Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Took me an excruciating 8 hours and 5 minutes, but I finished the bastard.

Now that I’m feeling a bit more human – and also cos Willy’s pointing here – I’ll go into a little more detail bout my Sunday morning.

So obviously I oversleep, only waking up at 4:45 when I get Willy’s call, I miraculously get my shit together, hop in a cab and make to Suntec to meet Jason at 520 and we make to the start line just in time. Did a bit of stretching, wasn’t that worried cos was planning to rest and stretch anyway. And then we’re off and the both of us wave to our boss, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam along the way.

Now before I go any further, I have to confess; I stopped training like 2 months before. Why? Cos I’m a lazy bastard, that’s why. The last run I did was some indeterminate distance around the Botanic Gardens with Jason, and it felt pretty good, so I slacked off. Big time. So keep in mind, the last actual run I did was 15km. And now I’m gunning for oh say, 42.195km?

Anyways, my wonky left knee start wonking like clockwork at the 5km mark, so I’m fine, just stretch every drinks station, no worries. Just entering Marina South, we see the winner of the race, and that guy can run. He’s literally sprinting with like 30plus km to go. But hey, he’s a pro.

Also at this time, I see a little guy running in a full Spiderman costume.

As usual, my knee gets progressively worse until the 10km point, where I don’t bother telling Jason and I just stretch, so he goes off and does his thing. No problem, got my trusty iPod. So its all fine and dandy, wonky knee but holding up til I reach say bout the 18km mark near Fort Road – this is where the turning point for the half-marathoners is – and I pass the point and suddenly it spreads out to a gaggle of guys just walking, taking it easy. By now, my wonky knees not my biggest concern cos I can feel both my legs cramping entirely. So I turn and look at the half-marathoners…

Cue inner voice: “I think I’ve made a huge mistake.

Essentially, what happens next is that my legs just start cramping worse and worse til I get to about the 21km mark where I pretty much can’t run at all without cramping up entirely. So I walk for stretches and run in spurts before the cramp sets in. But I’m pretty much done for.

Like I said, last run was 15km, so I’m totally not conditioned for these distances. But I was like fine, I’ve got 3 hours left before they supposedly close shop; I usually run 10km in an hour; I can so totally do this. Also, at this point, Jorge Ben comes on the iPod and I’m like grooving, totally suave; I dig Brazilian music; I’m so much cooler than all these other people who are running.

This doesn’t last, and I’m basically walking on near-snapping twigs at the 26km turning point at East Coast. I do the u-turn and its like woohoo! 16 more bloody km. Meanwhile, I’m being overtaken by nonchalantly skipping aunties.

At this point, I’m seriously worried about coming in last, so I start to walk as fast as I can without cramping. I actually see the rear scout behind two old guys taking their time coming the way I came, I guess about 6km behind me, so I’m like Score! No way I’m last now.

I’m like some speedwalker and overtake loads of people coming out of East Coast and back onto Fort Road, and it’s about 8km left, I think. I make it 2km to Kallang when I suddenly realise I’ve switched my legs from flesh to molten fucking lava. I was thinking, wow, nothing, nothing could hurt worse than this. Imagine your thighs as rods of molten lava, that feel like they’re simultaneously melting and snapping, and your knees little suns with the texture of rusted iron, gristling against your joints. It can’t get any worse than that, can it?

It can and it did. It just got just a tad, just a smidgen, just a shade more painful, every bloody step I took. And at this point, I was really taking it




And this maddeningly inexorable burning pain just kept getting turned up and up. At the same time, I’m being toasted well and good by the sun. At this point, I’d given up on the time, but my tan tells me it was probably 12pm. I was well and truly a zombie by now, just taking the occasional 1 minute break, any longer and I wouldn’t be able to stand up. I was taking it 2km at a time, but by then distance meant anymore. 500m or 50km didn’t really register as different at all.

Eventually I shuffle my way to 40km, and I can almost feel the end of the line. Unfortunately I start losing feeling in my hands, and it slowly starts spreading up my arms. I kept contemplating calling for the medic, but the Red Cross kids were just getting their lunch bentos and I thought it might be rude. So I keep plodding, ready to faint at a moment’s notice.

I get to 41km and I’m panting my lungs blue, even though I’m walking at a snail’s pace. Even my head and face’s lost all feeling. Then I see these 3 minibuses pull up, disgorge about 30 runners, who then start making their way down the final 1km stretch. I see the 2 old dudes who were bringing up the rear, now briskly walking in front of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its unfair and all. I’m really not into fairplay and all that shit, y’know? I’m just glad I didn’t realise there was an alternative to walking, cos bloody hell, I would’ve flagged that bloody bus down.

In any case, I continue to almost-faint, and gingerly trudge my way past the Esplanade, taking a final breather just under the bridge and walk past the various monuments, remembering to give thumbs-up to the various already finished and very hot women around me. Always thinking of the fans, I am.

So I round the corner and talk to this 50-ish uncle as we walk past the Supreme Court, I’m like dude, this sucks balls. And he’s like, dude, your lips are blue.

So we decide to run the last 20m and the bloody announcer reads my tag and goes, ‘It’s Billy Tan!’

And thats when I finished my marathon. The end.


7 Responses to “Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon”

  1. 1 disko December 3, 2007 at 1:01

    claps! well done you. survivor.

  2. 2 Lounge Lizard December 6, 2007 at 0:55

    So that’s how they know whose name to call out.

  3. 3 moby sky December 6, 2007 at 22:27

    i’m proud of you.

    so, i figured this would be as good as any time to ask you: let’s do it next year to celebrate our 30th birthdays, shall we? =)

  4. 5 disko December 7, 2007 at 0:52

    haha, the story is a lot more entertaining than that sulky one liner before.

  5. 6 pagit December 7, 2007 at 3:02


    i is super duper mad proud of you!

    well fucking done!!!

  1. 1 sleepless in bangkok « zerotwohero Trackback on December 7, 2007 at 7:35

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