Saturday, January 30, 2016

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2016

The thought of joining Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (SCHKM) 2016 were pop up in mind when i saw the facebook updates back in 2015 that 2016 will be the 20th anniversary year of SCHKM !!!

i thought why not joining this SCHKM this round on this special occasion ! A chit chat with friend found out that SCHKM is a very popular hot demand marathon in Hong Kong or Malaysia (at least among my running community)

Registration was fall on 25 Sept 2015, Friday. Somehow on Friday morning, i automatically wake up at 5:30am and get ready everything for work and im sitting in front my computer at 6:40am. Its the time im waiting for it, but somehow somewhere inside my mind have different thought!

I opened up the website and keep refreshing start from 6:50am. When the registration link appeared, i felt so excited. Proceed to register and its done!

This is my FIRST time running a marathon in Hong Kong yet everyone thought i'm been always running in Hong Kong! Yes, I did run in Hong Kong back to 2012 Ultra Trail Vibram Hong Kong 100KM...

Fast forward to 15 Jan 2016, my friend and i fly to Hong Kong on Friday. On the next day, we went to race expo for bib collection.

This trip, i was targeting 4:30 hours timing when i just registered for the race months ago. Somehow, this target this aim got forgotten as i'm so into Crossfit where i almost everyday check in to the box without fails, except rest day.

On 16 Jan, Hong Kong weather was not so good as its raining and cool but i like it! Weather forecast says tomorrow 17 Jan Sunday will be raining!

On the 17 January 2016, The SCHKM Race Day

I got the second wave starting time 6:45am. We left our hostel MongKok together with many others Malaysian runners who stay in the same building at 5:15am. Just 4 MTR stations away from Mongkok to the starting point!

The day was good at 5:45am, had our drop bag dropped to truck and we proceed to starting point waiting... We saw the first wave 6:15am took off. While we walking toward the starting line, we pickup plastic raincoat that first wave runners throw at roadside as it start to rain! We stand really in front near to starting line! Waitinggggg......Waiting... and waiting...  Suddenly its  HEAVY RAIN ! KNS... Run yet start and its rain! Lucky we have raincoat pickup earlier.

Flagged off! The race started! My race strategy always the simple one, where my
First 10km to clock 1 hour 10mins,
21KM at 2 hours 10mins to 15mins and lastly 30KM 3 hours 30mins as standard benchmark for sub-5 timing.

In the first KM, the road is like running down hills... without me realizing, my pace were faster than im suppose to be as reminded by friend! Then i try to control my pace... "I'm running my First marathon in Hong Kong, how wonderful its going to be" were running in my mental... The rain, from light to heavy does not stop me, but i felt good to push my legs!

The first thing i wanted to do after flagged off is pee! how come nobody go pee at roadside one??? Im running, keep running and forget where, i think some 30mins of running, suddenly i saw roadside there's runners pee-ing ! woohoo... time to release !!! its was wonderful... body felt lighter... resume back to run.

A lot of runners, really a lot of runners along the way, all the way and the rains, it rain, stop, and rain again! Thanks to my compression top, I never felt cold but wet. Water stations were good and im love the idea of big water bottles i think its 50Litres capacity as we seen in office were used !!! Unlike in Malaysia where uses 1.5L bottles which created bloody lot of rubbish!

First 10km timing were on target, and followed by 21km! Somewhere 15KM point, i was overtook by lead pacer who lead blind runner together with a friend. The friend have this music box playing Hong Kong oldies song! Split second spark decision hit my intention that i'm going to follow them! They are running at good pacing which i can try to follow as i'm feeling good, all system ready to go!

At 21KM, i felt something in my stomach! Aiks... Body need to release but i still can hold it. Waiting for the right time, right place to release! Whenever i ran pass mobile toilet, i will only stop when there's no queue, no people waiting... Just before the tunnel, suddenly saw a runner ran out from mobile toilet, and i know its time for the big business! Thank god, not much time spent in waiting, about 1 minutes and its just simple big business! Time loss for the break estimated about 5 minutes!

I lose sight of the lead pacer & blind runner and his friend! I'm all alone again, trying to fight back the time lost, i keep pushing my pace. Something in mind to chase for! After the short tunnel, its bridge, heading back to city. When its uphill, im focus and determined to pace myself. I noticed i can run a little bit faster when uphill... Keep pushing, somehow somewhere, the lead & blind runner and his friend came into my sight! Hoorey! It was at 30km mark i think, my pace is slow down and relax to pace with them as i know after 30km, there's a 3km long tunnel and long ascent up exiting the tunnel ! I pace with them and ran into the infamous tunnel with them...

Surprisingly, I did well in the tunnel and i felt good. Looking at my Polar RCX5 watch which suppose to be a great watch, but not for SCHKM as i use it as stop watch. Looking at the timing, i felt the need to bid goodbye to lead & blind runners in order for me to fight for 4:30 timing!

i had ran pass the 30km hit the wall mark and the infamous 3km tunnel, its time for me to speed up to 42KM finishing line! Although i can feel my left calf muscle were a bit tight, as long as no cramp hit me, i still able to push! in the last 5KM, i had another VFuel gel ! As im trying to run faster, the road were crowded i got blocked by slow runner and walking runner! KNS...

In the last 3KM, there's a fly over need to climb up! dammit! I did not see this coming! Suffer abit, but still able to push to it. 4:30 timing were so near yet so far for me to achieve it!

It's 4:33 when im crossing the finishing line!
It's my personal best timing since 2014 SCKLM marathon 4:45 !


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