SG Marathon 2008: It is finished.

First off, thanks to for all the support again. Believe me, I recalling all the comments left in this blog helped to keep me going during the race. 


So how was it?

I will not sugarcoat how I feel. I wish I finished my first marathon with a better time. Goodness, I was aiming for anything below 5hrs but not in my wildest dream and uber drama moment did I imagine that I would be sprinting to the finish line so that I could finish before 6hours. But …tough! 

more stories and pictures but let’s start with the … what happened? Here’s my race:

Prep, Meet up and Walk. We went to bed a little after 9pm. I was so excited that I was walking up every 2 hours to check the time. Finally, it was 3:30am. The plan was to meet up with Dingdong, Chito, Harry, Hubert and Joy before the race.

Dingdong passed by our hotel at 4:30am and we all started walking to the finish line. We saw a bunch of runners and just followed them. The underpasses connecting the hotels and the Esplanade were so confusing that we did not end up meeting up CHH&J.  Plus the number of runners was overwhelming. 12,393 runners joined this race. That’s a lot of people to mingle with at 4:30am. 

There were very big signs guiding us to the starting line and there were even marshals at the underpasses giving runners directions. 

One of the marshals told us that we had to register at Padang. Thinking that this was how we will check-in for the race we headed to Padang. Only to be told that we didn’t need to register. Hay confusing! But it was okay because the portalets were in this area. This is just details details but I just have to say that the portalets in the SG marathon … had toilet paper and didn’t stink! What a pleasant surprise, eh.

Km1-3. Dingdong, Mesh and I went to starting line together. We gave each other final good lucks and pretty soon we were walking to the starting line. Yes, walking. Based on chip vs gun time, it took us about 6mins to get to the starting line. We only ran together for a bit and eventually settled on our own paces. The garmin was going crazy because of the tall buildings so I just ran my own pace. Pretty soon, I saw Harry pass and I called out. After brief hellos, he zoomed away also. The first 3kms will take us back to the starting line. Waiting in the sidelines for the start of the Half Marathon was somebody wearing Coach Rio’s hair…when I got closer I realised it was Coach Rio and called out his name.

Km4-8. Was congested but easy for me. Mesh and I toured the route the day before and saw that the route was indeed relatively flat. The only part that we were worried about was a steep incline somewhere between km38 and 39.

Km9-12. I was passing a lot of the water stations because I brought my fuel belt. I knew I’d feel incomplete if I ran without it plus I needed to stash my Gu, Ipod, Semeco etc. I did grab some deep heating rub (DHR) opps  sorry … i forgot the brand (but it was good and worked really well!) from one of the race volunteers. I placed some behind my left knee at Km9. I think this was one of the wisest decisions I made in this race. Too bad the DHR didn’t work on my stomach cramps. Throughout the race I would get some DHR and it really helped ward off leg cramps.

Beginning Km10, family and friends supporting the runners started lining up the streets. You can see runinspiration posters. The race volunteers were still genuinely cheering for the runners. Somewhere along Fort Rd, one runner stepped to the side and got a big fat kiss from his wife (?) i think and we all clapped for him.

Km13-21. This was where things got interesting for me. We were already at the East Coast Park Service Road. The ECP is shaded and cool but the path is narrow. It’s about 4 lanes of an oval. Now imagine 12393 runners running through it for 17kms. Interesting.

When we entered the ECP, we were running for over 1 hour and thank goodness for the DHR that I kept rubbing on my nose I was able to breath a little easy. Yup, some of the runners have a lot of power.

1:10mins into the run we saw the lead runner escort cars and a few seconds later we saw the elite runner gracefully running back on the other side. Some of the runners stopped and looked in awe. Most of us just started clapping for him.  

Somewhere around km16 or 17, my old enemy, the side stitch and stomach cramps started rearing its ugly head. I was ready to move to the side and when I heard somebody call out “Bananarunner”, I looked up and managed to wave. Must have been Glen … they were on their way back. Wow bilis!

I decided to step to the side after a few meters to relieve the pain and immediately felt like throwing up. One of the race volunteers approached me to ask if I was okay. I said that I just needed to throw up. She promptly offered me a plastic bag. By this time another volunteer approached me to ask if I was okay. I pulled myself together, smiled and told them, “This is just performance anxiety.” I was still in pain but I jogged away quickly. I was afraid that they might pull me out of the race.

