A FRESH OUTLOOK
As I stood there at the Start Line, a few minutes before the 10pm flag-off, it was the first time that I was not shivering with fright at the thought of running an ultra. In fact, I was pumping myself up with positive thoughts such as “It’s not the Winning or Losing that matters, it’s the Taking Part that counts!”
It was going to be a long night. I ran at a slow pace so as not to expend too much of my energy too quickly.
For some reason, for the first 4 loops, I ran barefoot. Perhaps, I wanted to feel awaken by my soles touching the tarmac road. After each loop, I would stop for the drinks and light snacks of peanut butter sandwiches & fresh fruits to keep my energy levels up. After 20.8km, my feet were getting too tender. I put on my shoes and continued running into the night.
The majority of the roads were well lit and in good condition. The steep hills slowed some runners like me to a walking pace. I would then run faster downhill to catch-up for lost time. Frankly, I like the hills because it breaks the monotony of running at the same pace on a flat course.
Whenever I run past midnight, I will get very sleepy after 2am. And, at the peak of sleepiness around 3am, I was fighting hard to keep my eyes opened. Fortunately, the True Coffee stall at the transition area had free flow coffee for the sleepy runners. After 5am, my sleepiness disappeared and I was able to focus on urging myself to keep running.
YOU’RE NEVER ALONE
Fortunately, there was always other runners nearby to keep each other company. We fed-off each other’s energy, and it really helped knowing that we were not alone in our sufferings.
At my last 5.2k lap, I was on course for a finishing time of 10 hours which was well within the cut-off time.
SMELLING THE ROSES
Meeting up with Ultra Marathon Newbie Rizal along the way, I decided to walk together with him so that I could give him some positive words of encouragement as he still had 2 laps to go. It was at that moment that I really appreciated my new running philosophy of Dare To Fail because it allowed me to forget about the destination of the Finish Line, and instead, I felt relaxed enough to enjoy every step of my epic running journey, be it a 50k long distance or a 5k fun run….
“It’s not the Winning or Losing that matters, it’s the Taking Part that counts!”