The OSIM Sundown Marathon this year drew up to 26,000 runners across 4 different catergories, (10km, 21km, 42km and a newly introduced 5km fun-run). The premier night running event in Singapore, one of the member of the team, Wei Liang, decided to try his hand running the full marathon, albeit having never ran more than 21 km before in his life. His experiences of this year’s race are chronicled below(at least what he can remember after nearly passing out)
Having taken part in the Half Marathon Category last year, me and my friends decided to take up the challenge and went for the Full Marathon this year. With the flagoff at 1am, we were a little concerned as we wanted to complete the race before the sun starting blazing down on us which would make the run even more challenging. We eventually all finished before it became too hot to run, which was quite a relief for all of us.
We were in the 4th or 5th wave to be flagged off and the start was rather cool, with contikis lined up along the starting pen that were lit up in line with the tribal theme of the race. After running for about 2km, I was in shock as there was a rather steep incline up the Benjamin Shears Bridge. At that point in time, there were small groups of runners who decided to walk up the bridge but me and my friend didn’t want to lose the momentum and slow jogged up the bridge. After about 5-10mins, we were on the bridge and greeted with the spectacular Marina Bay skyline behind us.
We continued our way down to east coast park where the cool sea breeze was a drastic change from the humidity felt near the start line. There were numerous Hydration Stations along the route and were well stocked with plenty of Water and 100plus to go around, with a few stations offering Energy Gel (which did not help at all, but hey, it was free) and Bananas as well. The energy gel which I ate prior to the race helped me get through the first half of the East Coast Park stretch till around the 18km mark, after which my legs started to fail on me. It became tougher after the 28km mark where I got a really bad stitch which resulted in me walking pretty much till the Marina Bay Golf Range . There were a lot of random strangers lined up along the race route, many of them seemingly from various running clubs who were giving out sweets, bite sized snacks, as well as providing free muscle spray. I am really thankful for them as they really did boost my morale and helped motivate those around me who were clearly dead tired. I started to get my momentum back and went with the plan of running 1km and walking the next till the end of the race. By the time I was at the Marina Barrage, my legs were so sore but the sunrise and the scenery of what was ahead somewhat helped distract me a little. As I went past the floating platform, part of me was really excited and the rush of adrenaline spurred me on to the finishing line.
I personally felt that this year’s race was much more organised than last years with lesser (Or no) choke points in the routes. The lack of hydration points which was an issue last year was not a problem this year as the stations had sufficient amounts of fluids to keep the runners going. The only problem was that some of the hydration station along East Coast Park were poorly lit resulting in runners colliding into each other but other than that, the Sundown marathon this year was pretty much well organised. If anyone who wants to give the Full Marathon a go, I would recommend this event as it is in the only race that allows you to run most of the distance without the sun pounding down on you, which is definitely more cooling and helps a lot if you are a First-Timer. “
Thankfully, Wei Liang came out of this event in one piece. But for those looking for a challenge or just a totally different running experience, it is a definite must-run. We here at Whatsnext have already begun training for next year’s edition, which will surely be bigger and more exciting than this year’s. Folks time to start preparing now.
Courtesy of Wei Liang’s legs