2018 marks the 17th anniversary the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
As early as 2.00AM in the Sunday’s morning, I woke up and got ready for my Standard Chartered Singapore half marathon. About two weeks ago, I bought the bus ticket to the Singapore F1 Pit Building, where the starting point was located, and it departed from my selected location.
The bus came on time. Unfortunately, many of us who did not print out the bus ticket and wanted to use the mobile app called Share Transport to show our bus tickets, failed to load the application.
My wild guess was many of us trying to login to their application and the server could not take the load. Yah, being a professional in IT, this is what usually we will think when an application or a website cannot load.
The bus driver did not check on us and allowed us to board the bus. Well, being a honest human living in Singapore, I hope all of us were genuine people who bought the bus ticket. The departure time was delayed and I still able to reach there before 4.00AM, where two of my friends were waiting.
At this wee hours, the city became so crowded with people and the roads were jammed with cars, taxis and buses. The bus did not drop us right next to the Singapore F1 Pit and we needed to do some walking crossing the road. It was a good warm up session with the crowd.
Fortunate enough, they split the lanes to “express” and “drop baggage”. Due to security check, the runners with bags have to be checked before walking into the baggage area, while those without bags like me can just use the “express” lane.
There was nothing much to see at the starting point at the Singapore F1 Pit building. Around 4.15AM, they started to announce the Pen A, B and C were to close soon. After last year bad experience with choosing a pen which I have to walk for 15 minutes to the designated pen at the Orchard Road, I decided not to bother the completion time during the registration. The completion time is used to determine which pen you will be flagged out.
It took me a while before I finally able to move into the starting point as people were started walking in after the announcement was made. I was at pen C and I flagged off at 4.44AM according to my Fitbit.
This year the running route for half marathon was different than the usual one, no more running at the ECP (East Coast Park). We ran to the west, passed through the city, where the War Memorial Park, St. Andrew Cathedral, Fullerton Hotel and Lau Pa Sat are located, before we turned into Keppel Road.
From the Tanjong Pagar Old Railway Station, we ran up to the West Coast Highway. It was a very boring straight highway. Okay la, not very straight but nothing to see when we were facing west. However, when I finally made a U-turn at the 13th KM along the highway, the whole journey changed. My next 4KM along the highway was accompanied by the beautiful late sunrise. It was my best memory for my entire half marathon.
I made a few stops along the way for water stations. At one of its water stations, they provided bananas and gels. I chose to eat the gel than the banana. The gel will take effective faster than the banana to “generate” energy for me.
Also, I stopped by to do stretching and of course to enjoy the majestic sunrise and tagged along some people as my pacers. Of course, along the way, I saw marathon pacers passed by me.
Unfortunately, this wonderful scene could only be my memories. I did not take picture of it as many other people did. And ya, how many chances you can take a sunrise picture at the middle of the highway without endanger other people?
Come to the most historical moment, after exited the highway, I ran back to the city toward the ending point. This was where the half marathon and the full marathon started to split their way. Right at the 77 Robinson Road, after went through about 19KM of the marathon, suddenly I could not move any further, not even slow walk.
Yes, I reached my maximum capacity of running, jogging, brisk walking or even slow walking. I took a break and tried to do some stretching to relax my muscle. It did not work out well. It seemed bad but I still insisted to continue. For every steps I took, I prayed. With the God’s blessing, I managed to reach somewhere near Fullerton Hotel again.
It was scorching hot by then. I started to hear people running from the back, shouting, “Don’t walk, just final 1KM”. Then, I realized, the end point was not too far from where I was walking. Since, I felt much better then, I decided to slowly pace my jog up to Esplanade. From behind, I heard, “Excuse me, excuse me”. I was wondering, why needed to shout when the whole road was open for us to run!
Hah, it was a group of 2hr 45m pacers for half marathon. I thought they have left earlier than me as I did not notice seeing them during my journey. I felt motivated after seeing them, they seemed to be delayed. Anyway, I followed their pace for a while running up all the way to turn right into Raffle Avenue.
Then, I started to lose energy and I knew I needed to slow down and paced again. Finally, I gained back my momentum to jog for the last 150 meters away to the finishing lane. Along the way, plenty of photographers readily to take photographs of us. I posted a few since I was jogging on the left lane.
I crossed the finishing lane at gun time 3:20:38 at the floating point area. Hooray! Congratulations!
I walked to collect my medal, but cannot collect the finisher T which is meant for full marathoners, then I walked over to the Singapore Flyer’s area to get the cold tower, cold mineral water. I lost all my energy then, that I could not even open the bottle of drink. Lucky, the boys helped me out.
I gulped down half a bottle of it. I started to forget where was the last water station did I stop. Then, I started to feel tired and unable to walk, but I still need to walk pass the whole stretch of water station, then collected my cold isotonic drink, the banana and I skipped the Lays’ potato chips to the resting area.
So many people around there and I chose to stand behind a board, a Thank You board for the volunteers. Oh, well… It is better you save the money making those boards and go paperless. At least you can get people feedback of your entire event.
Nevertheless, the board helped me to block the sun while I was drinking my drinks and eating the banana. It was a good spot to take picture with Singapore Flyer. A few people came and asked me to help them to take pictures. With my skill, of course, I gave the best shot the full wheel of fortune and half body with their medal. (Need to squat a little bit ya).
I left the game village shortly after that without waiting for my friends and headed back home. I wanted to take a good shower and rest for half a day. At the MRT station, I went to the washroom to do a quick “shower” before I made my journey back home. I just did not want to smell smelly in the train. Hehe…
At home, I did my laundry, took my shower and I started to feel super hungry. I decided to walk to the market for my breakfast, yes, it was still in the morning. While walking, I noticed my legs began to pain, the after effect of running for long distance. So, I went back home after that, put on some muscle rub and cushioned my legs before I slept.
I slept for another 4 hours and woke up, replied some messages and felt hungry again. I went out again to buy some grocery to cook my dinner that night. Well, I felt my both of my legs got better after some rest and I continued to do more stretching after dinner.
Two days after the marathon, I felt everything back to normal and I was able to walk normally. Still remember two of my friends ran for the full marathon? I asked them to bring their medal for me to take a picture. The medal is huge and heavy as compared with my half marathon medal.