My First Half at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Oh what a race!!!

However tired I was coming into race day with the very full work schedule on race week, whatever pre-race muscle aches and pains made me nervous I wouldn’t finish strong, all these are  pushed aside, forgotten, deleted and moved in my memory bank’s trash bin.  This race has been just great regardless of the kinks that went along with it!  Truly, a race I will treasure … a milestone …  my first half marathon …

Flight Night

Meetings, deadlines, long work days and yes, even nights, characterized the week leading to race day.  Such was my schedule that Jun just picked me up in the office and we went straight to the airport to catch our Friday night flight to Singapore.  Needless to say, I was exhausted but still managed to get a good catch-up chat with Jun at dinner and with Tin at the airport who was boarding the same flight.  By the time we boarded and were seated,  I was red-eyed and yawn-filled.  I dozed-off even before the plane took-off.  We arrived at our friend’s apartment at 1am and and prepared to get a good night’s sleep.


Armed with a full 6 hours sleep,  we woke up and headed to the Race Expo to claim our race packets.  Having been briefed by Jun about the possibility of  long lines, I was expecting about an hour to complete the process.  Lo and behold!  The redemption was so seamless taking us probably just about 5-10 minutes to claim our race packets, test our timing chips, take pictures and leave the claim area onto the expo booths.

amazingly efficient and stress-free race pack redemption. Bravo!!!

The race packet redemption area flowed smoothly onto the expo booths.  Now, it was here where some of us got pleasantly bogged-down…   hahaha

me behind Mari, Jay and Charlie who we frequently bumped into at the malls

going out of the expo with my advanced reward. 🙂

That afternoon found us spending time with running friends Annie, Jaymie and Miguel and with my close friend, Angelica Suiza, as we went around checking out some sporting outlets and later, a sit-down chat over some ice cream talking about the Singapore life.  We all went our separate ways with a lame attempt to organize a post-race get-together.  I think we all knew it would be quite difficult to do considering the big crowd and our relative unfamiliarity with the holding area lay-out.  All told, we bid one another goodnight with the admonition that we all be asleep at 8:30pm.

That was not to be the case with us though as Jun, our host, Angge and I proceeded to Toy’s R Us.  We were pushing our schedule too close for comfort but we just had to get some stuff for the kids who lost all their boardgames to Ondoy.  With Bea’s sparkling eyes and beautiful smile, Sofia’s teary gasp of delight and Mikka’s happy shriek, all accompanied by lots of warm hugs and kisses of thanks,  that greeted us as we gave them those gifts, I would have traded the marathon for toys shopping  for all I care (of course, I’m a little exaggerating here just to drive a point) 😉

Race Day

Jun woke me up at 4:15am just before he set out.  With his race starting over an hour before mine, we decided he’ll go on ahead. Though I woke up very early,  I wasn’t able to do much stretching as  I took a longer time doing my morning ritual which was what I was more worried about.  Thank God that was a success! Angge (running her 3rd 21k in SCSM) and I left at 6am with just enough time to spare before our 6:45am gun-start.

At past 6am, the runners were already everywhere  — a happy bunch of excited, happy people anticipating the biggest running event of Singapore.  With the full marathoners already off since 5:30am, I was just amazed at how big the crowd still was.  We proceeded straight towards the starting line and was pleasantly surprised to hear Miguel calling out.  With that big crowd, finding friends would be like finding a needle in a haystack.  Managing a little stretching here and there while waiting for race start,  I also remembered to take and get a couple of photos  just a minute left before gun start.  Whew, got that in time! 🙂

With Angge and Miguel at the starting line

with friends Angge and Miguel a few seconds before race start

Race Proper

Km 1-5

It took me almost 2 minutes to cross the starting line as the sea of blue runners all moved forward in perfect sync.  I started easy with the plan of maintaining a steady even pace until the end with the hope of having spare energy for a strong finish.  It was disconcerting to feel the need to pee as early as the first kilometer.  I tried to brush it off but started looking out for portalets along the way.  The first set of portalets came at Km3.  I stopped then decided to run on when I saw the long line (by the way, saw Miguel already lined-up there).  I can still hold it.  The plan was to stop at the next portalet row with a relatively shorter line.


Ooooh, i wonder where that will be as I passed several more portalet rows and still found long lines.  I tried not to think about it.  I prayed mostly for Jun’s good run ( I know how much this means to him).  I sang praise songs, too, silently … sometimes, not too silently, when I extraordinarily find some breathing (and singing) space around me. 😉  You’d probably think I’m expending unnecessary effort and energy singing but I find myself extra-ordinarily refreshed whenever I offer a song of praise  to the Lord.