I also started chewing on a Semeco to relieve the acid build up in my stomach. It helped a bit. I was able to sustain my pace until km21.

Km22-30. This was pure hell. I popped another Semeco but it did not help. I did my walk/run combo here. Another pitstop at a restroom to throw up. Looking back I wonder if I drank too much water in the earlier kms.

I was also starting to go deaf too. Huh?!? Deaf?!? That was my question too. What do I do? I have never experienced this in my training runs. You know how it felt like … parang when you are going down the elevator and you need to cover your nose and blow to equalize. Mesh said this was probably a sign of oxygen depletion.

I was also craving for something salty. Cathy (our wonder support) was at km35 with my potato chips but I couldn’t wait. In my head, I was fixated with the thought that everything will be okay if I can only have something salty. I saw a 7-11 and crossed the street. Tragedy! When I checked my fuelbelt, I couldn’t find the SG10 I brought with me. I must have dropped it when I took out my Gu.

I continued with my walk/run and eventually saw a McDonald’s. I entered the store and asked for salt. The crew looked at me funny and pointed to the condiments counter. I got 2 packets of salt, one I opened and took with some water.

Chito (Sundaywarrior) passed me during my walking break. Thanks Chito for encouraging me to run. I just couldn’t at that point.

At Km30, I decided to rest. There were already a lot of runners resting, stretching as early as km 15 but this was my first full stop. I had a serious discussion and negotiations with myself. I kept convincing myself that this was just like a training run but we will be entering into unknown territory soon. The km32 and beyond is something I haven’t done and I needed to regroup a bit.

I also made peace with the fact that will not be able to finish in under 5hours. I was however hoping that I would do a little better than Oprah.

Btw, although I was in pain, I think the kikay in me kicked in when I saw the cameras. My km25 pix didnt show how much pain I was in. Acting!

Km31-32. After my over 5mins rest, I started continuous running again. I remember one of the supporters saying that I was still in good form. At that point I really felt great and then the side stitch attacked again and I was back to walking. The option was run and not be able to breath or walk and at least cover some distance.

Km32-36. Was mostly walk. I reached the banana station and got one. I poured the salt on the banana. Why?!? I dunno, I just couldn’t stomach eating something sweet anymore after downing 4 packs of Gu. It tasted weird. 😛

Somewhere along Km36, I tried the trick that Kathy picked up from TmBR training. I raised my hand and blew out hard. I tried this several times but it didn’t work.

I then thought, if I ran with my arms raised that would open up my rib cage. And goodness it worked. I know I looked odd. I was running with my arms clasped overhead but the important thing was I was running. Who cares! Too bad, I figured this out too late.

Km 37-40. Fatigue was beginning to set so I was alternating walk/run again. When I start getting the side stitch, I would just clasp my hands overhead.

Somewhere along Geylang, a race walker passed me. Ohshoot! He was very consistent and I decided to slow jog beside him. When I would slow down, he would look at me and say “Keep going.”

Km41-42 I was in one of my walking breaks and a female runner jogged beside me and said, Cmon lets run together it will be easier that way. Aileen Ong is a local was also running her marathon.

I looked at my watch and told her that we are no better than Oprah and we kept on running.

Thank you so much Eileen! The 2kms was indeed easier.

The last 195meters. We turned towards St. Andrew’s Blvd and I could see the timer. 5:57:XX. Sprint sprint sprint. I was thinking OhLord wag naman po over 6 hours. As we crossed the finish line, I raised my hand and made the #1 sign. Oh yes, made it under 6 hours by 1 minute.

The question now is, how do I feel about my lousy marathon finish time?

I don’t like it. But im keeping it. I survived 42.195kms. It took me a long time to finish it but I finished it and no one can take that away from me. It was my race.

Will I do it again? Haha, do you have to ask? In Singapore, maybe not just yet, maybe somewhere cooler.

What’s next? I don’t know yet. I just closed this chapter yesterday with a 30min recovery run

Did I have fun? Running has redefined fun for me. Cramps, blister and all … it was fun!

