|- With some of the Freaks running the Ultra Challenge -|
This was the 2nd race of the year after Bataan Death March 160km in Phillipines. The painful memories still haunted me, considering the failure to complete the 160km race due to overall fatigue, injuries and low electrolyte level despite a good start in that ill-fated race. On that day, I pulled out of 73km mark despite the fact there were a lot of runners still behind me at that point. Eventually, most of these runners continued and finished the race before the 30 hr cut-off time while I woke up from the sleep in the hotel, still shell-shocked and was only imagining if I would have still ran with them.
For that, I decided to take it easy in Twilight, for once, far contrast to my relentless approach in races, regardless of the distance. I came up to the race, with nothing to lose, and just like other average runner, I just wanna enjoy the run.
|- The race route -|
|- Did the 1st 25km with him -|
First 25km: Running a 6 minute pace with Ford, who just like me, hoping to last the whole 16 hrs. Both of us were in comfortable speed such that, I took my first hydration after 10km. at 25km mark, Ford took himself to the resting tent, perhaps feeling bored, having going through the mind-boggling route from car-park E2 to Big Splash area. I continued maintaining my pace, with Sky and Khaliq already in front and soon, Rahmat overtook me.
30-35km: Already started walking, hoping to avoid injuries in the next part of the race. I already had the bad experience of injured in early part of the race. The knee injury hit me at 20km during the BDM 160km race. I decided to swap shoes so early. I realised Saucony Kinvara 2 is not ideal for me if I were to run long distances. So, I changed into K-Swiss Kwicky Blade. In between, I jumped into ice bath and I felt great. Haha.
|- The Freedom Freaks support group !! -|
45km mark: I dropped by at a toilet near the Skate park to do my big business. First time in my running life, that I had to shit in a race. Coming out of the toilet and met up with one unknown lady, Mingming, who was already 10km ahead of me. Was told that actually she did a 40km time trial as she hoped to do sub-4 marathon in the coming race. No wonder, she was quite fast early in the race. Lol... Slowly I ran and picked up pace as the race went on to catch the sunrise.
|- Super-duper hungry !! -|
60-85km:- I was fine once more and ready to pounce on the lost time under the sun blazing heat. Along the way, I met Mr Yong, who was already doing 80km before 9.5 hrs. In his last 5km, both of us ran together, talking at the same time. For all his running reputation, he's a very down to earth guy who's willing to share his experiences. I was told that on daily basis, he normally do a 30km run in the morning, 20km in the afternoon, 10km in the evening and 5km at night. *faint* . His daily mileage is like our average weekly mileage.
From 65km mark onwards, Ariffin went to join in to pace me as he was already sleepy, having stayed at the tentage for so long to support the runners. Mind you, Ariffin is only 15. When I was at his age, I never even got active in sports at all, unlike now. Thanks to him and Neyton, I'm able to maintain the pace although runners would easily crumble under the heat in the day, having going thru the humidity at night time. Neyton paced me for the 10km and went back to tentage while Ariffin continued pacing me, this time in barefoot.
|- Push yourself when everything goes against you -|
85-100km: I remembered doing only 85km in last yr Twilight and I stopped because I was already puking non-stop at the time. That was done without any training before this. Now, I'm set to eclipse the mark and hopefully I could go on and hit the full 10 loops. I was still in good condition to run.
I went on the same strong pace and eventually completing the 10 loops. Never mind, it took 15.5 hrs to do the 100km, after a much slow start. My aim was to make sure Im able to last the 16 hrs, knowing that I have a more challenging 28 hr DART selection to endure in few months time. I may have gone on to do another 5km but with 30mins to go, perhaps too much to ask, if I were to consider the future effects on my left knee.
I went down to my knees, thanking God for able to do the 100km on home soil finally after a 2 year wait. In 2010, I did a TNF 100 solo and had to DNF at 82km mark. In 2011, I was already taking a long break from running due to my long awaited comeback to silat, and therefore, did not compete in Sundown 100km. Finally, I had something else to add on to my achievement of completing a BDM 102km, that was done in 2010.
I wont be joining any future races, at the most till Sep, where Im looking to do what I had failed to do in Jan. To run a 160km. In another race organised by Ben Swee. And perhaps, I may make a comeback to accomplish what I failed to do in 2010, TNF 100km solo. Probably, 2012 shall be a year of ultramarathons.
A number of things I noticed since my comeback to running late last yr. Rahmat and Khaliq has been stronger these days. Robson for his fast pace in ultra distance, getting better as well. Mr Yong was still as superb as he is.
At the same time, its nice to know new friends in running. Sky, for his vocal, lively character and his bursting start to the race. Mingming for going so fast early in the race, such that me and Ford was like "wow" and to have completed her first ultra at 70km. Max Yeong and Jacky Lee, known for the consistent pace for most part of the race towards the 100km feat, that spurred me to fight on. Victor Verry for his typical Filipino fighting approach, the type who never gave up although everything went against him and went on to do 100km. Jamie, for her determination to push all the way to her 85km feat and she's only 23. Shahrul and Ming Zheng for their ability to last as well. Oliver, being the eldest statesman, showed age is no barrier in ultra running. and the list goes on and on to other runners.
|- With Mr Organizer, Ben Swee -|