Sweet Success — Laguna Phuket International Marathon 2012

Yes! Finally! Completed a marathon with a timing I am happy with! Hurray!!
Dec 2008: It was a disappointing run back in 2008. I was running or rather walking a full marathon with a bad left ankle injury at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon clocking 7:35hrs then (Read: Run My Own Race). Right after the race, I stopped running for almost about half a year to rest my badly injured ankle. Thereafter, I participated in 21km races while I told myself, one day.. one day when I am ready, I will do a full marathon again,
Aug 2010: Saw an article on the Laguna Phuket International Marathon in Shape magazine. After reading the article, the thought of running a marathon there started to form in my mind. Why not? Since I’ve not been to Phuket, maybe I should go there for a run, than stay on for a few days enjoying the sun and sea in Phuket. Sound like a plan!
Dec 2011: After running many half-marathons, correcting my running posture, getting the right pace, improving my timing and with no injury done to my ankles & knees to-date, decided that it’s time to run the full marathon and I shall attend the Laguna Phuket Marathon in June 2012!
The entrance fee to the marathon for foreigners was very expensive, at THB2,600 (about S$106) with entry to the pasta party on the eve of the run. Together with air tickets, 1 night lodging at a resort in Laguna, it already cost me almost S$300+. Not a cheap run actually.
9 Jun 2012: 
2pm Welcome to Phuket! It’s a sunny day! Heard that it was raining heavily earlier. I wonder how will the weather be the next day?? 1st stop – taxi to the race expo at Laguna Beach Resort to collect our race pack.  The process of collection was smooth.  The items in the race pack include a super big size running tee *sad* and a tube of muscle rub, very pathetic race pack.
330pm Check-in at Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort. A relaxing dip in the hotel pool.
530pm Carbo-loading time before the big race. It’s the Pasta Party! My 1st and gosh, I saw long long queues already forming at the buffet counters.  I must say the spread was quite good, food yummy, just that some of the nicer dishes only go at once, no 2nd round. It’s been awhile since I ate till so full.. *Burp*
930pm Zzzz…  Thanks to the plush pillows and bed in the resort.. I had a super good sleep!
10 Jun 2012:
3am Yawn… Wake up! Wash up! Time for the BIG RACE!
430am Took the Laguna free shuttle bus service to the race start point. It rained during the night but stopped before the event, thus gave way to a cooling morning. I am all hyped up, all ready to charge & go.  This is so unusual of me to be so excited and ready to go. Finally, the moment has come! There are total around 4000 runners participating with about 520+ running the full marathon. After the countdown, all 500+ runners charged & GO!!!!
The Run…
I must say, as compared to running in a Singapore running event, this run was a luxury.  No bottleneck, no over-crowding, drink stations every 1.5-2km, and all served with ice. Some stations provided bananas and watermelons served. The course lead us through the quiet area of Phuket – padi fields, rubber trees plantations, alongside the crushing waves of the Bang Tao sea and the tranquillity of the Laguna resort area.  No road blocks here, anyway there’s not much traffic around but there’s traffic polices and volunteers around to manage the traffic. There were hilly sections at the 10-13km and 25-27km, thanks to previous training at MacRitchie and Bukit Timah, running up the hills was not a difficult task for me. No stitches, no cramps and energy level was at my all time high. Though at 28km, my feet starts to give me some problem that I have to start to adopt the run/walk strategy.  I am still hoping to reach my target timing of 5:30hrs then.
The whole morning has been cloudy and cooling *blessed* but suddenly dark clouds emerged with strong gust of wind blowing head on at you. When I reached the 35km mark, the rain came. The small group of runners I am with then were all trying to run against the rain and wind. At this moment, I felt real demoralised.. gosh, how long will this rain last?  just 7km more.. with this rain it seems so near yet so far.
A pat at the shoulder by a fellow runner, words of encouragement by the villagers, little chats with 2 Thai uncle runners reminding me I am a tough gal, I pushed on. I will be missing my target timing, but I can still aim for a sub-6 timing.
I am real thrilled when I reached the 40km mark, just 2.195km to go, the rain has stopped and the sun is out smiling brightly at us now. At the 500m mark, before turning in to the finish line, an Ang Mo was standing at the pathway giving out little cups of jelly, “You will need this!” Yes, thanks for the jellies, it really gave me a boost for the final “cheong” to the finish line!
1015am I finally made it to the finish line with a nett finish 5:46:12hrs. Nice! I am real pleased with myself!  Hot food and massage awaits after the finish line.
I’ve really enjoyed myself throughout the whole run, it was a well-organised run. Kudos to the organiser.  This race has really opened my eyes and running overseas is really appealing (no more east coast park!) and I do hope to participate in more of such races.. want to join me??

 

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