I still wish I went home with a better time but I suppose this post is just a prologue to my marathon redemption story. Coming soon …

Post on pre race, post race and other chika tomorrow.

Oh! All my toenails survived.

See you later at Ultra!


33 thoughts on “SG Marathon 2008: It is finished.

  1. hey bards. congratulations! a finish is still a finish. reading stories like this inspires me to complete my first full marathon next year.

    thanks wilbert. i took me almost forever and a day to finish but you are right a finish is still a finish. with a finish time of 5:51 i hope to only way for me to go is … faster

  2. Congrats Bards. Parang nagka cramps din ako habang binabasa. Finally, 1 running chapter is finished. My hats off to you.

    fun redefined sya talaga. your turn naman 😛

  3. Congrats Bards! Forget about the finishing time, a marathon run is still a kickass accomplishment any time.

    gene, kickass din ang feeling to finish one. although i did have a moment when i wanted to kick myself hehe sandali lang naman

  4. Congratulations again Bards. As they say, it’s not about the destination, it’s all about the ride, ha ha. I also had a moment of salt in my last climb. A very helpful tip on side stitch by the way. I will use that the next time I have one.

    thanks cecil. i looked funny, pero deadma it was the only way i could run haha

  5. Hi Bards. I share Wilbert’s and Jinoe’s thoughts. Your recap of Singapore is an inspiration to read, even to someone that’s done 20 of them. Always remember that you did the long runs and did other race preparations for last Sunday.

    Like other runners that may post here, the marathon (and ultras) is (are) the most unpredictable distance of any road race. You made it and I’m proud of you and the effort.

    Enjoy the workout at ULTRA tonight. You’ll have a great amount of support when you arrive.

    thanks wayne. Ultra training letter will be stretching the definition of fun. hahaha i hope to coaches will be kind to me tonight.

  6. congrats bards!!! 🙂

    geez! i think i’d be able to relate to wotever you went through this race…only difference is, i’ll do it in HKG..a bit colder…but geeez! im a tropical specie, i’m not sure if i can run with the chill!

    i’d wait for more kwentos! props to you again!

    thanks for dropping by. the hills are alive in HK … just sing na lang when running them. good luck and enjoy your training runs. you will soon redefine the meaning of fun also. hehe

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! Whatever your time is – YOU just finished a FULL marathon… You deserve at pat on the back for that 😀

    tanx Gigi!. im not only giving myself a pat on the back im treating myself to a chocbuffet too. deadma muna sa calories.

  8. Bards – Congratulations!!

    Too bad we did not see you.

    Regards Mark & Tiffin

    thanks and congrats on your great time. astig, sub2. deadma sa humidhumid. hehe. did tiffin run also?

  9. Congrats Bards! You did it and that is all that matters. BTW try this trick during a sidestitch from You exhale as you your opposite foot lands on the ground. It works for me!

    thanks for all the support jay. saya ng feeling to just finish it and it was not relief that the agony was over but kahit panis yung time ko i felt triumphant. i suppose mababaw lang ako but myracemypace. next time i just need to do it a bit faster para win na win.


    thanks Patrick. ah dehydration, i was worried na electrolyte imbalance kasi i was drinking too much. i felt thirsty as in dry mouth so i kept on sipping. hay. run and learn talaga.

  11. Congratulations in finnishing, dont feel sad about the time. Most of the people I know cant walk the distance so you did well. At least you are of your feet and exercising.

    thanks philip. oh and running 30mins last monday helped a lot with recovery.

  12. bards,

    good pm bards,how are you?hows your run?when are you going to back at ultra?i miss you banana running.

    ola chika. will be there later. will try to bring me legs also for a run hehe see ya!

  13. congratulations.:) regardless of time, you still FINISHED a full marathon, and that’s what matters most!
    thanks marga. true. tapos ko sya. Next please hehehe

  14. Bards yung deafness that happened to you really happens. Thats what I experienced nung extreme body combat and boxing when i was out of oxygen (di ba lungs bought on sale)


  15. Grabe, for the first time I read a race recap, I felt emotional, parang ako talaga yung tumakbo. Congratulations still! You still have bragging rights that you finished a marathon, nothing or no one can take that away from you.

