Monday, April 26, 2010

Borneo International Marathon 2010—Countdown

This is it, the countdown to the Borneo International Marathon 2010 (BIM) which is on this coming Sunday! It will be the third time I'm running the 42km. And Mia will be making her debut in the 42km race too. So this ought to be interesting!

Over the last couple of months, while training for this Sunday, I've also joined the New Balance Pacesetters 30km at Padang Merbok, and the recent Energizer Night Race in Cyberjaya. But those were 30km and 21km races respectively. This Sunday, it will be the full distance.

The first time I ran the full marathon, I did it in 4:40. But when I tried again in Singapore, I ended up with a disastrous 5:02! Well, my ambition to improve to 4:30 is still intact, but I have a bad feeling that it's not gonna happen this time.

I've been seeing how hard Dr Peter Ong train in Likas, and I'm beginning to think if it was a silly thing to actually accept the bet of a lobster. I jokingly proposed a bet of just a simple meal, but Dr Peter upped the ante to a whole lobster. Impulsively, I accepted the bet! Since then, I've been seeing the lobster gradually drifting away in the direction of SMC, but there is still this whole week to lure the lobster back.... here lobster, lobster... come to papa!

Some of our friends are only running the half marathon this time round, because they're all planning to set their personal best in the Gold Coast Marathon in July. They include Dr Helen, Dr Liaw, Andrew Voon, and that guy who's looking forward to a bright future in the sport of curling, Teo Chen Lung! Judy and Kevin are also going to Gold Coast, but they're brave enough to still run the full marathon in the BIM. At any rate, both of them are very strong runners who will probably rush out from the start gun.

So it seems that Dr Peter and I will be running together—well, at least for the first 3km I hope—at 4:30am this Sunday. I hate to think of the unpleasant thought of him leaving me behind after the 10km mark, but I hope to meet him again at the 30km mark.

Vivian will also be running in her second half marathon. And this year, Johan Amilin is making his first attempt at half marathon. I saw both of them running in Likas yesterday morning, and I must say that they were looking good. Dr Felice was there too, and it seemed like she's having cold feet. She said she might want to run the half marathon instead of the full course. Dunno if it's possible to do that now. Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's BIM is that my brother, Harry, has taken up the challenge to run the half marathon too. If I'm not mistaken, I think he has covered the distance of 19km during training, so he should be good enough for this Sunday. I have a feeling that he will finish well within 2:30.

I ran my 33km long run 2 weeks ago, and it still felt quite exhausting. Yesterday, although I did only a short 12km slow run, it still felt exhausting. Not exactly a good sign for this Sunday, but hopefully with one full week of rest, sufficient sleep and food, I would be able to fully charge my energy.

In the mean time, Dr Peter disappeared from the radar over the weekend. I believe he mentioned going to Kundasang. But I think he has secretly performed a blood transfusion on himself, say something like pumping in 2 pints of Kenyan blood into his system. Yeah, that should help him add a bit of boost. Incidentally, this morning he texted me, saying that when he returned yesterday evening, he tried running in the evening, but he had to stop after only 7km because he was running "frighteningly fast." I wonder if he's still got anymore Kenyan blood available for me.

Oh yes, since Harry is also running this year, he won't be there to take photos. Instead, Buddy and Sophia are kind enough to be our "official" photographers. Well, of course they will be taking the photos of some other people too, especially at the finish line. So ladies, if you really must raise your arms triumphantly when crossing the finish line, please remember to shave your armpits, hmm?

All the best to you all this Sunday!


teo said...

Hey Corny,

Yeah....I hope you remember my lobster too coz I have bought a red wain for the occasion haha.

So, just like the last BIM, why not we all do another gathering after the run on Sun night? Dont forget to bring the finisher medals too....for photo session.

Of course, I am still looking forward to earn the First Olympic Gold Medal for Malaysia in ahheeemmm... Curling hahaha I wud be the sweeper of course, no worries. Kevin's mom can be the one 'pushing' the 'round ice cube thing'. The other sweeper of course wud be Kevin. You can be our coach!!

So seems like I have managed to poison you and Kevin to do a marathon and now u have continued to poison the treasure hunters such as Johan, Harry, Claire, Scute etc. Thats good lah, next we should introduce climbathon & triathlon to all.

So, good luck to you Corny, try your best to beat Dr Peter & also your PB. I hope I wont be the last to cross the finishing line.

Cornelius said...


Hard to believe that a lobster's life is at stake because of our running hobby. But I'm not sure if the amount of cholesterol from the lobsters is good for us. Hopefully, the doctors can give us some advice on this.

Speaking of bets, I told Harry that you seek to beat him. Although he is not very confident, he said why not make it more interesting by betting on a 1.5-litre bottle of 100PLUS, loser buys! You dare to take up the challenge?

Nah... don't think it's a good idea to make me the coach for curling. We will only end up laughing all the time and learn nothing from training!

Tekko said...

To do 4:30, you need to run avg of 6m:25s per km. Stick to this, discipline yourself and don't get tempted to run faster esp during the early part of the race when the weather is better. Too fast, slow down, too slow, catch up. Maintain at the constant pace and you should be able to do it. All the best.

teo said...

100Plus fun la. I can just grab 1 bottle from a water station and pass to Harry, no worries rite? BUT...a lobster sounds much more interesting haha.... By the way Harry, I wont be running like Usain Bolt or the Kenyans coz I am more a Sweeper than a runner.

Yeah, Tekko's advice is right. In my first marathon, I started too fast and paid the price at KM35. Last year, I started so easy and finished strong. This year, I guess I will employ Tekko's method," Too fast, slow down, too slow, catch up."...and see if I can win my lobster!!

