Tuesday, November 26, 2013


My Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013 race report.

We stayed at B-suite hotel bayan baru. Not quite far from queensbay mall where the race begin. At 1am 17 November 2013 (after kak tie's small birthday celebration), we went to the starting point and caught up in a massive traffic jammed due to the most of main road already closed for the event purpose. Lucky that we still got a parking spot at the qb mall basement parking and after that we quickly get to the starting point. Don't want to be late and not enough stretching before the race begin. Azuan and kak tie in the half marathon category, che'burn and I- full marathon category.

At starting point, I met Noor Izwah Mahdar, Sam Mahdar , Faiez Buer , Aizat Ahmad , azmi, and a few other runners. We took photo together 5 minutes before the full marathon flag off at 2am, and wish each others good luck! By the way,che' burn doing his first full marathon. There you go che' burn!

And the race begin.

I tell myself not to speed up for the entire 42km. just want to Maintain my pace around 6.30 min/km and try my best to be comfort with this pace. Long way to go. Because speed is all about consistency. At the first 5km met Shah Shazharn and louis. Entering the penang bridge, quite windy and the drizzly rain makes me cold. Up till 24km, I still maintain the same pace and at this time I clocked 2 hours 24 minutes. And I know I'm in the middle of pacer 4.30 and 5.00. All along, keep competing with Ford frodo, zarul Azuan , and Khamrul Rasyid . Most of the time they were ahead of me.

At km 25, suddenly I stop running. Stretched my right leg. A bit pain. And that's when the mental block occurred. I continued run, but getting slower. As the pacer 5.00 pass me by, I knew that I'm not gonna be able to catch them up. I've tried. But eventually the 5.00 pacer balloon disappear. I didn't try hard enough to fight the voice within me that told me to stop. My other mistake when I load myself with vsoy milk at water station. It cause my stomach start to growl.. but I keep holding on.

Bumped with faiez at km25.

He experienced pain at his knee due to activities before the race. I just hope he gonna be just fine and still able to finish the race.Thanks for captured my photo anyway in the middle of the penang bridge. Sometimes when you too focus to something that you do you forgot to have fun with things that you do. So from km 26 onwards I keep telling myself not to take this too hard. And that's when my I initial target from 'i want to finish the race below 5 hours' changed to 'I just want to finish this race within cutoff time, and without injury!'.it's funny how my mind always keep bargaining with a matter like this.

At Km 27.

My pace from 6.30min/km drop to 7.45min/km. I run. And stop. Run. And stop. After a long pause (just walk for almost 1km) Suddenly, there's an 'angel' came and grab my hand. He told me to keep running and never give up. At least try to finish up till km30. With that, sobri and I start to run together. No need to go fast, but have to keep running with a slow pace. There you go. In a time like this, I really need a moral support to cheer me up. To lift me up. Sob just become the perfect person at this time to give me that. Thank you so much sob!

We keep running until km 33. The water station was quite good enough I presumed. Maybe lack of 100 plus but it's ok. And Because the route is u-turn basis, we can simply recognised a few of runners from the other side. Fast runners sub 4.30 - Faisal, Rashid Rmr , Shaiful Zakaria, Midy Saleh , shamroslee, Mohd Mustafa , Aizulartamir Azman (just name a few).good job you guys!. Met kasturie as well. He become a pacer for his friend. And he gave me a words - I look so fat after get married! Haha. Couldn't agree more. I will try to lose some weight after this. Noted!

While sob and I want to make u-turn at km33 after fed ourself with banana, we bumped with Romzy Liu II and quite surprised why he was so slow. Apparently he lost his contact lense and had a problem with knee. He then decided to joined us and we ran together. Having chit chat and sobri sing a song (loud and clear) makes me forget about the foot pain. At km38, we stop by at nearest shell station to perform subuh prayer because it's already 6.30am. Almost 30 minutes we spent our time here. Not to mentioned, In front of the shell station there's a pasukan bomba dan penyelamat with tbeir big pipe hose and mist the atmosphere - just like a cooling zone for all runners.

Another 4 km left before the race is over.

Romzy and Sobri keep pushing me to go slow and try to catch up with their pace. Thanks romzy for some running tips and for the energy gel as well. Mango flavour and It was tasty, considering I never try to consume energy gel in the previous race events. and for the last 2 km, both of them struggle to finish the race before we clocked 6 hours for FM. And here I am, on my own again and keep moving.

The crowd before the finishing line was so overwhelming. For the last 1 km, I run and run and run slowly, and of course I didn't forget to put a big smile on my face even though both of my feet is hurt. The pain is temporary but the pride is forever! So I gave my best shot in front of any camera ahead. I learned my lesson - you don't want to look ugly at the finishing line.

As I ran on the red carpet, I knew it's already over. The race is over. And I clocked 6 hours 4 minutes. Sobri and romzy did their sub 6 hours with 5.59. Thanks again to both of you!! It's true when they said the miracle is not when I can finally finished the race, but when I had the courage to start. This is not as easy as it may seem. 42.195 km is not easy. Nobody told me this was easy. But I know it's gonna worth it. To finish my 5th FM (so far) is quite good enough for me. Another finisher medal and finisher tee collected.

Congratulations azim ashaary! I'm proud with myself.
Congratulations che' burn on your first FM.(he even got better timing than me)
Congratulations Faiez to finish the entire 42.195 km despite of his injury, 5 minutes away before they pulled off the red carpet.(cutoff time - 7 hours)
Congratulations to all full marathon runners, you guys inspired others!
Congratulations kak tie for your PB in this half marathon.
Congratulations dr.shah, for keep trying to finish the race but DNF at km21.(the effort that matter)

And most of all, congratulations to all runners whether you did 10km, 21, or 42 km. Keep running and never give up! It's good to met again with familiar faces at finishing line. And as usual, photo session would not be missed by any chance!

See you guys again in Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 tentatively at 16 November 2014.

Insya Allah on the brand new Penang Bridge

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