    I haven’t read any mention of the weather that day yet – did it feel hotter/more humid than manila?

    thanks dindo.

    hmmm the weather. the prediction for the day was party cloudy partly sunny. the route was partly open and partly shaded. it was hot i know because i was thirsty most of the time however i wasn’t sweating. you know when we do our long runs tapos when we take our break out sweat just starts pouring out. last sunday, kahit full stop na, konti pa rin sweat. it was a bit different.

  16. Bards hi! I was looking forward to your post. Can you believe I’m writing this 12:45 AM EST. Same as jinoe, I feel I am cramping and going deaf with your blow by blow account of the race. Save this journal. You will always feel a winner everytime you get back to it and read it. Shows how you conquer physical and mental fatigue. CONGRATS!

    Try another international marathon na half (a cooler place like HK or Tokyo). More enjoyable and does not take over your life when you train.

    thanks tina. slightly dramatic the post, i was still emotional when i wrote it hahaha thanks for the support. looking forward to hearing your running stories also in your part of the world.

    seems like di ako first time lucky with running. ho-well makulit and matigas ulo ko so hahaha soon enuf wagi na rin ako

  17. Hihi, Yup it was fun running together and finishing our first marathon together. Great job gal! If you coming Singapore anytime let me know, i’ll be glad to bring you around. Take Care 🙂

    thanks eileen.

  18. Congrats Bards! A certified full-marathoner indeed. Your story is such an inspiration. Finishing your first marathon will always be worth sharing it again and again.

    thanks Jun and congrats also.

  19. Congrats Bards! thanks for the mention, I was really thinking sabay na lang tayo all the way from Km 23 but apparently you’re pacing yourself..

    turns out pacing badly haha

  20. bring it on.

    i will see you in the local fulls next year-redemption runs.lintik lang ang walang ganti.

    more good jujus will come your way and you will make sub-5 even before you know it.


    juju binay! hahaha ya, redemption will come. madadaan yan sa kulit at tigas ng ulo.

  21. Wow a certified marathoner from singa, welcome home Bards. Your journey there will be on your pages, I’m glad that you finished it well. Congratulations and rest easy. See you again.
    thanks Vener. legs are lighter now. drills and stretching yesterday helped a lot.

  22. Hi Bards – I secretly wanted to do a 1:45 but it was not meant to be. I should be happy with my time.

    Tiffin ran over 3 hours gun time but had a 2:47 chip time.

    Regards Mark & Tiffin

  23. Wooooow. Super duper galing Bards! Congratulations!!! Superwoman ka!

    I really enjoyed this post! Super exciting and nakakatawa. I just realized… when running a marathon, totoo palang nawawala ka sa sarili mo sa sobrang pagod anoh? hahaha.

    Super galing! :O)

  24. coach salazar will see to it that you will have a faster time in your next marathon. congrats!..good job! pasig river marathon would be a nice redemption run for you..good luck!

  25. welcome to the club, bards – the marathoner and road warrior. while reading your post, i remember my agony of running milo last nov 30. I hope you are doing alright now.

    Bards, The North Face Thrill of the Trail in Nasugbu on Jan 18, hope to see you there again.

    Once again congratulation, bards!

  26. Bards!!! Congratulations!!! You finsihed your first full marathon!!! O diba??? Ang layo layo na ng narating mo brcause of running….literally and figuratively. =) I’m inspired to run again…. enough of this dreaming…time to train! What’s next!?!?

    faster … longer. see in a little bit. takbo tayo sa weekend

  27. Hi Bards,

    Wow! Didn’t know you were at SG. Congratulations on your first marathon! I just ran with my brother too, for his first at Dallas White Rock. The operative word was to “finish”. You can always come back (like you implied in your fun photos) to get a better time. You look great in those photos by the way.

    Welcome to the club, fellow marathoner! Hope I get to run with you someday.

    ey QS thanks for the visit. Hehe, crossing that finish line, no matter what finish time did qualify me to the marathoner club eh. yipee. congrats to your brother pala!

  28. bards, im quite new in running…but let me just say…i really really enjoy your blog!

    thanks mpp! keep on running and before you know it you will be hooked too and will have lots of running stories to tell your friends and family.

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