Big Splash at East Coast Park. It was still pitch-black and the sun had not yet risen. All the shops were still closed.
The place buzzing with activity
Yet, the place was already buzzing and full of activity, with runners who had turned up for the Sundown Marathon’s third and final lead-up run this morning. With less than one month to go, before the Sundown Marathon on 31 May, participants were raring to have their last training session with the pacers.
This morning, the Half Marathon runners were doing the full 21km as a dress rehearsal. The Full Marathon participants were running 32km – the longest training lead-up run so far, before the actual 42km race later this month.
Pacers were running at optimal pace
All the Sundown Marathon pacers were from Team Fatbird. Pacers for the 2-hour, 2:15-hour and 2:30-hour timings were offered for the Half Marathon. For the Full Marathon race, 4-hour, 4:30-hour, 5-hour, 5:30-hour and 6-hour pacing groups were available. And optimal pacing was done today. This meant that runners ran about seven seconds faster than the intended marathon race pace.
Runners selected their own pace group to join. And then soon after an energetic group photo taking session, everyone was off.
Participants had coped well with the running pace
Most runners had trained well and were able to keep up with the targeted pace – throughout the whole run this morning.
Said 52-year-old runner and operations director Gary Chan, “I feel confident of achieving my targeted timing for the race. I can say I was able to keep up with my pace group today without any problems. I even tended to run ahead of the group at times, too.”
He is targeting between 4:45 to 5 hours for the Full Marathon – his ninth 42km race so far. His current personal best for the marathon is 4:53 hours.
Eve Woo, who is a 2:30 pacer for the Half Marathon category, felt that runners coped quite well with the pacing today. The 29-year-old Promotions Executive said, “I found that most runners did quite well. Those who were struggling may have been the newer runners who had joined us for the first time.
“But the weather, early morning and lack of hydration could be why some runners had struggled to catch up,” she added.
And Gary shared her sentiments about the heat, even though he had run very well this morning. Said the runner, “The weather was very hot! But it is the typical Singapore weather. At least this won’t be a factor on race day. It will be quite humid though.
Pacers kept the runners well motivated
For some participants, running with like-minded people and having good pacers definitely kept them going. Said 39-year-old Cheryl Chia, “Running in a big group is always motivating. The pacers are also able to guide us along the way and give us moral support if we start to slow down.”
However, despite the good pacing, Cheryl, who works in sales and marketing, concedes that she did have some trouble keeping up with the pacers. She said, “But that’s probably due to me not having had enough rest.
Confident of achieving her goal at Sundown Marathon
But despite today’s setback though, Cheryl is still confident of achieving her goal of completing the Full Marathon in five hours.
She said, “During weekdays, if I have my own training and consistent tempo runs, as well as these group runs on weekends, I should be able to catch up to the pacers and achieve my target.”
The Sundown Marathon will be her second 42km race.
Satisfied with their work this morning
And the pacers from Team Fatbird were definitely satisfied with their work today. Said Eve, “I am quite pleased with the way this morning’s session turned out – with everyone running well in their own pace groups. So I feel great for runners, going into Sundown Marathon later this month.”