Sunday, February 12, 2006

Beyond the 21KM

marathon2 marathon1 aIMG_2580 aIMG_2576 aIMG_2574 aIMG_2561 aIMG_2562 aIMG_2565

As I approach the turning off point on Ting Kau Bridge, I hit the 21km right on 1hr50min, that was exactly my half marathon time last year. "Things have been looking good, I can get this done within four hours." But beyond 21km is uncharted territories for me, the longest I have done on road is 21km. It is the 2006 Hong Kong Marathon, I am running the first full marathon along with 5000 runners. I did a last minute filled in of a GROE team and so I set a target of 4 hours to finish it. The GROE runners get to start with other elite runners at the front, but I am not sure if that helps, being over taken by about 500 fast runners in the first few kilometers really disorientated me. Though as I calmed down and start timing my speed, I realised I am doing 5min/km, not a bad speed for myself. I manage to keep this pace for the first half of the course, beyond that I has no idea how my body would withstand. At around 25km, energy began to leak out of me and I my speed plunged. It was when I hit the low of 9min/km, I decided to drive harder. Every now and again, I would locked on someone who just overtook me and tried to win back to lead, they would eventually shake me off but I played this game for very much the next 10km to keep up the spirit. Toward the X-Harbour Tunnel, many runner began to have bad cramps and at least I was still running, even if merely jogging. Only 5km beyond the tunnel, a blind runner and his guide ran pass me, the guide was constantly talking to the blind runner, encouraging him to shoot for a under 4 hrs finish. That was the final push for me, I just kept up with the pair for the final distance. At the final 1km mark, my left back began to have a cramp, so I have to lock my left arm and swung harder with my right arm to keep the momentum. No time to slow down, only 6 mins left to 4 hrs. Every sense of awareness was directed toward my tired legs, keep running! you can have the cramp of your life beyond the finishing line, but for now take me home! Finally my foot hit the finishing line, the sweet beeping sound caused by the champion chip detector greeted me. It was 3hr59min45sec a hell of a run.

14 comments:

ahdont said...

you are a machinse, you don't think i will ever run a marathorn, but this really re-energize me to do some running. excellent work buddy

hongkongstuey said...

good effort mate - the half killed me off when i did a few years back - those last few k's after the harbour crossing are killer...

dick said...

great work!!! you've made a good record for your 1st marathon!!!

cal said...

What an inspiration! I ran this year half marathon finishing 1hr59Min, 10 mins faster than last year. I never think I can complete a full marathon in my life, and never intend to do one, but after learning your endeavour, I think I will give it a try next year. So much hard training ahead.
Congratulations on your successful completion of this year marathon!!!
Under 4 hour is just a wonderful start.

Gabs Lau said...

"just a wonderful start"?? ummm I don't want to think about training for another marathon right now, time to get back to climbing I think, my fingers got weaken so much over the last few weeks of intensive running.

Aiken said...

What's next? Trailwalker? Congratulation! It's another accomplishment!

ahdont said...

trailwalker is too easy for him, it was too easy for me, so i had to entertain myself with cramps and diaherrea. he will probably do the same next year, just to make it more entertaining and memorable.
you going back to climbing? i thought you gave up the climbing and going back to being a runner as you have compeled the king of the hill.........
i was so close to ask whether i can have your traditional gear and quickdraws, not like i know how to use them but thats when stuart comes in handy.

Gabs Lau said...

I came 926 out of around 5000. Hurray!!

Mitch said...

Congratulations man. I am so impressed.. I LOVE that you finished under 4 hours, so close. You did it. That is a major accomplishment. You are the man! Congrats buddy.

滑嘟嘟 said...

What a super runner, you did it Man!!!

Gabs Lau said...

haha, I have 10 comments for this post, it is so touching!

ahdont said...

get over with the pscyhe, i am bored. unless you are inlove with your work otherwise there's no reason for the lack of updates.

Gabs Lau said...

oh shut up, I have worked till 9:30pm for the whole week except tuesday this week. no climbing, no running, no any-ing.

ah min said...

i like your approach of writing up the marathon man... what i can tell from my participation in this full marathon was full of pain and sore, cramping legs and ankles. i ould hardly walk up stairs until thurs.