Review of Adidas Sundown Marathon

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Patrick, Xiang Hui, Siong Wei, his friend and I found ourselves traveling to Changi Village on a late Saturday night. We were heading for the Adidas Sundown Marathon event held at Changi, the inaugural night Marathon in the region.

I have my dinner at 8.30pm with extra rice and ingredients, courtesy of Bella. This is the last meal I gonna have for the next 9 to 10 hours plus. Proceeded to the bus interchange to meet them before taking Bus 109. We reached Changi Village at around 10.15pm only to see the world area flooded with people, a scene you won't see much there.

We navigated through the crowds and found our way to the event location. Races for the Corporate Team Challenge and Ultra-Marathon (MAD) were going on. We quickly found a spot and started changing into our race kit. The usual pre-race routine took place after; checking in of baggage, unloading our last round of water, warming up.

The whole event was lively with many booths, some of which belong to the sponsors. There was also massage area, water distribution area (water and 100plus), and information counter where we got our cylum sticks.

Soon, it was approaching the 12am flag-off time. We went over to the starting point only to find ourselves stationed all the way back about 20m behind. The whole starting point area was crowded with runners like us, the pioneer night Marathon runners in Singapore.

There was not really any significant alert when the competition was fired off, at least for those who were stationed at the back. The first 1km was kind of start stop due to the narrowness of the route. The next 5km to 7km was really just finding gap to overtake the crowd as there was no "keep to the left unless overtaking" rule present.

Soon, gaps beginning to open up upon entering East Coast Park and I have already left Xiang Hui, Patrick and Siong Wei behind. However, I lost sight of Siong Wei's friend who was indeed fast. We were cheered by the crowds who were chilling up on a Saturday night at East Coast Park. It was quite an enjoyable run with so many people cheering us on. Of course, I was still feeling good as my right calf injury had not kicked in yet. The same route was indeed easier to run compared to the running in the morning (Had ran the same route during my Army day's 21km run).

The turning point was at the end of East Coast Park, marking the start of the 22km. My timing was still a pretty good 2 hours 7 minutes. We were welcomed to the next stretch of route by several overhead bridges, few consisting of stairs which really slowed and drained our energy. Most of the runners were seen walking up the stairs and slope. Only few brave ones run up. We ran past Eunos MRT before reaching Bedok Reservoir. This time round, the stretch of sand leading into the Reservoir demoralised us further.

Was feeling hungry when the time approaches 3am. My motivation during that few minutes was really to look out for the next station in hope that theres banana. Yes BANANA! The yellowish fruit. Why banana you might ask?

Bananas offer the body carbohydrates, its main source of energy. This carbohydrate provides the body with both a quick boost and a sustained release of energy over a period of time, which helps to improve endurance and concentration during physical activity.

Thankfully, there was, along with the PowerBar Gel and 100plus. Banana and 100plus just taste like abalone and tea (well, close to it :P).

Soon, I felt my right leg aching, particularly at the knee joint area and outside thigh. I began walking, taking big strides before jogging again. I could not jog more than I walked as I finally realized that my right leg had given way and my running system had broken down which I have not experienced before. My hope of completing within 5 hours was diminished. My next worry was actually if I could finish the race. This really dealt a heavy blow to a person who always had confidence in his running.

I hit Loyang which was deemed as the "Homerun" stretch of route. I found myself stopping and struggling to overcome my injury. I could hardly bend my knee anymore; I had to limp all the way back for more than 2 hours. Those that I once overtook were overtaking me in batches. Even those walkers overtook me. The limping was causing more hurt to my calf muscle, I have to slow down further more in order to prevent cramp. Fatigue level was running high as I felt kind of sleepy with all the limping at around 5am.

I was actually hoping for Xiang Hui and Siong Wei to catch up with me and maybe walk back together. In spite of the disability to jog, I still keep track of the timing and distance. I was actually limping at a rate of 2km every 25minutes. After some extrapolation (Yes, my mind is still working fine!), I predicted I could finish the race before 6.15am.

It was down to the last 2km when it started pouring! Oh man, what a race it was. I picked up pace (a little) and managed to finished the race with a time of 6 hours. There was a long queue of runners under the rain waiting to collect their finisher pack which consists of a Finisher Medal and Finisher Tee.

The infamous finisher tee that cause many runners their legs LOL

The rain was still pouring; my running shirt was drenched. I change into the finisher tee while waiting for the rest to arrive. I got a seat beside Siong Wei's friend and chatted while waiting. Sun began to brighten up the skys. Unfortunately, I do not have my handphone with me as the sunrise scenery after rain was quite captivating. Familiar faces were seen passing by while waiting for Siong Wei and Xianghui. (QQ, Daryl, Jian Xiong, Yan Kai etc)

While waiting for Patrick to arrive

We finally left the event place at about 8.30am with Patrick crossing the finishing line just in time for his finisher tee and medal. We proceeded to Changi Village for a well deserved breakfast before leaving for our home.

It was indeed a unforgettable experience. Jogging through the night, up and down the bridges and stairs, banana that taste like heaven in the middle of the night, fellow pioneers focusing on completing the race on their own and last but not least, limping for a good 2 hours.

The legs and shoes that braved through the sand, bridges, rain and of course a distance of 42km

All collapsed while on the bus back home

A stranger who also attended the race

Thanks for reading this long post. Shall be looking forward to the Army Half Marathon and Standard Chartered Full Marathon. Anyone joining me?

This Post has 2 Comments Add your own!
Falcon - June 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM

42KM...Thats just crazy lah!!

Respect you!!

Collin Yeo - June 2, 2008 at 11:34 PM

Hey falcon,

Thanks for dropping by.

You should just give it a try, once in a lifetime experience for some while its only the beginning for me.


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