Thursday, November 15, 2012

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2011

This was a year ago and well, Ms Procrastinator here has not yet published her race report!

But do not fret. I have it handwritten in my notebook and so, this report is not a figment of my failed imagination. :)

Pre-race worries

I must have caught a chill right after last week's Mou Man Tai 2.0 run (on 13th November 2011) because since then, my flu worsened and my nose severely blocked.

It was so frustrating - I hadn't run since MMT and come Friday (18th November 2011), I could no longer taste my food.

Nevertheless, I followed the gang up to Penang, stopping by Ipoh for breakfast. The parents-in-law met with us and everyone chatted with them so easily. 

My favourite eating place is at the 'Big Tree Leg' in Pasir Pinji. 
But I couldn't taste my food!

We then set off to Bukit Tambun, Penang for a seafood lunch. I didn't think we could still eat but we tried, anyway.

Say cheese, everyone! :)

Joanne and Leong joined us for tea when we arrived in Penang. Off we went to Lorong Selamat for char kuey teow and then to Penang Road for cendol.

Was it good?
I don't know.
I couldn' taste my food at all, remember?

Race Day - Sunday, 20th November 2011

YB's car wouldn't start that morning! *panic*

We eventually hopped into Alicia's car as the five of us (Captain, YB, Lynn, Paul and I) were doing the half marathon, while Geoff and Mien Yee were running the 10km later on.

 With Lynn before the women's start. (pic is courtesy of Alicia/Paul)

YB and YK rushed off for the men's start which was 5mins earlier than scheduled. Paul was nowhere to be seen and we found later that he was in the loo!

Likewise, the women's start was 5mins earlier than scheduled.


I was feeling pretty good up to 3km. I wanted to quit thereafter.

I berated myself for running in this condition (blocked nose and feeling a tad bit chilly), "Why the HECK did you start the run, knowing that your body isn't up to it?"

I forced myself to continue on, stopping every now and then. It was a walk-run-walk-run situation.

They ran out of water at the 2nd water station. I wanted to curl up on the ground and howl like a banshee. My lips were dry from breathing through my mouth, so I was desperate for water.

But I continued on, running along the side of the bridge, hoping to come across half-filled bottles of mineral water that were left behind by the earlier runners. I was desperate!

I met up with Fred and we both trudged on to the 3rd water station, crossing our fingers that there would be water.

And this time, I wasn't taking chances, I grabbed a bottle to run with.

I started to feel chilly on the bridge and I had nowhere to seek shelter from the sea breeze. No big sized men I could run behind either.

I remember a drum performance which I thought was quite cool.

I caught up with Lynn after the u-turn (I lost sight of her after the gun off) and we exchanged a few sentences before I left her. She told me she was trying to catch up with an aunty up ahead, and honestly I didn't know which aunty she was referring to. 

Run, walk, run walk.

As I approached the 2nd u-turn, I told myself that I'd better make sure I completed the run below 2:30. Treat it like an LSD, I cajoled myself. I need the mileage before the marathon in December.

But no, I seriously felt like shites and I thought there was no way I could push myself towards the finish line in a decent time. Arrrrggggghhhh.

Seeing Eastin Hotel from a distance was a huge relief.

Kept on going until I crossed the finish line at about 2:24. (My first reaction was, "WTF, so lousy!")

Alicia was there, looking out for us and the boys. I told her I didn't see any of the boys, not even Paul, who should have finished ahead of me.

We found out later that Paul had a really bad nature call and was in the bushes for a while. :D

With two hours to kill before Geoff and Mien Yee completed their 10km event, we sat around with the cold breeze tickling our skin.

We were getting hungry, too.

Captain takes a nap. (pic is courtesy of YB Wong)

Bumped into Seng Chor and Chae Yin, too. Oh hey, nice legs I have there. :D
(pic is courtesy of Alicia/Paul.)

Finally the skies began to lighten up and the morning was about to get warmer. We headed on to the finish line to wait for Geoff and Mien Yee.

 The lovebirds.

 All done! (pic is courtesy of YB Wong)

With everyone too tired to do think of anything else, we ended up having breakfast at the hotel.

My total average pace was 6:35 min/km. :(


1. As the event is very crowded, you should at least sign up for the half marathon so you can be there earlier to find a parking spot. We stayed in town, as the nearby hotels were fully booked or beyond our budget.

2. Bring a change of clothes for after your run as the air can get very chilly. You don't want to catch a cold in your sweaty clothes.

3. Don't get angry at the volunteers as they are doing the best that they can. Instead, give them a smile and thank them.

Question: Would I run this again?
Answer: No. The start time is too weird to begin with (3am thereabouts), making it a bit difficult to sleep and rest well the night before. 

Question: Why did I run despite being unwell?
Answer: I am stubborn. 

I didn't want to regret not running on the bridge (or part thereof) and make myself come back for it the following year. I also needed my mileage in preparation for my Fubon Taipei Marathon.

I also remember what my dad said to me back in 2008 when I was at Laban Rata. The organiser of the Mt Kinabalu charity climb advised me not to climb up to the summit as I was just recovering from a bad cough. My mum (who was there too. She made it to Laban Rata!!) urged me to heed his advice. He said that I could catch pneumonia if I wasn't careful.

During difficult times as above, I called my dad for advice. 

He just said, "No one else knows your body except yourself. If you think you're strong enough to do it, just do it. Don't listen to them."

And so I ran the PBIM 2011. It may not have been my best race, but at least my muscles had their workout.

The hubby also knows me too well not to talk me out of running the race. Everyone else tried to but too bad for them, I refused to listen.

But I apologise to my friends and in-laws for lying to them when I said I wouldn't run in my condition.

AND, boys and girls, please don't be stubborn like me.

Enjoy PBIM 2012!

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