It must have been around this time last year when I decided to run the half marathon for the very first time in my life in the Borneo International Marathon in October 2008. Before that I have been running regularly for a while, but mainly for distances ranging between 3km to 5km only for the purpose of keeping myself fit. I don't think I have ever covered anything beyond 10km before that. I thought it would be a good challenge. And so the next few months saw me training hard to build up my stamina and the 21km distance.
Although it was an exhausting run, I survived that 21km in the end within a time of 2hrs 4 minutes, and I was very happy to earn my first running medal. But the thing about running medals is that they can become addictive. So shortly after that I flew to KL to participate in the Mizuno Wave run which was only for a distance of 10km. Several weeks later, I went all the way up north to run the 25km at the Penang Bridge International Marathon in November. And finally in the first week of December, I ran in the Standard Chartered Singapore International Marathon where I did another half marathon. I thought the Singapore Marathon was very well organised although there were 50,000 runners from all over the world.
However, perhaps I overdid the running and I ended up injuring my right ankle. At the turn of the year, I found myself experiencing that lingering pain in my ankle, and I decided to take a break from serious running. I still continued doing short distances though. During the first quarter of this year, I was mainly nursing my ankle, and had to miss several running events in the west.
Some time in March, the Borneo International Marathon 2 (BIM2) was already open for registration, and I was among the first few people who signed up. This time I'm trying for the full marathon, i.e. 42.2 km, whereas Mia will be running the half marathon, having ran the 10km last year. But although I signed up in March, I did not seriously embark on the training until late April.
During all these recovery from injury and preparing for the BIM2, I was aware of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon which was scheduled for the last weekend of June. I was seriously contemplating joining that event—at least the half marathon—since I've experienced the well-organised Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon last December. But upon further consideration, I didn't think it's a good idea after all for fear that I might injure my ankle again.
While I was gradually building up my distance during my runs at the Likas jogging track, I frequently bumped into some friends who were training for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and I was green with envy! By early June, I was beginning to regret for not signing up for the KL Marathon because by then I felt that my ankle had fully recovered from the injury.
Last weekend it was finally the day for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. I kept in touch with some of my fellow Sabahans who joined the event; all the time regretting that I did not join it. But on the other hand, perhaps it's not meant to be, for I came down with a very bad flu. I think I would have struggled to run in that condition.
Then the news came that the event was very poorly organised in spite of the name "Standard Chartered" attached to it. Apparently there were not enough signs and some runners went off the route. They even had a bit of a mix up with the winners. But perhaps the most surprising thing was that they ran out of drinking water towards the last few kilometres of the run—a very dangerous stage when the body is vulnerable to dehydration and fatigue. I was told that there were also nasty slopes within the last 10 km of the full marathon route. My friend, Kevin, who has been training very hard for this event, completed his full marathon within 4hrs 15 minutes—a very admirable achievement to a slow runner like me. In the BIM2 this October, I'd be happy if I can complete it in 5 hours.
Maybe it's a blessing in disguise that I did not join this marathon. I can imagine the torture running with a bad flu and insufficient drinking water. I might have fainted and become famous for all the wrong reasons.