I admit we didn't have much experience to go beyond the distance. Both Zaini and I only did 2 two marathons each last year so we are obviously green at this long distance running craziness.
But when WaterGate 16 hours opened for registration, we didn't hesitate long to join it.
The format of WaterGate 16 hours was simple. Just do as much distance as you can in 16 hours. A participant is entitled to be called an "event finisher" only if they completed a minimum of 50K.
Bearing that in mind, Zaini and I had a simple plan. To do 50K. No pressure. We won't allow ourselves to be pressured to aim for a fast timing. Just do 50K and have fun. Hah hah
The start of the event wasn't too promising. It rained the whole afternoon. It was still raining 30 minutes before the start. I was bracing for a cold, wet run but rain or no rain, we'd do it. Thankfully, the rain stopped before the flag-off of the first batch of runners.
|Ultraman figures for participants and to the champions|
Bib collection was done on event day, from 5pm to 7pm at Taman Seri Empangan where the event is also to start. We were late. We arrived at 7.30pm and promptly got our bibs and get ourselves sorted before it started.
Prepping up. Taping the feet, changing outfit and whatnots. We are almost set for a long night. :-)
Flag-off was at 8pm, in batches. We took our time to get ready and only started or run at 8.10pm. No hurry la...
First batch flag-off
We started with a slow jog and after about 200-300m from starting, we immediately face the stairs to go up Jambatan Seri Gemilang. Yup, must climb stairs. If you wanna do a 50K, then must climb up those stairs 10 times. Fun stuff. Bwahaha
The after-rain night was cooling but I was sweating buckets. Thank goodness for the constant breeze. If it's a hot night, the run might prove to be much more difficult to finish.
The route was in loops. 2.5K from Taman Seri Empangan to Palace of Justice and back to Taman Seri Empangan to make a loop of 5K. The loop worked great for us as it wasn't far enough to get to Checkpoint 2 (CP2) from Checkpoint 1 (CP1) so adding a loop after loop didn't feel too daunting. Also, whenever other runners looped back we got company.
After our first loop, we got back to CP 1 to get our bibs checked and marked and saw friends who were there to support runners. Awwwww...
Lingered for a few minutes to take photos and chatted with them. We'd see them again after our second and third loop before they head back home. Each time, we'd just stop and took our time to chat drink, snacked and take photos... again. (What is is with us runners and photos, ah? LOL) Thanks so much Gmi, KZ & hubby, Ejah, Rashid & Aizat!
Zaini and I started together with a jog. Which was how it was for the first 15K or so. Zaini then started to brisk walk. It was actually his plan to walk the whole 50K but he accompanied me jogging first as I told him I can't walk that much distance because the back of my knee tends to be in pain whenever I did long walks. So I proceeded to jog and maybe keep a lead for a bit. I'd waited for him at CP 1 and CP 2 before we start off again. No hurry, right?
Our pace wasn't that fast, we kept pretty much a 9.00-9.50min/km pace for the first 25K. Got to CP 1 at midnight to have supper.
Nasi goreng / fried rice provided by the race organiser. Black coffee too. Bliss.
And a special delivery by a friend of milk coffee and some waffles too! Yummmm!
We stopped for the midnight break for more than 30minutes. Had a toilet stop and had supper too.
Didn't want to linger with sitting (and gossiping) for too long so we started off with a walk while the food was still digesting in our tummies. Cannot run la. Walk only la, after eating right?
The walking pace was of course considerably slower but we felt good. It was nice to have a "stroll" with hubby. Hubby would hi-fived passing runners coming from opposite directions and we'd get encouragements from more senior runners along the way.
Whenever we reached CP 2, we also lingered as Raimie was there "helping out". CP 1 was the social checkpoint for us and CP 2 was the "check son doing OK or not" checkpoint. LOL
After 5K of walking after our meal (total done by now = 30K), the walking pace got progressively faster.
After 30K, I decided to change my running gear into a clean one. And yes, it felt much better after a rinse and a new dry attire on instead of wearing the sweat soaked vest throughout the run. I didn't need to change my shoes as my feet were doing OK in that red Adidas Clima Cool shoes. No blisters formed. No blue toenail either.
We were accompanied by a really nice runner for a bit until we reached CP 1 finishing our 35K and we talked and talked and talked. ^^
Yup, despite some "in silence" moments" we could still talk and joked around till we finished our run that night. And we were lucky that both of us weren't sleepy at all that night (and early morning). *^-^*
Having company while doing this helps tremendously and having a great company made it enjoyable to suffer through it together! LOL
|Photo credit : Mohd Azfar|
Just him being there was enough for me to continue. There were no tears. There were no tantrums. There were no cajoling needed to finish our 50K. The last 25K, we just walk and walk.
Granted, we did it slow. It took us 10 and a half hours to finish this. But it was 10 and a half hours of time together, doing something that I used to love alone but now is shared by my family.
That said, I couldn't help remarking to Zaini that we'll be toast if we join Titi50K because the cut-off for it is 9 hours!
To the race organisers and volunteers! Thank you! Food was ample. Friendly faces at each checkpoint. Neither Zaini nor I had the need to take any energy gel that night because what was provided was ample and generous.
Andddd... to those doing Titi 100/50K Ultra next month, all the best!