Event: Twilight Ultra Challenge 2012
Venue: East Coast Park, Singapore
Date: 11 March 2012
Distance: 10KM loops (maximum distance in 16 hours)
Shoe: K-Swiss Blade-Foot Run
Looks like I'm not cut for commando style running events. Again, I struggled at Twilight Ultra Challenge (TUC), resulting from sleepiness and indigestion. Though offered a place to stay by Ian and TS, I have to decline as I will need to maximise my time at KL due to work commitments.
Waking up at 10.30am on Saturday, many things happened. I had to travel a bit to see to one of it and it was one that I did not regret doing for it was a painful teary moment.
Then in mid noon, I loitered with Chee Kong and Mei Ee at an eatery outlet before proceeding to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal to await for my flight to Changi via Air Asia. The flight got delayed 20 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. But 5 minutes after taking off, 3 rows in front of me, a passenger heard something which sounded like wind gushing in. Everyone panicked and moved away. At that moment, I thought that was it. The cabin was leaking and the plane is going to drop from the sky and number 1 for TUC 2012 is a no show due to plane crash. But then, the problem was found. Some sort of insect was in the cabin making some sort of noise that sounded like wind gushes. OK, I will be reaching my destination after all. Phew...
Upon arrival and getting lost a bit in Changi Terminal 1, I finally met up with Chee Kong at Terminal 3. We quickly settled down for our dinner at Pastamania which turned out to be turning point for my run later. And while dining, I felt sleepiness and I know the chances of hitting 89KM will be tough. We changed into our race gear, flagged down a cab and off we went to East Coast Park.
Arrival at the race site was a big HOOHA for me! Ben announced the arrival of his number 1 runner (number 1 on bib only) and even the volunteers were eager to see who I was while giving out my race pack. Some volunteers even came over to greet me knowing what I'm doing for cancer research at the upcoming Comrades Marathon 2012. I was in a way famous and I hope its for a good reason. *Thick skin here a bit*
As it was Adam 1ArmRunner's birthday, there was a lucky draw session before run's flag off too. I was lucky enough to get a prize and when Ben announced it so loudly that I was bib number 1, I guess the whole race site kept their eyes on me. Remember to give me a paper basket to cover my head the next time.
After meeting some old and making new friends like Ford, Kai Wei, Asree and some others, we were flagged off at midnight. I settled down mid pack with Chee Kong, Roy and Paul nicely. Pace was rather consistent at 6:30 minutes per kilometer and my new K-Swiss Blade-Foot Run zero drop minimalist shoe worked brilliantly.
However it was at 15KM, that I felt sleepiness taking over and I had trouble with my gut. I felt bloated and I knew it was from my pasta dinner due to my burping. I told Chee Kong to go ahead without me and he literary found an extra gear and went for it. By the next 5KM or so, he already made his way into the top 10 runners and is the fastest Malaysian runner at that point. I'm sure many of you who only heard of him but never seen him in action is amazed by this friend of mine.
I continue on till 35KM with a time of 05:14 hours before deciding to take a nap. And it was instant black out for me even by sitting on the plastic chair for 2 hours. Upon waking up, although it cleared my senses a little, the legs just refused to carry on. I let out a big burp and that helped with my gut too. I took down a banana hoping that gastric will not be my next problem. I pushed very slowly till about 41KM when I caught Chee Kong and David at McDonald's having their breakfast! Joined them for a while before resuming. Not much running and instead it was just walking side by side with Chee Kong while chatting about our next ultra adventure. And when by the time when we got back to the race site where I hit 45KM and him 60KM, we decided to call it a day after clocking 09:23:40.
Calmed down before heading to clean ourselves up. Chee Kong decided to check himself into a nearby hotel to rest up before his flight back to South Africa at 2am later. Myself, I hung out at the race site witnessing other runners running through the pain barrier till about 3pm before heading off to Changi Terminal 1 with Malcalm. We parted ways at later as I was to meet up with Carey and Karen at Terminal 3 for dinner before heading home. I arrived late at the Budget Terminal and got a sounding from the officer there. I ran for my life to catch my plane and I think that busted my left upper feet a little. It's swollen now! DARN!
Overall, though I did not manage to run the 89KM distance, I still enjoyed my time at TUC 2012. The great hospitality and race management given by Ben and his Running Guild management team is something which runners don't often get in events. And I'm still glad I get to run, try out my race gear and to meet old friends and to make new friends. Till next year's TUC and I don't think I will be doing commando style again. It's just way to taxing!