Sunday 26 February 2017

Marina Run: I wanna banana

Yesterday's Marina Run was my first night race.

It was nice not to have to wake up early before dawn to get to the starting line for once.

The 21km flag-off was 7pm, but I was in the second wave which started 16 minutes later.

Because of the pain I have been feeling in my left leg for the past few weeks, I started the half marathon as slowly as I could.

By the time I reached East Coast Park, I was going faster than I should. It was still early in the race and I knew I would pay for it later, but I couldn't help myself.

As anticipated, I pretty much ran out of steam even before reaching East Coast U-turn around the half-way mark.

Then someone gave me a banana.

Usually, the banana is handed out at the end of a race. This was the first time I got a banana in the middle of a race.

Hey, who am I to look a gift banana in the mouth?

Even though it went against my rule of never eating and drinking on the run, I just can't say no to free food.

I hoped the banana would give me an energy boost for the rest of the race, but I think it just slowed me down even more.

It got kinda eerie to be so far behind on a deserted road with only a few other runners late at night.

I regretted not being in the first wave. I really didn't want to be last for this race.

In contrast, later on, runners had to share a narrow path with runners going the opposite direction (because of another U-turn) plus cyclists, e-scooters, skateboarders and what have you to dodge.

As usual, the last 5km were the hardest.

At least, unlike in a morning race where slower runners like me have to deal with increasing heat as the sun rises, a night race is cool throughout. Well, unless you take more than 12 hours to finish a race.

I finally crossed the finish line in just over three hours. My worst half marathon time.

But I was surprised my left leg didn't hurt. That is, apart from the pain I usually get after a long run.

I consider that a win.

I have five more races this year to improve my half marathon time.

Usually after a morning race, the atmosphere at the event area is like the party is just getting started. But in this case, the party was over and the volunteers were packing up to go home.

Granted, it was almost 10:30pm by then. Still, it was a bit of a let-down after all you went through to get to the finish line.

I was half-expecting to get another banana or other food at the end of the race, but alas, no such luck. This wasn't the Newton Challenge.

I overheard another runner asking for a banana after the race too.

I suppose one banana a night is enough.

EARLIER: My year of halves (except Star Wars Run)