Saturday, December 8, 2007

Singapore Marathon 2007 – Race Report

I arrived at City-hall at 4:30am from 1 of the shuttle buses in Tampines Stadium. The Full Marathon race would start at 5:30am. I was 1 hour early so that I’ll have plenty of time to warm up and stretch before the race begins. I also took and ate my powerbar breakfast while looking around and admiring the city-hall which was glowing beautifully from afar. I can’t imagine the excitement I felt again the last time that I was here.

After consuming my powerbar I headed toward the starting area at Esplanade Bridge saw some runners doing their own thing stretching, running, chatting and having some souvenir photos. I finally found a corner where I have my morning stretch and after which I do my light run just to keep me warm up. While running I headed toward the START sign from the other side and headed back to have my last leak before the race. As I approached the portalets (portable toilets) I saw a long queue of runners, I decided there is still time and head towards the Memorial side near the Padang, but I was suddenly approached by a kababayan who recognized me by the H@ppy Feet shirt I’m wearing he’ll be running too in the marathon, unfortunately he didn’t make it to register and trying his luck to find a race number from one of those DNS, while where conversing I didn’t notice that It was minutes before the race begins. So I wish him luck in finding one and hurried back to the start area and by that time It was already a sea of runners. Then the start begins.

The Full Marathoners have reached as close to 9,000 runners; it took me 3mins and 30sec. to finally reached and stepped on the Chip sensor under the Starting line. I still haven’t made my leak that time so luckily I would find one along the way, after a couple of km. I saw one and took me around 2 mins from the queue. I really regret to have drink that bottle of water mins before the race.

Upon reaching 5km I saw and clocked around 39:59 way too different from my pace band, so I try to increase the pace and make up to the lost time I had previously at the start. While heading towards Marina Coastal drive I heard the cheering & clapping of runners, as the sound went louder it only means one thing the Super fast Kenyans are already returning from the other side of the road They were escorted by mobile cars with digital clock displaying their time. Just seeing those Kenyans gave me some adrenalin rush and made me share my applause of admiration.

The Super fast Kenyans (photo courtesy of Hon You of KC & the Sunshine Runners)

As I get closer to the U turn at Marina Coastal drive I can feel the cold sea breeze coming from the right direction. I was already in full sweat so the wind made me chill a bit. It took me some time before making my U turn because of the bottleneck created by runners occupying our lanes from the other direction. At the water checkpoint I grabbed 2 cups to hydrate before heading back to Esplanade

I reached 10K at 1hr and 17mins. It was already dawning; I was running through Prince Edward road and I was amazed and behold by the skyscrapers of Singapore. I checked my pace so far so good, at 11km I hydrated myself and then continue. This time I was crossing the Start sign again were there awaits lots of joyful crowd shouting and cheering us up. Seeing & hearing those people gave me a temporary relief from the tiredness I have. I was recharge in that moment before I finally left heading towards East Coast Park (ECP) at 19Km.

By 18Km. my legs started to became stiff from the lactic acid slowly crawling up my legs I stop, stretch a bit put some deep heat cream given by medical ppl who are designated along the roads. Just as I was beginning to run I was greeted by another kababayan he must have seen my Phil. flag pasted in my back. I happily acknowledged back before finally resume to running.

I reached the beautiful East Coast Park at 19Km. I remember back in 06 of Apr and May when I was temporarily assigned to work here I stayed near Bayshore and ECP is just a stone’s throw away from my place. As a runner I felt quickly in love when I first saw the park, lots of shady trees, near to the shoreline with the cool sea breeze brushing in my face, every runner’s dream of a beautiful park. I would do my morning runs here before going to work and on weekends to catch the morning sunlight. To my fascination I even made it as my website banner.

I downed my 1st gel at the 21km. my legs begin to feel heavy plus a slight pain in the knee. During this time the sun was already soaring perfectly in the clear blue sky. The heat and the soreness have slowly affecting my pace. But I still hold on and try to maintain the pace; whenever possible I tried to hydrate on every water checkpoint ahead. Along the road as I run towards the Full Marathon U-turn I saw lots of ordinary people who would usually go to the park to enjoy the early Sunday morning they were all smiling & upping the morale of us runners. Along the way are combo bands playing some nice music I did even pretend to dance to the sound of cha-cha felt like dancing the happy feet dance.

Finally I made my Full U turn mark and at the 26km received the free power gel, downed the 2nd gel and hydrate myself at the 27km. making sure I’m still pacing less or equal to 6:52. By this time the cramping is all over my legs and feet had to stop and do some quick stretches to alleviate the pain. I continue to run I saw some runner’s along the way some walking some sitting in the ground stretching the cramp some of the male runners already removed their clothes because of the intense heat. But for me I remain focus on the road repeating the words ‘’keep the pace’’ made a few long strides to help me and my heart rate cool down for just a bit and help me reach the 32km mark.

My last 10K

I left East Coast Park with another fond memories to treasure, by then I have passed the 32km.mark downed my 3rd gel and resume to the last 10k of the race. I kept running passing other runners who have exhausted by the heat and by the pain in their legs. I keep challenging my mind that it’s a few distances left to sweet victory.

At the 35km. I felt like giving up the need to hydrate was immediate I feel like burning from the heat. The cool mist isn’t cooling us off. I tried to spot some shades and run from the side to temporarily shade away from the sun. The legs again have become stiff and had to do some quick stretch. Exhaustion also sets-in it looks more difficult as I count the remaining kms. At this moment I’m battling physical and mental pain.

Last 2

“It’s only 2 km. your almost there, just keep the pace!” the voice within that kept me running the last 2km of the race, and then suddenly a cool wind blowing from the front have temporarily relieve the sun’s intense heat It’s like someone up there is constantly watching us and helping us to go on. I reached 41km and received the last cup of water drink and poured it on my head. At the last 500 meters were joyful crowds waiting and cheering as us runners ran the few hundred meters left in the race. I turned from the corner and ran towards the finish line raising both arms trying to put a smile amidst the exhaustion. The battle is finally over.

I finished the race having a time of 5:00:44, check out my runpix here and last year.

For this run I’d like to thank my H@ppy feet friends for in one way or another has helped me in my training for this marathon.

And my congratulations to those who have run their first marathon, doing a marathon is not an ordinary feat, but to those ordinary people who have dared to challenge their limits and braved the gruesome 42km. I dedicate this video to people who love the sport of running and to help inspire others.

“There goes my hero watch him as he goes, There goes my hero …he's ordinary” ...Foo Fighters

Special thanks to Marathoner / Photographer Tey ET of Pacemaker's for letting me use his great photos.


  1. Good job on the marathon, faster than last year so you must be happy. Great video too. Enjoy your rest, you deserve it.

  2. Marathons are not easy and it takes strength and optimism to finish the whole race. You're inspiring me to take part in marathons Kuya Bench!


  3. well done! tough conditions expected of sg marathon every year.

  4. congratulations, man. you capped your running year well with that performance. happy running!