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Tuesday 7 June 2011

Report: 5th Hatyai Marathon

By Aiman Cheah

Date: 29 May2011 | Sunday | 3:30am (local time)
Venue: Jiranakorn Stadium, Hatyai, Thailand
Category: Marathon (40-44 Years Old)
Result: 4:50:40 (unofficial time)
Position: unknown as the winners' list is too short

This is my first marathon. May be not fit to be called so. Sort of a combo: run and walk. To be exact, 28km run and 14km walk!

I have never thought that I would do it. Amelia Ang knocked some sense into my head during the Penang Bridge Run last year. She told me that if I had done many 24-hour and 12-hour walk, I should make it in the marathon. Aplaidoo (PACM) and Corrine Chiew (RWAM) told me they walked to complete their marathons.

Thanks to Chap Ayam Runners for arranging the trip. I had wanted to join this marathon after reading my host's (Haris) reports.

I was among the earliest to book for a place. Then, I only had the 13km in mind. I began to think about the marathon after a successful climbing flight of stairs during the Towerthon. For the first time, my legs did not hurt after doing the trial run and the event proper.

You might be shocked of my training programme. Serious runners would scoff it. Well, newbies can have the belief that they can do it too. Well, not the challenge for the podium or what so ever, just to complete it. 6 hours or 7 hours would be fine. My target was 6 hours and the worst should be 7.

Here is the road to Hatyai Marathon.
22 May (Sun) - 2.8km Roasters Chicken Run with my children
23 May (Mon) - 2 000m swim in 1 hour
24 May (Tue) - 6.3km run in 39:11
25 May (Wed) - Taekwondo training with my students
26 May (Thu) - 8.4km run in 51:16

Here is how I performed during the marathon.

It was quite a nice run as there were not too many participants. Running was smooth. Water station every 2km. There was even a choice for syrup. There were also sports oral rehydration drink - orange flavour. Can't really remember how many stations provided that but it was towards the end of the race.

Road marshals were adequate. I almost went to the wrong route but was quickly alerted by the road marshal as it was quite dark. Could step on mines (cow dungs) if not careful at certain stretch of the road. There was also one pothole which I noticed despite the darkness. It might be a good idea to use a headlamp. I almost run into a fast runner who had made a U-turn while I was struggling to reach the U-turn.

Generally, I had a good run. I had 4 packets of powergel and 1 bottle of Johnson Baby Oil. Took power gel at every hour (10th, 20th, 30th and 36th km).

After the 10km, I felt like vomiting. But it did not happen. By the 20th km, cramp signals were clear. Still, I could sustain the pace. After 26th km, I began to walk and run. Muscles a little sore by then. Could no longer run after 28th km. Had to walk slowly to avoid cramp. Took a pit stop and had a good rub down on my legs at the 30th km.

Tried to walk at a comfortable pace. Felt better after 32nd km and stepped up the pace. Cramp signals came back. Had to slow down. After the 36th km, I was very confident of completing the race. Even a slow 15min per km would make me complete my first ever marathon in 5 hours 35 minutes well inside my target of 6 hours. Perhaps, the sport oral rehydration drink helped me to sustain the pace during the last 6km.

Group photo after registering for the run

Walking all the way to the finishing line

Yeah, completed my first ever marathon (you may call it)

With the hard-earned finisher T and medal

Waiting for the cert to be printed out

The certificate. Notice the error... it's the year

Group photo before leaving Grand Plaza Hotel

Group photo before leaving Changloon

Pictures courtesy of Suresh Kumar

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