Sundown Marathon 2014, Singapore is one of the most talked about marathon in this region (Malaysia and Singapore). Many runners who have run in this event have told me; “if you want to run a marathon, always choose one at night or in a cold weather to boost your confidence”. What better marathon to choose, other than Sundown Singapore? George and I signed-up for it on the day we collected our Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2013 race pack. We were pumped as during that time it was going to be my 3rd Marathon and it was 2nd for George.
At that time many of our fellow comrades have not signed up for this event. But, as month’s passes and more LSD runs were made, we had a handful of participants from Kuching. They were Hobart Kho, Robin Tan, Eric Cheong and wife (Janette), Alvin and Rose, George and wife (Mary Anne) and myself. For Alvin and Mary Anne, this would be their first ever marathon. Thus, running at night before the sun is out would surely help. For Eric and Robin, this was going to be their 2nd Marathon event. But these 2, including Hobart; I would consider a different league in marathon compared to me as they are way faster.
We collected our race kit outside the F1 Pit on Saturday Evening starting 630pm – midnight. The problem with sundown event is that since the run is on Saturday midnight. Kit collection for overseas runner is only available at that time. Unless, you were to arrive 2 days earlier. For those who came on Thursday or Friday, collection could be made at the event organizer’s office. Upon collecting our kit, we quickly went back to our hotel (Hotel 81 Rochar), which is located just 1 stop away from Promenade (via the blue MRT line). Signage at the station could be confusing for those who have not been to Singapore. Irregardless, Singapore is still one of the best cities to live in.
We took a quick nap and were ready to head towards Promenade station by 10pm. All suited up with “bunga bunga” and patterns, feels right at home in Singapore. Hahaha! We checked in our bags at the baggage counter which was well organized and taken care by many volunteers. A huge “Clap” for them. As we were dropping off our bags, you could see a huge crowd queuing at the portable toilets. There were literally throngs of people in queue. One good thing about Singaporeans, is that people here knows how to queue, unlike back in Malaysia. I was in queue for more than 30 mins and finally decided to give up, because the race was going to start in 10 mins. I was delighted that after I entered the F1 pit, there were rows of portable toilets which were unoccupied. So, remember, if the toilet is full outside, there would be more in-side J. By then, I was already separated from the rest. Weather was slightly humid, but still better compared to running during the day.
The route set for this sundown event was the opposite of SCSM 2013, where we were actually moving in reverse. The route was lighted in several coloured zones, trying to bring in the mood. The idea and effort was good. However, the effect was not as per expected and some pathways was really bumpy with many potholes. These areas need more lighting for safety. Traffic control for marathons/ runs in Singapore is always well taken care off. However, occasionally you would have some drivers who were just impatient to wait for us to cross as they may have just gotten back from partying and drinking. We even had some side entertainment where 2 drivers roughed it out because the driver at the back was just impatient. I personally found that very entertaining.
As we approach the East Coast Park, that for me was considered a challenging route as it was just a long stretch of road that goes on about 20km (from 12km to 32km).
It was the turning point for many runners, as you see runners passing you by on the opposite of the road. But, it was also an encouraging moment as you may catch a glimpse of your friends pushing you on. Although the weather was humid, the organizer got it right this time round by having water stations every 2-3km, which really helped. Thanks!!. Managed to bump into George and Robin at the East Coast Park. George was still struggling with his injured ankle from soccer, but that did not stop him from pushing. The sheer determination really made me proud of him (thumbs-up bro!). Robin was stretching as he had a severe muscle injury 1 week before the race. But, even that injury did not stop him. My hats are off to these guys. You’ve earned my respect as you did not quit until the race was done!
At the 34-35km mark, we approached an inclination up the flyover. I literally could die looking at that flyover. Many people where already walking up the flyover at this point. I was pushing; trying to go up slowly but later ran out of gas and was also joining the crowd. My muscle at that point was feeling the severe twitch each time I tried to push faster (it started at 30km mark). As we reach the top of the flyover, I was in a sign of full delight.
“Just 7km to go!”, as I keep telling myself. It should be just a simple jog of 7km, but it never was. Robin and I were both pushing each other to go on. The time passed so slow, the markers were as if not moving. But as we reached Gardens by the Bay, you could hear the music and see the lights at the finishing line. There were nothing left to say but just to push on. We both crossed the finishing together. The sense of achievement was once again met. At that point, all you feel like doing is, grab a cold beer!
But, too bad none was around. Hahahaha. We later met up with Eric and Hobart who were already relaxing J.
On the whole, Sundown Marathon 2014 was well organized. There were also ample water stations and medical stops. The flaw I saw for me was that, if I want to do better in Sundown 2015, I need do more night LSD. As my body was feeling very tired at about 2-3 am. Other than that, it was a good marathon.
Here are some photos of the gang.