I did my 1st marathon this year on 28 Feb 2010. Riding on the high on my 1st marathon, I booked my ticket to Melbourne in mid March even before the registration was opened.
I met a gym friend in the KL airport last year on the way to Singapore Marathon and he wore this St George Melbourne Marathon event T. He told me that it's a great event and that's how I became aware about it.
I signed up the race on the 1st day when it opened ie 1 June 2010. I just got back from Bali in the evening and signed up in the arrival hall of KLIA. That's how I got the bib number of 525.
My 16 week training starts on the 20 June 2010 (Week1). I did the 7km Prostate Run in Hospital UKM. I was placed 15th in the MK Land Go Green Race the day before. That was my 1st podium finish.
To be honest, my training is all over the place because I registered for too many races.
Week 2- 27 June 2010 - Std Chd KL Half Marathon
Week 3- 4 July 2010- Interstate 42 K (not a race)
Week 4 -11 July 2010- Seremban Half Marathon
Week 5- 18 July 2010- Siemens 10K
Week 6- 25 July 2010- Taiping Heritage 15K
Week 7- 31July &1 Aug 2010- Shape 12K Run and 5K Media Run (Placing no 5)
Week 8- 8 Aug 2010- Hatyai Nature Run 21K
Finally on week no 9, PM1 talked some sense into me and said I should concentrate on my LSD (20K) rather running irregular distances every weekend and not building up to anything.
I chose not to participate in the River Jungle Marathon (not a race) on 15 Aug 2010. Together with my training partner Sandy Roberts, we started our first 20K LSD with PM1 and the gang. Sandy tried to chase them and I tried to follow. These guys can reach Hartamas Petronas in 50ish minutes and back to Bukit Aman in usually less than that. I felt so defeated that day.
Week 10 training. (22.5K)I had the pleasure of having Lee Lee, Henry and Sandy with me. This time I pace myself nicely and even had a sprinting finish Sandy in the car park, Felt great.
Week 11. Break from LSD. Newton Pacemakers Relay
Week 12. I joined Bukit Jalil group and test out the Newton route. We did 22K on a hilly route.
Week 13. Extreme weekend in Taiping 10K + 21K + Hiking
Week 14. LSD 20K in Bukit Aman with Sandy and PM gang.
Week 15. Newton 25K in hilly condition. I managed 4 km warm up run after that. 29K was the furthest in training so far.
Week 16. Taper Sunday. I ran the double hill 12K with Sandy. We had a relaxing time.
Thursday 7 Oct 2010
Arrived in Melbourne 1230am. Meet Uncle Jimmy Liew from Kuantan who's doing the marathon too. Had supper at the MacDonalds airport. Next morning, buffet breakfast in the hotel again.
Collected my bib at the Race Office at 1230pm. It opened at noon. That's how eager I am.
Went to Federation Square and Harbour Town Factory Outlets. That's how Malaysian I am.
Rushed to the Royal Exhibition Hall (A UNESCO World Heritage before 5pm) and manage to get tickets to see the Titanic Artifacts Exhibition on Saturday noon.
Watched Mary Poppins the musical in the evening. A great way to end my first day.
Friday 8 Oct 2010
Pick up from my hotel at 730am for my Great Ocean Road tour. Transfer to a bigger coach in Federation Square. Met Sandy, Yap and Fiona. We are in the same tour. Yeah....
Great and fun day outdoors. We traveled 565km that day. Had a wonderful guide cum driver named Frank.
Got back to town at 8pm. Quick dinner at the legendary Mekong Vietnamese Restaurant (posters Samo Hung and other Hong Kong stars on the wall). Followed by quick late Friday night shopping till we got chased out.
I saw the bright lights at MCG that night from my hotel room. It was the expo opening at 8pm.
Saturday 9 Oct 2010
Sandy met me in the hotel at 930am. I got up at 9am. I am so glad a had a full 10 hour sleep because I usually do not sleep well the night before.
I accompanied her to the race office to collect her bib as its 10 minute walk from my hotel. I wanted to see the race expo as well. Sandy ask me to take the 4 hour pacing strip.
We continue to the Melbourne Museum and eventually managed to get in together to see the Titanic Exhibition.
