Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Annie Yee : Medibank Melbourne Marathon 2013 Race Report

Today is Our Team Athlete Annie Yee's Graduation Day. What better way than to commemorate her graduation with her recent Personal Best Marathon timing set in Melbourne Marathon?

We wish Annie all the best in her future races (and career). This is one inspirational woman. This is her road to a 3:34:51 Marathon. Awesome.
Annie and her friend on their Graduation. Photo from Annie's Facebook
Annie Yee : My Marvelous Melbourne Marathon 

Medibank Melbourne Marathon 2013 with a slogan of Anything is Possible.
For a 23 years old girl who has just stepped into working world less than 2 months, running a marathon in Australia is definitely “Something is Impossible”. Running a marathon in MELBOURNE is like my dream comes true!!!

By the time I arrived at Melbourne, it was 1145am. My friends and I headed to the Expo to retrieve our bib numbers. It was a big expo where there a lot of popular partners were taking part. I was proud to see the Malaysia Women Marathon booth was there as well.

Everyone was excited yet looking forward for the marathon. After having my favourite dinner, Lasagne and a plateful of salad, we walked back to our hotel nearby and prepared to rest. A set Kraftfit compression wear, 2ndskin team tee, a pair of Skechers GoSpeed, two Hammer gels and a pair of gloves lay on my bed. Having looking at them, I felt excited and nervous.

Alarm rang at 4.00 in the morning. A muffin and a cup white coffee as usual my breakfast, seven of us set off to the destination. I drank a bottle of Perpetuem in the mini van while on the way to the Melbourne Cricket Ground( MCG ) where the marathon starting line. Upon reaching the MCG, it was crowded with Caucasians and only few Asian looks. It was very different from Tokyo marathon which I joined last night. Runners here wore very simple, a vest and a short. Most of them were wearing long sleeve vest. My friends and I asked for direction to the starting line and we past through a pedestrian bridge. There were quite a number of vans. Only I realized that the vans were actually the mobile toilets!! Amazing that it was very clean!
We chit-chatted and warmed up to make ourselves to be warm. I was freezing cold. I was jumping up and down to make myself warm. Gradually, runners flood the starting area. I bumped into one Penang runner and another KL runner at opposite side. Runners greeted each other and sent good luck to each other. Supporters were as many as the runners. My heart was pumping and praying that I could make my personal best without any injury. I tried not to think of my pain on my right leg.

3...2....1......Here we were, I ran along with other runners. I was very excited once heard the pistol bang as we were running in a gang. Unlike Malaysia marathons, here, there were crowd of runners. I tried not to look at my watch and followed the 3:20 pacers. As usual, I loved seeing people back, leg, how their movements so that to distract myself. Without knowing that, my Garmin 910 buzzed to show 5km.

By the time I ran past Lakeside Drive, the sun was raising but the breeze made me goose bumps. There were footsteps as the horses coming from behind. Just in few second, a pacer with a flag stated 3:20 with a herd of “horses” past by me. They were chit-chatting while running. It was just too fast and too furious. I was curious why runners in front of you pointed to a direction. Before knowing what the reason is, I realized there was a bump. Runners ahead were trying to hint the runners behind them to be cautious.
I was looking for Malaysian runners who ran opposite direction of me to distract myself from thinking of coldness but I couldn’t spot any of them. We ran along the Bay street where the river was just besides us. I checked my Garmin and surprised to see my pace at this 13-20km was around 4:50mins/km. It was faster than I expected. At 25km, we ran into a bush and made a U-turn to housing areas. Residents and spectators were very supportive and some of them were standing there just to pass us the sugars and sweets.

Upon reaching 30.0km, I knew my laziness attacked me again. I ate my first Hammer Chocolate gel before a water station. My pace gradually became slower to 5:02mins/km. Struggling to finish line, I kept on telling myself, must be strong despite of the calf pain. We ran along the walking path of St Kilda Road where the road had been closed exclusive for participants. Yet, the spectators were very supportive. I felt motivated by their yells and shouting.

I jogged a while and started to run starting from 34km. I lost to the devil again. My pace dropped to 5:35mins/km when ran along the Domain Road. Left 8km, gambateh Annie!!!I was talking to myself at that moment. It was too hard for me, for someone who did not have LSD. I tried to focus and kept on telling myself the goal I needed to achieve in this marathon. There was one Asian guy walked in front of me. He was the second runner I saw in this marathon who walked.  Rain drizzled around 38km with chill breeze freshened my mind. Though my pace had dropped to 5:35 mins/km, I gained my last energy to finish my 42.2km. Finally, I reached the stadium. We had to pass by a 400m lane to the finishing line. The digital time showed 3:33:XX. I sprinted……….and 3:34:51!!

I was over excited to know that I can run a sub335! A unique medal, Gatorade drinks and an apple were provided for every runner. Pouring rain made the weather even chiller. I was shivering and trembling. After 20mins of waiting, I met my friends eventually. We talked in the mini van while waiting others to finish. I enjoyed my Hammer Recoverite while sharing the experiences.

I was grateful that my calf was ‘obedient’. It was a minor pain in this 42.2km journey yet I survived. My aim to be sub330 has to be on hold.  I will be to run harder, smarter and be determined! 
Lessons to be learnt.
1. It is essential to train ourselves LSD before running a marathon. It was suffering physically and mentally as lack of preparation.

2. Equip ourselves to adapt different weather in order to obtain the best timing.

3. Sleep well, rest adequately.

4. Don’t think too much. Be confident of yourself!

In my point of view, for a beginner who want to try 42.2km, the points I did mention is what I am still doing it.
3:34:51. Legit.

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