Sunday, 31 March 2013

- An action packed weekend for the Freaks -

It was quite an action-packed weekend with 2 running events happening back to back on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

As usual, we had our carbo-loading session the day before the race. It was also a time to chit-chat with other Freaks on the plans for the race the next day.

On the day of event for Twilight Ultra Challenge, there was a suprise runner that joined the event at the last minute.
Started at 7pm, runners have to run in loops till as long as they want.

Please refer to the lady in bib number 23 !! Her name is Sasha and she shocked most of us in this group. Maybe we'll wait for her race review over the next few days.
Hope she's well rested. Hahaha .....

It has been humid for the past few days and I believed it was tough for them to run through the night in this kind of weather.

The next day, a number of us joined the 2XU Compression Run 2013. Most of us joined the 21km category.
Once again, the humidity and the hot sun were a killer. But thank God, the 21km run was flagged-off at 5.30am.

It was a success for all the runners that joined in both events.

More reviews on the events coming up soon.

Friday, 22 March 2013

- 2013 Seoul International Marathon : The Freaks raided Seoul !!! -

Seoul International Marathon. We came, we ran and we completed it. And for some, they ran with a Personal Best timing.
It was to be the coldest ever marathon for all of us here.

The temperature during the marathon week was super cold ranging from -2 to 10 degC. Even during our weather familiarization run leading to the event, all of us can't really endure the cold !!

Anyway, it was more like a cam-whoring session than a training run. We just wanna have fun in the super duper cold weather.

The race-pack collection is also a very hush-hush affair. The address of the organizer's office was given to us and we just need to collect it from the person-in-charge. 
Went to the office, met the PIC, took few pics in the room and off we go ...... 

Race day !! 

- The route map - 

The temperature on the race day read 3.7 degC !!! That was what being shown on the screen near the start line. Most of us wore a minimum of 2 layers of clothes for the run, and we are still shivering. As stated earlier in the post, Seoul Marathon was the coldest marathon we've ever joined.
Did some warm-up exercises to make ourselves feel warm but to no avail.

More cam-whoring sessions before we proceed to the start line. More and more people proceeded to respective starting pens. But all 7 of us sneaked to the 1st pen even though we are not in it.

Waited patiently for the 8am flag-off. The MC was setting up the mood for everyone. Even though we didn't understand what the hoo-ha was all about, we still cheered along and made some noises. And at the same time, we forget about the cold weather too ..... 

The race flagged-off exactly at 8am, 5 minutes after the elite runners race started.
Most of the runners started fast and furious. Overtook one another even though it was just less than 1km after the start point.

This has to be one of the well supported race not only by the organizer but also by the public. The 1st water point was at the 5km mark and at every 5km thereafter. 
Ample supplies of plain water and Pocari Sweat drinks for the runners. Each water point also stretched up to about 100 meters. Ice cold water sponges were provided to the runners as well. Not sure how it helped during the cold weather though ..... 
Members of the public were also there not just to give the runners morale support, but also to provide the runners with foods and drinks.

The race end point was at Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium. The same venue that hosted 1988 Olympics. The venue can only be seen at the 35km mark and from afar, it already looked majestic.

It was quite a great experience to complete a marathon in an historical venue. But too bad, the stadium seats were not full. 

The 1st Freaks to reach the finish line was 'KING' Sam E with a timing of 3hrs 27.38mins. That was his PB for a full marathon beating his previous best by 7 minutes that he achieved in SCMS 2010.

Next up is Izhar Pony. The one and only Ponytail runner in Singapore. He also ran back with a PB timing of 3hrs 58.54mins. It seemed easy for him in the cold weather.

Next on the list is Alexander Asree. He may not have a good race but his timing of 4hrs and 32mins is the envy of many other runners who can't achieve a sub-5 hours timing. 

Minutes later, Yao Ming and Norbain both crossed the finish line together with a timing of 4hrs 35.58mins. They sticked to their plan to support one another throughout the race. Great teamwork !! 

