Monday, 4 March 2013

Roy : Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2013 Race Report

Our Teammate Roy Yeow recently took a gamble and flew to Hong Kong. You see, Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon or SCHKM is a popular race. He wants to see if he is lucky enough to  get a slot (last minute registration from those that did not show up/collect race bib). It turned out that he managed to get a slot for the 42km race. He had a mishap halfway through the run, but his never give up spirit brought him home in a very decent time. This, is his race report. 

Roy had his run tracked by Garmin Fenix and fuelled by Hammer Nutrition. Of course he was wearing the team t-shirt. Thank you sponsors!

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2013

It was a last minute decision to participate in this race - 10 days before the race to be exact. The main reason to join this race is to evaluate my fitness currently. This will hopefully allow me time to
tweak my training for my main race coming up soon.

With the last minute decision, I have to arrive in HK on Friday early morning to rush to the Race Pack Collections site to register as late entry participants for overseas runner only, you just need to show your passport and ensure you have not stay in HK for the last 14 days or so.

The rest of the Friday and Saturday was free and easy, mainly to visit some sport shops, and also to go around to find HK food.

Fast forward to race day, since I was staying in Causeway Bay, walking distance from the finishing line, at 5.30AM, took the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui. The train as expected is full of runners, each of them in their own deep thoughts - probably thinking about their race strategy.

Arriving at TST, immediately search for the baggage deposit. SCHKM baggage deposit process is one of the best I have seen. A special bag with a readily tag of the lorry number and your unique id. The lorry will immediate drive the baggage to the finishing point once the race starts.

Wearing 2ndskin team tee with 
Garmin Fenix on my wrist, 3 Hammer Gels and tablets of Endurolytes, the plan is to run at a slower comfortable pace in the first 2-3KM as the start is pretty congested. The first 4KM pace was: 6:27, 6:19, 6:22, 6:02.

Once we hit the highway and space open up, I up the pace to around 5:45. Temperature on the Fenix average around 18-19C. First 10KM was done pretty slow at about 1:08 hrs. The plan at that
time was trying to complete the race within 4:30 hrs. At around 12KM, I took my first hammer gel Montana Huckleberry and that gave me the boost I needed on the famous HK bridges. In between water stations, I popped in the Endurolytes according to my plan of 2 tablets per hour.

The increased pace ensure I had a faster second 10KM, completed 21KM within 2:10 hrs.

Since the route will took the runners through 3 different tunnels, obviously the GPS watch will lose the connection. This is where a footpod would come in handy.

Nevertheless, Garmin Fenix worked as perfect as possible and it immediately locked onto the GPS signal back once I am out from the tunnels.

Having taken my 2nd gel, I continued to increase my pace and was running around 5:30 from 20KM onwards before disaster hit. It was just before the merging of the 21KM u- turn with the 42KM runners. Worried
about the traffic forming in front, I lost focus and kicked the road reflector. I flew at least 2 meters away, landing on my knee and shoulder. However I was immediately up and running again with the help of a fellow runner. As I continue on, I started scanning to see if there is any injury. I saw my right knee was bloody while my shoulder and face just beside my right eye feel a burning sensation. My left hand palm has small bruise with blood on it. Although I was still recovering from the shock of the fall, I decided to continue on while on the lookout for medic and to feel my leg. After additional 4KM of running at a slower pace of over 6:00 minutes/km, I saw a medic tent and ran straight in to get help.

Had a good 15 minutes rest while the medical officers help to attend to the wounds. One by one, they clean up the wounds and wrapped up my knee. With about 10KM to go, timing was the least of my concern now, just want to complete it so I can get myself clean up and attend to the wounds. Since it was hard to run with the bandage on my knee, it was all run and walk from here on, savoring the experience of running in cool weather through the streets of HK.

I have the courtesy of the companion from Malcolm in the last few km before he pulled away at the street of Causeway Bay. Well done to him for doing his personal best!

Completed the race in 4:31 and immediately get a good rest and clean up myself. Luckily the injury was not all that bad and I was soon on the way to the airport. The most important lesson to remember - lookout for those dreaded reflectors, focus on your own movement and stop day dreaming while running.

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