I just divulged a secret why I don’t listen to music when I run.  I make my own music.  That’s why. 🙂

I was still relatively relaxed at this point.  Afterall, I am still well within my distance comfort zone.  It was at this time when I took out my camera phone and took some race pictures.

two of the first few 42k runners going at it who we happily cheered on.

Km 11-15

This was to be the 2nd most difficult 5k part of my race .  At past 10k, I started feeling a noticeable pain at the back of my left thigh.  The location of the pain was surprising as I didn’t experience any problems with my left side.  My aches and pains has always been at the right — right hamstrings, right hip, right ankle, right plantars.   I felt my left upper back thigh begin to tense little by little.  I just ran on as usual carefully monitoring the pain.

By km12, I decided I just have to have that pee break.  I wanted to relieve my bladder off so I can concentrate my efforts and energy on my left leg.  Alas, I found a relatively shorter line at km 13 portalet row.  It took me still almost 5 minutes to line up and go.  The whole time I was trying to move my legs while in line so afraid of the cramping I often hear runners experience when they stop in the middle of a run.

Km 15-20

When I passed the 15km mark, I started to feel the pain extending to the outer side of my left knee.  “What is this?” I thought. “This is different.”  The muscle was getting tighter.  I was to find out later that that was my ITB giving me a problem. I tried running a different way to relieve the pain there but it wouldn’t go away.  I just tried to go a bit slower and sometimes walked a few steps when I opted to avail of water at the stations.  One thing sure,  the pain, though not strong enough to make me stop running surely slowed me down as I was afraid to push and risk experiencing leg cramping.

At km 19 though,  I was greeted with a loathsome bridge incline.  Whaaat?  An incline at the last 2km of a 21k run?  How cruel can they get!!!  Negotiating that bridge, I was seriously wondering  if I would ever do a 21k again.  I decided not to think about that yet and concentrate on finishing this one first.    With a determined posture, I picked up the pace even while still experiencing the tightness. I very briefly slowed down at one point when I felt unusually cold and light-headed.  I stopped at the last hydrating station to get a drink and prepared to go all out. I decided I will finish strong come hell or high water.

Km 21

I started this final phase summoning all strength of mind, heart and body, fully determined to finish and finish strong.   It seemed like a long final kilometer.  With the many twists and turns of the race route, the finish line was nowhere in sight.  In this final kilometer, the enthusiastic crowd cheering, clapping, shouting words of encouragement to the runners were really such a blessing.  The atmosphere suddenly just became so festive that I know we must be  near.  I definitely ran my fastest at this final kilometer — happy to know I was completing this milestone strong, well and alive!

Finished at 2hrs 41mins 43secs net.  Still alive and kicking, man!  🙂

made it!!! 🙂


So, will I do this again? …  God willing… a resounding YES!!!  🙂

See you at the races! 🙂

Since the Singapore race are milestones for both Jun and myself, we are posting our race experiences separately.  The Blue Sole’s account next…


17 Responses to “My First Half at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon”

  1. 1 bards December 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    congratulations! it was a tough race but you were tougher!!! 😀 on to the next one!

  2. 3 Let December 10, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Congratulations on your race experience, and for running your official half marathon. 🙂

  3. 5 jonel December 10, 2009 at 9:51 am

    congratulations to you both.i think you can read my mind, how about the condura 42 for you?

    • 6 thesolemates December 12, 2009 at 8:40 am

      Jonel, di ba parusa yun? hahaha I wish I could do that. condura was my first 5k race. it would be real great to do a 42 at the next condura run but i think that would be too ambitious for me. Another 21k to celebrate my anniversary run will be fabulous for me. I don’t know Jun’s plan yet though for this race. It’s his anniversary run too. Probably another 42k for him.

      thanks for dropping by. see you at the races!

  4. 7 m8parco December 10, 2009 at 10:09 am


  5. 9 Roelle December 10, 2009 at 10:58 am

    great recap! congrats on your maiden half-mary! on to the next 21k race! hehehe…

    see u at the races!

    • 10 thesolemates December 12, 2009 at 8:32 am

      Hi roelle, after getting some rest, yeah, feel strong enough to think about another 21k. hahaha

      Read your blog. We share pala maiden 5k race at the Condura’08 last march. Congrats ha. You’re onto your 42k journey na pala.

      Hope to meet you at the races! thanks for dropping by.

  6. 13 Bro J December 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Congratulation pink sole of the solemates! Great run and a strong finish!

  1. 1 2009: The Year That Was « The Sole Mates Trackback on December 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm

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