Monday, October 17, 2011

Putrajaya Night Marathon Race Report

Finally, the big event came and gone. I completed my 2nd marathon in 6:18 hours, outside of the targeted 6 hours cut-off time. It was a very well organized event and I guessed lots of runners enjoyed the run as much as I do.

Yes, I put in many thought to plan my game, but none of the plans was followed on the game day. I pushed too hard at the first 16km, the HRM shown about 150~160BPM although I am not going really fast (pace at about 7.5min/km). The body didn’t used to the night race and took more energy to ramp up. I should stay within or even at the lower bottom of my aerobic zone, 130~140BPM will be a very good start. After 16km, I start to felt I am struggling to keep running. I took the first energy gel at 18km and continue to push on.

Basically, after 22km, I started to walk a bit. I used the counting cons/lamp poles technique to keep myself within the control limit of walking. But the walking getting more frequent until the water station at 26km. Lots of runners passed me from this stretch. I know that I will not able to make it back to finish line if I kept walking that much. So, I popped in the 2nd energy gel at the water station, drove the walking option out of my mind, and ran to the next water station at a steady slow pace. On the balance of the distances, I am running from water station to water station and tried my very best to keep walking at minimum. Mid night passed and I only reached 28km mark. I knew I need to keep going to made it to the cut off time.

At the 32km, my left calf started to tense up and I knew it’s about to cramp up. So, I had no choice but to walk more from here. Got the PowerBar gel from the sponsor but I had to keep it for later. No point to push unless the tense eased up. Btw, I walked some the tense never eased up; really no choice and I popped in the 3rd serving of energy gel at 35km and pushed on. This time, I told myself I can’t stop or slow down if I really wanted to finish by 6 hours. I started to push harder and my hearth rate moving up to 165BPM range. There are 7 more kilometers to go, and I had 50 minutes left before 2am. Too bad, these final stretches are just as tough as the other part of the course. I can only pushed my pace to 7~8 min/km. At 1:50am, I still had 2km. From that point, I gave out running and only walking. I think I can still pushed on, and finished the race at about 6:10, but the driving force just drained out of me once I noticed I can’t made it in the cut off time.

With Tan at the starting line.
Through out the race, I am like duet with Tan from the start. We first met at the RJM on the dreaded 3km climb. He is very friendly and gave me lots of encouragement during that climb. This round in PNM, we met at the starting pan, wished each other good luck and took some photos. From there, we met in varies spots on the route. He is tough and going with very consistence pace. When I am walking at the final km, Tan again caught up with me. With his encouragement, I restart my engine and heading back to the finish line in running. He is really amazing and still able to surge to high speed at the last 200m, hence Tey (who finished his 5:27 FM, and start snapping photos, thanks for the nice photo) can took a nice single shoot for both us respectively. Thank you Tan for your company and encouragement over the 42km.
2:18am in the Morning, at PNM Finish Line. Photo by Tey.
Catch up with Chan too at the Starting Line, he is doing HM.

Learning for this FM,
1. Start slow at FM, stay at the bottom of the aerobic zone until you feel comfortable for the first 2 hours, then you can push harder. Btw, I do observe that my aerobic zone is matched with a slower pace through out the race. May be it’s a night running which the body is not familiar with. So, put some training that mimic to your racing condition is important.
2. If you cleared your mind and don’t keep think of walking, you can run very far and still keep going. In other words, FOCUS.
3. Planning is important. What more important is “Follow the PLAN”!

On the other preparation (apart from training mileage), I am surprised that the Nokia Phone with SportsTracker can stay up for 7.5 hours. I forgot to turn off the SportsTracker so its kept my driving speed too :P

My next race will be the PJ Half Marathon, follow by the PBIM (I took HM only), Nike 10k, then my 3rd Marathon at SC Marathon Singapore. Hope to put up a training plan and game plan to sub-6 hours in SCMS.

Have fun!


  1. Congrats on pushing on and crossing that finish line :D You did good.

  2. Congrats on making to the finish line!

    And good luck on all your future races. :)

  3. Thanks Lina!
    How about you? Took part in any of the race?

  4. Congratulations, Neoh! Another finish in the bag! Hope to see you in Penang..

  5. Thanks Zack!
    I only running for HM in Penang, but will be there earlier to support for the FM flag off. Good luck and have fun!

  6. @Neoh,
    Nothing big. The Nike & ParkCity Run is too near to my vacation so for Nov I just have IOI Community Run. Nothing planned for Dec yet. For Jan 2012, I've registered for MPIB Run.

  7. Yes, focus is the key in long hauls like FM. Well done for ur second FM. Keep it up!

  8. Lina, me too will start to limit my race to once a month next year. Don't want to stretch too much on the muscle + wallet :P Took Newton New Year run in Jan, so will not join MPIB.

    Enjoy your vacation + run in Japan.

  9. Thanks Francis!
    New training plan is up for the sub-6 target in Singapore. Lucky thing is the ITBFS seem to be subsided now. The extra stretching during warm up and cool down definitely helped.