marked the finishing line. Just before I turned into People's Park, I saw Franco running towards me. Tasha was also there and she accompanied me on the last 10m stretch! That was precious moment. 

On the other side of the chip mat, stood Aiman who finished over an hour before I arrived, with a big happy smile on his face. The same smile I would have, every time I see other runners cross the finishing line. It is one that is filled with pride and that day, I was proud. I was proud to run in the inaugural Marathon in Myanmar and be part of the history.