Cornelius said...


I have done some calculations myself, and arrived at something like 6:10 - 6:15 per km. I thought it simply must be at that pace because I need to give a bit of allowance for water stops and/or toilet break(s). It would still be close. However, judging from my pace during training, I'm beginning to doubt that I can achieve it!

I have achieved 10km within 52 minutes during training, which I thought was quite respectable. But it is hard for me to convince myself that I can hold that pace for very long. I'm thinking even if I tried to pace myself at 10km per hour, I would still burn up my glycogen reserve way too quickly, and I will inevitably pay dearly for it during the last 10km or so.

So I say again, it will be close! 4:15? 4:00?... not gonna happen this time for sure! But I don't mind dreaming for those... hehehe.

Tekko said...

Hi Corny,

Based on what I gathered from your blog, you have been working hard so I think it is doable. The human mind is a very complex thing and if you set your mind to it and think positive, it can be done. Having done your training, the final key to it all boils down to strategy and not just mere running. Going into a marathon is like preparing for a war, or an exam. You need to prepare for it both physically, mentally and come up with a strategy to ace it and win the battle.

Just to share further.

In 2007, I decided that I need to achieve a sub 5hr which works out to a 7min pace. I finished in 4:59 (gun time) just 1 min shy of my target. Actually I had the luxury of finishing faster but choose to run/walk the last 3 km with a friend who had cramps.

In 2008, I adopted the same time target but this time completed in 4:48 instead faster by about 10mins.

The point I am trying to bring forth is, assuming you have trained adequately, and with proper discipline during the race, you can make it within your time target even after allowing for drinks and toilet breaks. Start at the pace set and once you hit 30km and still feeling okay, you can pick up the pace and complete the FM for your PB. I believe you can do it.

Cornelius said...


Thanks for having so much faith in me!... haha. Well, there is only one way to know. I should be able to know no later than 10am this Sunday!

But right now, I better don't put too much pressure on myself, because the last time I did that, it turned out to be a disaster in the Energizer Night Race! Keeping my fingers crossed...

Cornelius said...

OK, a big, surprising revelation today - at least for me! It did not occur to me to read the organiser's website, since I've practically read every single thing there over the last 2 marathons. And they were basically still the same, except for the sponsors etc.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out just this afternoon that the start time for the full marathon this year is at 4am, NOT 4:30am!

I then texted the news to Dr Peter, just in case. It seemed that he thought I was just kidding. Well, doc, don't say I didn't tell you!

As for the half marathon, the start time has also been pushed half an hour earlier to 5:30am. So don't oversleep y'all!

kkchai said...

Good for you that the BIM starts 4.00am, It shouldn't be too hot by the time you finish. Though not too appropiate, I still like to say "Godspeed" and good luck !

Cornelius said...


I'm not complaining of the 4am start time. In terms of sparing the runners from the horrible morning sun, I think we can only welcome that half-hour shift!

But on the other hand, of course that would also mean that we runners will have to sleep much earlier the night before, since we need to wake up around 2am! Well, it may be different this time, but based on past marathons that I have joined, I doubt that I can fall asleep anytime before 10pm. I think it's likelier that I will eventually fall asleep close to midnight! So looks like we're all running with insufficient sleep this year!

Cornelius said...

On another note, I was among the first few to collect the race pack this afternoon. It was quite smooth-going when it was my turn. But I thought the running vest was quite large. I chose size L when I signed up, only to find that it was so huge when I tried it on. So I have since changed my vest to size M.

I would suggest that those of you who're in KK should go collect your race packs as soon as possible so as not to overcrowd on Saturday. Besides, if your vests do not fit, you can always change if sizes are still available. That might not be the case on Saturday!

scute said...


I have strong reasons to believe that you would achieve your sub 4.5 hrs this weekend. Among others, you have home ground advantage :-)

Real disappointed to sit this one out as we bought cheap tickets earlier than their annoucement.

And to the rest like Teo, Johan, Dr Liaw, Claire, Harry, Mia - all the best too!

Anonymous said...

I bought a Nikeplus watch, heard of it? You place a tracking chip in your shoe, like the marathon chips, and it tracks your pace, calories burned, etc.. which you can view on your watch while you run, and take home to upload to your computer and view.

Essentially, you can compete with yourself because it tracks how well you do on each run, and whether you have done better or worse than your last runs.. You can even log the climate, running surface, and your mood during your run.

Very cool

It is my new training technique :)

Cornelius said...


Too bad you're unable to make it this time. Judging from the number of people I know joining the race this time, I feel that BIM is gaining popularity. Maybe more would have joined if the announcement was made earlier. Unfortunately it takes a while to train for a marathon, especially for irregular runners, so early announcement of the event is important.

Well, I am quite confident about the first 30km of the race. But I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for the last 12km! I feel like that's where the marathon really begins!

Cornelius said...


No, not the Nikeplus watch in particular, but of course I've research quite a bit before I bought my Polar HRM. Those features are also available on my Polar, but I never really bothered too much about calories, distances etc. I've come to realise that they're not very accurate anyway! However, it's still useful to keep track of your progress, because even if it's not 100% accurate, you can still track pace, calories etc.

I used my Polar HRM to track my heart rate and have found that it could help. But after a while, I thought that the main thing that helps is consistent training. I still experiment with several things, e.g. strictly running slow during the long runs to build up on endurance. I just hope that that can help me this Sunday. I will only find out if it works beyond the 30km point.