Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Race Report: River Jungle Marathon 2013

3rd time running in this event and due to some landslides, we had a new route.
My attempt to sub 5 again failed but I really enjoyed this race.
Split times on the arm.
We flagged off with some firework from the school at 5am. It was quite pack when we leaving the small Bt18 village heading towards the T-junction. The pack only eases up after the first water station at 5km point. Its helps on my pace cause no way I can ran too fast at this stretch and I was only planned a 7:15 pace all the way to the peak at the 1st u-turn. The early morning weather was humid but cooling with light wind, and it was very dark for the first 10km. Finally, when you able to look out far, 11km passed and the T-junction greeted you with a 4km long steep incline all the way to the 1st u-turn point. I was happy to reach this point because my pace still very steady and I actually ran all the way up to the peak. Time checked when I reached the peak, 1’45” behind my plan, great! Let’s push harder now when going down hill! Obviously I underestimated the decline part. This stretch taxed me more that I anticipated and left me a black toe nail with very sore quads muscles. I can’t pushed up to my target pace, and the climb at 20km really beaten me flat.

The other issue I had was the upset stomach. I tried new energy bar before the race, taken the new gel around 14km, the stomach started to felt rumbling. Managed to hold up until 20km then doing my first release. It was ok for a while, when I passed the 22km fruits / water station, it started again. I walked a bit from the fruit station (didn’t take any of the fruit because I don’t want to challenge my stomach further), and I realized that I will again missed my sub 5 target. I walked about 2 minutes and finally able to regenerate enough strength to continue, but can only kept a slower pace cause the stomach rumbling again. After the 2nd u-turn, went straight to the porta-potty for 2nd release =.=

I corrected my mistake this time. On previous race, I usually walked quite a bit once I missed or gave up my target, and often felt regretted. This time, I did a better mental check and knew that I still have some chance to hit 5:15 but for sure I will sub 5.5. Hence I pushed again from 30km, until I really hit the wall at 36-37km (or may be it was just the sun came out…), then I plugged in the run-walk strategy (ran for 5 minutes and walked for 2 minutes). Until I reached the mark of 40km, I gave myself a longer walking break. Then I charged all the way to the finish line. Finished my 10th marathon by 5:26’45” (net time). I stayed back for another 2.5 hours to snap lots of runners returned to the finish line. Enjoyed lots of happy face :)
Great things about this race,
1. Well organized marathon, improved with fruits station (when coconuts became a norm). Being part of the marathon series also gave additional excitement when we received the extra t-shirt. Great medals design!
2.  The detour or alternative route is even better! We were like a bunch of runners having a great party over the 42km! The 2 u-turns gave you lots of changes to cheers or being cheers by your fellow runners.
3. Safest parking. We parked into the police station!

Possible improvement,
1. Shuttle service from town. Parking will be an issue if the number of runners kept the same growth rate. Some of us parked along the roadside and may create some inconvenience to the local.
2. To have an official cut off time. The race without cut off time is not very healthy because we tend to draw some participants who run without training. To complete a full marathon with sufficient training itself already a challenging task, without training will only make the situation worse and increase the injury rate. I think if we wish to encourage more runners to take part in full marathon, may be we can set the cut off time to 8 hours.

This is a race that all runners can enjoy. Had very challenging route for seasonal runners and long / no cut off time to ease the stress for FMV. Scenery route for everyone to take a break from the traffic packed city races. I will sure return in 2014! Now, back to training plan to revisit my sub 5 target in SCKLM.


  1. Despite the stomach issues, you did well! Congrats Neoh. :-)

    1. Thanks Lina.
      Hope next year we can start together, with Zaini ;)

    2. Looking forward to it! :-)

  2. Found the reason of my 2nd toe pain. I think I must had kicked something really hard with that toe. The same toe on VFF broken and some rubber went missing :p