Let’s Run In Ramadhan: My experience being (one of the) Kings Of The Road.

Seriously, what was i thinking when i clicked REGISTER for the Adidas KOTR (Singapore leg)? Happening during the fasting month of Ramadhan (2nd last day to be exact) KOTR’s 16.8km route was indeed going to be one test of mental toughness. You see, running races/events has never been quite of a problem. Its a fairly simple process for me really. You start running from the get go and you keep on running till you cross the finish point.

Ok, so unrelated but i think this is the only guy who seems to pose with a 100 Plus on Google….wearing shades and looking all swag. But truth be told, the runners there were more like….

….with a little bit of exaggeration.

No time to think about girls, food, holidays and such, but merely pacing yourself and completing the race strong. Full fledged focus and a good run i must say. And thats the thing about this KOTR race. Or should i say, that is what it should have been for this KOTR. After running a mere 8km seeing runners grabbing the cool drinks from the volunteers (at the hydration point), well, my throat became dry. I was tempted to down of of those hydrating-energy “shots”.

But truth be known – I CAN’T. I didnt wanna break fast just because i ran 8km. Thats so lame. The human body i believe could do better than that. Make your body, your machine. And this body aint no scrap metal. For heaven’s sake – its Optimus Prime lah! Sadly though, this Optimus Prime’s focus was incepted and kinda lost its bearings along the way….

Breathe in, breathe out…

Thing is, this race was more than just a run to me. Unlike my previous races/runs THIS was a test of my perseverance and mental toughness to FOCUS on completing the run. Had to pace myself slower than usually inevitably to conserve my energy as well as my hydration level. I employed a simple breathing “technique” while running the 16.8km – inhale through my nose, exhale through my nose too. This is because when we use our mouths to breathe in and breathe out often, our mouths will become dry easily and thus, leading to thirst quite quickly.

I NEED SOME FEEDBACK ON THIS, O SEASONED RUNNERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Shit happens.

Just slightly a few metres after passing by the 4km mark, my camera which was inside my bag which i was carrying during the run, fell out of the bag. Had it been an Olympus Dunno-what-model, the one which can stand knocks and such, i wouldnt have minded at all. Of course, i’d pick up my camera first and not just let it be on the road. But thing is, this camera was a….wait for it….Nikon D40X DSLR camera! As it fell out of my bag, i saw the lens forcefully splitted itself from the main body! The runners behind me were all at shock! To be honest, i was shocked and was in disbelief to see the camera which i had planned to capture the moments during the run became UNUSABLE because the sensor could not detect the lens. FML. 

QN: WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD AND STURDY CAMERA HUH?

Was i mad? Yes. Was i sad? Even more. For a moment, i wanted to blame my friends who started off with me but then just chiong-ed ahead. Had they been there with me, they would have noticed that i was running with a bag which was slowly unzipping itself open. I also wanted to blame the runners behind me for failing to tell me the same thing as mentioned previously. But as i picked up the damaged camera, all i could blame was no one but myself. I should have been more careful and aware.

Thus, it set the mood for my remaining ~12.8km journey. I was running emo. All alone with no music to psyched me up, no friends to pace myself with AND worst of all – no camera to take photos of what i would say a very scenic route. 😦

Seeing is believing.

As i continued my never-ending journey to the finish point, my runs became erratic. At times i jogged, at times i brisk walked…hydration-less. Felt so much like Frodo Baggins from LOTR, making his way to Mount Doom in Mordor without water. I feel ya brah. But one thing for sure is that i didnt stop moving forward. Too near to give up, too far to give in.

After being left behind by my 3 friends who wanted really run, as mentioned, i was running the remaining 12.8km route all alone. And when i thought it was gonna be a solo run, i chanced upon a familiar face in the crowd running the opposite direction! It was my friend/colleague from my school gym! Shortly awhile later, i saw Catwoman! Also known as Kak Jenap. She is one helluva seasoned runner! Always pouncing on every opportunity to run in every races and/or marathons around the region! Some of you might have seen her before too! She advised me to go slow and dont push it as i was fasting. And yes, those words stuck with me as i continued on my journey to the finishing line…2 hours+ later. 😛

Later on i met another familiar face and its none other than…*drum roll please*…. ADAM! Running slowly with his fellow compatriots! Once again, advising me to go slow and dont exert too much as we’re both fasting. Awesome guy he is!

ALL IN (all)…

The Adidas KOTR is the first race which i took part while i was fasting. Although the route was mentally torturous, full of U-turns and disappointing expectations (eg. thinking that it’s gonna be a U-Turn nearby but then, apparently we had to take a right/left turn and cover another 2km first! GAAAAH! @_@ ) but i managed to overcome it and finish it at my own pace. Roughly 2hours+.

The thirst was bearable-still. Timing wise, yes, its rather disappointing. Breaking my DSLR lens was devastating. But what was most important is that i completed the race. As the old running adage goes:

“Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.”

Positive insights:
  • Scenic race route
  • Adequate number of water points
  • Volunteers were helpful
  • Not congested along any part of the run
  • Large space for runners to gather round after the run
  • Efficient clean up of the disposed cups
Things that can be improved:
  • Too many U-turns (expectations dashed)
  • Insufficient tentage for  runners to take shelter after the race
  • Probably entertainment along the way to lift up the mood of the many “U-turns” run

I went All In. Did you?

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4 thoughts on “Let’s Run In Ramadhan: My experience being (one of the) Kings Of The Road.

  1. Pingback: Cheers To An Awesome 2011! | Why We Run Network

  2. Pingback: EVENT: Adidas KOTR 2012 | SingaSports.com

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