Less than 10 minutes later, our own full marathon virgin but an experience Ultramarathon runner, Solomon Kang completed his run in 4hrs and 44mins.
His PB timing nonetheless. He's not a virgin anymore ..... 

Last but not the least, the last Freaks to reach the finish line was Absoluthal. Another PB timing for him in 3 weeks after his 1st sub 5-hours run in Hong Kong. He completed the run in 4hrs 53.18mins.

Overall, this event was a success for all the Freaks that had traveled so far a distance to compete in the race.
Group photo is a must whenever we went for our overseas runs.

The medal looks normal but it is a very hard earned one for all of us.It's not easy to run a full marathon without proper training and preparations.

Lastly, let's not forget our ardent supporters who were there with the runners as early as 7am and stayed all the way till we left the venue.

This event has to be an event to look forward to if you have the budget and plans for a winter holiday.
Seriously well-organized, good logistics and crew support and also wonderful reception from the public. 
Well recommended for other runners to join !! 
Seoul, hope to see you again next year ..... Thanks for the sweet memories.

The next major overseas event will have to be Gold Coast Marathon 2013 and also SCKLM 2013. 
Hope more of our Freaks members will be able to join either events.

*All pics credit to Asree, Yaoming, Norbain , Sasha Farina, Izhar Pony, Andy Ng and

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

- Project Sub5 - Barely made it by Absoluthal -

Project Sub5. That was my aim for 2013. To complete a full marathon in under 5 hours.
Been trying to achieve that for the past 7 full marathons that I've joined.
Training started way back in November 2012 with my running buddies from Freedom Freaks.
Sundays were reserved for intervals training or LSD runs. Every other days on the weekdays were for my short runs around the neighborhood.

Reached Hong Kong few days earlier. The weather was funny during that week prior to raceday. Some days are cold, other days are sunny. Thank God the wind was blowing quite strongly everyday.

The racepack collection was held on the Friday of the event's week. Not a great fanfare event as compared to what we normally saw when we collected our racepack in Singapore.

Every runner received a medallion based on the Chinese Zodiac sign. This year is the Snake year. The medallion seem a bit ugly for my liking though .....

Fast forward to raceday, it was a super cold morning to begin with. Met with my running kaki, Teck Heng at TST MTR station at about 545am and straightaway proceeded to the baggage deposit area. It was one of the best deposit area I've seen so far.
Did our own pre-race warm-up and walk slowly to the start line for our flag-off which was at 710am.

At exactly 710am, the race started and I decided to maintain my pace of 6min 30sec/km.
The timing for my 1st 20km was slightly below 2hr 10mins. Told myself that if I maintained this pace throughout, my target of sub-5hrs is achievable.

The weather really helped a lot in me achieving my target. It was cloudy almost throughout the race.
There are times when the slopes were quite steep and the only option was to walk to the top before running slowly. But I'm glad that I was really determined to get to my goal.

The last 1km of the race was really something that you can't get in Singapore, in my opinion.
Crowds on the either side of the road really encouraged you and that made me to give my all till the finish line.

Was really glad to finally reached the finish line. I knew my timing was under 5 hours.
Felt happy and ecstatic at my minor achievement.
My training really paid off.

Collected my 8th Full Marathon medal and felt relief after finally hit the Sub 5hrs timing.
Met with Teck Heng who did a wonderful run himself. Kudos to him on his virgin full marathon.

Race no.English NameChinese NameCountryOfficial TimeNet Time10km TimeTurning Point30km Time
261323632613MR1M2742JAMAIL ABDUL HALIMSingapore04:59:5704:59:4301:03:1302:07:3903:19:36

My official result stated that I was just 17 seconds shy of 5 hours !!! Boy, I was glad !!

Next up will be my 9th Marathon in Seoul this coming Sunday.
Hope to get another Sub5 finish as the cut-off timing is 5 hours !!!