Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Borneo International Marathon - a hattrick!

Personally, I didn’t really welcome the decision to postpone Borneo International Marathon (BIM) from the original timing as all arrangements have been made, and all the trainings have been focused on the marathon (yer rite!). But even if the marathon was held on the original date, I won’t be able to make it as I would have to stay back in Semenanjung to perform my responsibility as a citizen of Malaysia to vote during the GE13.

However, I understand that it was an unpopular decision that even the organizer had to make. As BIM has been one of my favorite running events in Malaysia for its well-organization, the scale of the event (crowd size) as well as the some kind of joy that I found for traveling to Kota Kinabalu (I traveled four times to Sabah last year and will do the same this year) and running with the faces I’ve known from my previous races, I put aside my self interest and was not hesitated to make new arrangements once the new date was announced.

It was quite an anticipating marathon for me especially when the organizer announced a slight change to the route, taking out the bored-to-death stretch to Tanjung Aru and adding a loop within town that goes back to Stadium Likas as well as some 5km loop in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

That means, a hillier route (I just don’t understand why on earth local public universities have always been built around hilly area?) and the dreaded stretch all the way to the Sepangar which they decided to keep. I was also looking forward for this marathon to see if I could break the 4-hour timing on Kota Kinabalu soil.

Last year, I came so close (I finished in 4:02) without expecting it. It was ‘the’ point in my short marathon career that I realized that I’m capable of running sub 4-hour marathon which I did for the first time in the subsequent marathon in Hatyai. However, I was still worried when Aini, the weatherwoman, told me that it has been very hot for the whole week prior to race day and it will be hot on race day. I secretly hoped that it will rain the night before the race just like last year. It didn’t rain but it was not really hot and the humidity was not too high. I can’t thank enough for the weather.

I had a very good and undisturbed sleep before the race. After a very big lunch in Gayang with Aini (there were six meals, I think!), I felt bloated and sleepy and slept soundly from 5pm to 12am. Woke up fresh, had a cup of Milo and prepped myself with the race necessities. I arrived at the Stadium Likas at around 1.50am, had a cup of coffee and three pieces of roti gula empat segi before making my way to inside the stadium.

The crowd was not as big but from a rough estimation, there could be some 200 participants in the marathon category, which is okay for me except that I have to realize that I would be running all by myself throughout the race. There was a warm-up exercise going on but I decided to do my own on the other side of the field. Camwhoring, well wishes exchanged, and we were flagged off slightly before 3am. The weather was nice but a little high on humidity as I’ve started sweating from my warm-up earlier. However I could still feel cool breeze blowing and that helps me a lot.

My earlier plan was to tag behind Erwan for as long as I can. But he told me that he is taking it easy as he has been nagged by some kind of injury on his foot. I passed him even before we exited the stadium and from there onwards, it was all about running my race all alone.

No fixed target except for sub 4-hour finish, if possible. My race this time can be broken into four parts: Break-away (KM1-12), Maintaining (KM13-20), Heartbreaking and Nursing (KM21-35) and Recovering (KM36-finish)

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