The third and final Lead Up Run for this year’s Sundown Marathon took place last weekend at Big Splash @ East Coast Park – where participants got the chance to run together with the official race pacers, who are from Team FatBird.There are three pacer groups for the Half Marathon. These are 2.00hours, 2.15hours and 2.30hours. For the Full Marathon, there are five pacer groups and these are 4.00hours, 4.30hours, 5.00hours, 5.30hours and 6.00hours. So for both the fast and slow runners, there should be a suitable timing available.
Though the Sundown Marathon itself is a night race, the Training Run took place at about 6.30am in the morning, and according to the organisers, this choice had been to cater to runners who were unable to make a Saturday evening time slot – as the first two Lead Up Runs had taken place at around 5.00pm in the evening.
18km and 32km routesFor the Half Marathon runners, they completed an 18km route while the Full Marathon runners ran about 32km. This was supposed to be the longest run in preparation for the marathon before the tapering phase begins.
The night marathon itself takes place on the night of Saturday 28 May and requires participants to run through the night – a signature of this running event.
The route for the final Lead Up Run had been quite simple. Runners ran from Big Splash all the way to the NTUC Centre, which was about 16km. Then they returned to Big Splash to refuel before heading down in the other direction towards Carpark C.
The Half Marathon runners on the other hand, U-turned at the new ParkLand Green while the Full Marathon runners U-turned somewhere around Carpark F.
Joined in the training run
I had joined in the training run and it started out well, thanks to the early starting time. However it quickly got quite hot about a couple of hours later, and this was made worse by the fact that the park connector linking East Coast Park to the Gardens by the Bay does not have any shade at all.So as a result, I felt that I had been suffering for most of my training run, and as the morning wore on, the heat got worse. Together with the humidity, this felt quite unbearable. Fortunately though, I did not really experience much cramping in my legs, but on the other hand, with every step that I took, I had felt as though my energy was being completely sapped from me.
Fortunately this had been just a training run, so I took the chance to take my time to run, falling off my original targeted pace as a result.
But at least I consoled myself that I did not have to contend with this fierce heat during the actual race itself. So perhaps there had still been some hope though, that I could meet my timing goals during the actual race.
Calling it a dayMore than three hours later, I called it a day and I returned to the Big Splash, feeling totally exhausted and spent.
I can’t count the number of cups of ice-cold water that I took after that, to replenish my lost fluids, but at least it had been a morning well-spent and now, I could rest my weary legs for the rest of the day.