We had to walk back to the hotel after that as the tram lines are blocked by the Anti Abortion protesters in front of the Parliament house.
I dropped all show bags and expo shopping in the hotel and headed out to Lygon Street. Met Armin , Nawal, Rose and Nana at the tram interchange.
My late lunch in Lygon street is fettuccine vongole and chicken pizza. Followed by the most wonderful Italian gelato at Brunetti Cafe. Mamma Mia.
My dinner was the Marathon Special at my hotel. A choice of Fettuccine or Risotto. I took the risotto of course. I made sure that I asked for a 4 30 am wake up call.
Slept at 930pm. Woke up at 1145pm. Rolled on the bed till 1ish. Slept till my wake up call.
I went down to have my break fast at 515am. The Mercure Melbourne starts the breakfast at 5 am on marathon day. Some 10 person was already,
Had the call from Sandy at 530 and hop into her cab. We arrived at the Hilton on Park at 535am.
Waited for the door to open at MCG. We had to drop our warm clothing in the basement before that.
We walked to the start line at 620 am wrapped in our bin bags, Had a last toilet call there as well.
We took some photos with BU Bootcampers..namely Armin, Nawal , Rose, Nana, Mizi and Arab. Then Sandy and I made our way to the 4 hour pacer area. We followed 2 guys named John and Robb.
We started off with a bang at 7am. And we followed our pacers at 5min 40sec min/km. A little fast for my liking but I managed.
After the 2nd drink station and into the Albert Park, they were behind us. SO now, we are faster that the 4hour pacer.
I stepped on the 10.05 km timing mat at 58min 20sec. I followed Sandy closely as she started chatting with a Scotsman, Welsh, English etc etc..I guess if u wear the Wales National Emblem,.it does help.
I overtook her after the Albert Park and ran to the St Kilda Shore front. I stepped on the 21,1km mat at 1 hr 53 min. I was about 6 min ahead of the 4 hour pace.
Then I started to think what I am going to write in my Facebook status. That kept me going.
I arrived at the 30km mark after I pass the Luna Park and into Fitzroy Road at 2hour 41min. I was 9 mins ahead of the 4 hour pace.
After we left St Kilda's Road and into the underpass to Botanical Garden , I saw the 35km mark and the first CLIMB. I tell myself , it's only 7km..like my regular 5 laps in KLCC.
I took my last powergel (no 7) at km 38 and I felt like throwing up after that. I still had another spare with me, At 40km, another small climb and into the Flinders Street and Wellington Parade South . I pass all the house at Jolimont.
I saw a grand mom in green spartan T shirt ahead of me. I didn't try to overtake her. I carefully took out my camera and snapped a photo of the MCG as I entered the stadium where the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games are held.
I did pass the grand mom unintentionally and made a final sprint to the finishing gantry as I saw the clock was already 3 hr 50 min. I knew based on my nett time, I can hit sub 3:50. I finished with a 14km/h sprint...the fastest in the entire race.
I pressed my stop watch and saw the time was 3:49:35. I was overcome by emotions and I made my way into the tunnels and collected my bags. YKK- You are a sub 4 marathoner.
Sandy came back soon after and we took our wonderful photos together.
We sat at the seats and absorbed the wonderful atmosphere and waited for the rest to be back. I saw Nawal first, followed by Rose , Nana and Armin. All of us had a PB and congrats to Nana for completing her first marathon.
My Race Analysis.
0-10.05km 58min 20sec --> 58min 20sec. Average Speed 10.5km/h. Ending Speed 11.4km/h
10.05km-21.1km 54min 56sec --> 1hr 53min 15sec. Average Speed 10.75km/h. Ending Speed 10.4km/.h
21.1km- 30km. 47min 54 sec --> 2hr 41min 09sec. Average Speed 10.81km/h . Ending Speed 10.1km/h
30km-42.2km. 1 hr 8min 23 sec--> 3hr 49min 32sec. Average Speed 10.35km/h. Ending Speed 14 km/h
I rewarded myself with the Hair Spray musical at 3pm that day. The songs and the jokes were fantastic. Met Sandy, Nawal and Armin for a celebratory dinner at Hardware Lane.
I got to the airport before midnight and checked in for my flight home.
10.10.10 - A perfect day that I will always remember.