Monday, 28 March 2016

Seoul International Marathon Race Report - Annie Yee

Team2ndskin athlete Annie Yee broke her personal best by well over 10 minutes in her recent Full Marathon! Nothing comes easy and she definitely reaps what she sow. All the hard training and support from the team made her 3.15 marathon dream come true! Read up her race report. 


The moment of registered Seoul Marathon after trying recklessly few weeks of communication with the Seoul Marathon authority, I knew there was no plenty time left and I must at least do my proper trainings with wholeheartedly and my LSD as well.

So,2 months plus of training->moody sessions->one week of no training during Chinese New Year->tapering-> Seoul marathon trip.
Two months,it seems like few weeks for preparation of this marathon.
(Moody sessions for every month=pre menstrual syndrome. The syndrome wasn’t obvious in few years back but it became significant to me now. How to cure? Don’t run for one/two days and totally let the body to relax.)
Upon reaching Seoul after 7 hours flight, we took trains to Jamsil Stadium for race bib collection. I knew tomorrow would be a freaking cold morning for me to run. However, I tried deleted all negative thoughts. Sightseeing was not my priority though. Snapping some photos outside the stadium, we went back to apartment after the race collection.

Awaken by the scary nightmare. A gigantic snake was chasing after me behind grandpa’s yard and I was shouting out of my lung. Mama came and thought I was talking to the phone early in the morning. I was in relief that I woke up from the nightmare. Mama assumed that I was too pressure and burdened myself. She was true somehow. In retrospect, I have always had nightmares during examinations. This marathon must be a big test for me.

Having a cup of black coffee and Massimo bun, we jogged with tremendous shiver to the starting point which was 100metres from our staying place. Once opened the glass sliding door, the chill wind blew to our direction and I was trembling with cold. Many runners were warming up and deposited their bag into the indicated trunks. We warmed up almost for 45mins and I tailed Mr Ant to corral A despite of I was given in corral B.

We started 5mins after all of the elites took off. I held the hot pack throughout the route. I was stunned with 4:20 mins/km for first kilometre. I decided not to follow the watch and ran as my pace. But,I couldn’t control from glancing my watch once a while. I needed to aware of human saliva on floor and human traffic. Guys passed by me and pushed me. Feeling irritated, I quickened my steps frequency and kept my momentum. One hand with hot pack, another hand to rub my nose. It was uncomfortable to have mucous non-stop flowing.

I neither saw any lady nor there was no lady to pass by me. I was like, “takkan I am the only one? (hahaha) We came to the famous Qing-Xi stream and elites ahead me were opposite of me. I glanced over and noticed Mr Ant wasn’t running in pack.  It was almost 10km. The feeling was great and tireless. Bottom of my heart, anxiety filled me. “Am I going to walk? Like in Penang Bridge?” When you had bad experience, it haunted you and unstabilized you.

My pace was considered stable and it fluctuated between 4:10~4:20. I just kept rubbing my nose and one and after a water station, I sipped as many water as I could and to pour it over my head. It was freezing! Doubtfully, those runner were wearing singlet and sweating. Unlike me, I was wearing a thermal base from Universal Traveller and a compression, yet I was shivering. It gets worsen with the strong chilly breeze.

We ran into the city whereby the supporters provided drinks filled in plastic which I first thought was Chinese traditional oiiment. Only I found out when I poured it on my knee!! My right leg was!O!M!G! Sejuk giler!!! My pace dropped to 5:00 after this small incident at 25km~30km. I just grabbed Cola from the high spirited supporters after that. Of course I knew it was Cola as there were bottles of Coca-cola on desks, hahah!

It had never been easy after 25km. I meditated myself, I suffered from hard trainings, got harsh criticisms and I mustn't just let it just because of my weak mental. I MUST BE STRONG. After countless muttering, I felt slightly motivated and just kept on going. My pace dropped slightly but I maintained it in between 4:30~4:40 based on my Garmin 920xt. From 30 km onwards, I grabbed every Cola. If the supporters weren’t there, I must have stopped and walked. First time drinking Cola during the marathon. The body craved for the glucose. I personally think that it worked very well for my body.
Talking about the scenes. I couldn’t distinguish the road I was running even though I read the map precisely before coming to Seoul. So, run-sightseeing wasn’t my style. I back-kicked occasionally to feel my leg. Just in sudden, the feel of the blister of my left toe. “Don’t ever let the pain to slow you down, keep on moving Annie..”. Up to the highway bridge, around 35km, I got another twist on my right toe. Oh God! I gulped down the water, walked for 10seconds, feeling shameful, and continued again. If you have blister pain, then you definitely know what am I saying. Regardless of the pain, I kept on moving. We turned into right junction and came to main street again. People cheering and I mustered my smile. It has always been useful to forget the mental tiredness temporarily. At this moment, it was only the battle between devil and angel. The scenes of training in stadium, in Bukit Dumbar loops, the LSD I did, how they quietly jerk behind me all flashed through my mind. I increased my strides frequency and I knew it left a few kilometres to go. I was quite strong, I knew it! Coach’s saying, “You are strong just your mental is not strong” came into my mind. My watch showed 2:50 around 37km. I motivated a guy and he replied, “Japan? China? Taiwan?” Telling him I am from Malaysia with loud, it had no more time to waste.Go go go…

I saw the big shape of Jamsil stadium. It left less than 1km to go. I pushed harder and shouted.
Passed with 3:20(official time) and I glanced my watch to show 3:15:32! It was satisfying for me from a 5:12 hours runner to now a 3:15 hours!

It is actually considered a brand new marathon for me for being trained properly and did my preparation. All the while, I have always followed my strict eating routine and restricted myself from indulging in poultry, fats and rice.
Possibilities appeared in my mind. Will I be a sub3 runner? Will I be faster if only I were slimmer? It is a wild dream. I do not dare to think of it and only God knows the best. A good timing is a big bonus for me. Yet, this is not the proudest moment. To bring my parents here by my own saving is a big achievement. Due to unavoidable circumference, so I sponsored my parents here, just like how they brought me to overseas when I was young. It was like a dream-come-true. I am not bragging how filial piety am I as a daughter, it’s just simply overwhelmed! Thanks to the full support from sponsors, team mates, family and friends. I will keep striving for better result in my future marathon. 


  1. What's a nice fighting spirit.... Proud to met u at 2014. Keep running n set a new level. Boston Marathon.

    1. Hey friend. I was qualified for Boston Marathon one year back just financial support isn't that strong.
      Thank you and perhaps see you in KK again?

  2. very inspiring. from 5:12 to 3:15!!

    1. Hey Tee. It takes slow progression as I am not born as a runner and I only started my running at age of 18. Too slow.
      Just keep on running and you will achieve what you get!

  3. It is with much hard work, devotion and perseverance that you achieved what you did in Seoul. No doubt about that. Its an incredible metamorphosis. From a timid and apologetic backpacker to a commanding and strong willed contender. Not many can do what you did, not even some of the young guys out there.
    So, I am watching your progress with much eager anticipation. I would love to see you push through to achieve even higher goals. And I mean sub 3 by your caliber and potential. I am certain that you can. It a matter of whether you want to or not.
    Only one caution: Be comfortable with the new you. Learn from the elite runners. Know their struggles. Learn from their strength and failures. Develop your mind, and the body will follow. You have what it takes to become one of the greats. And I think you know that I am right.

    1. Doctor Francis, thanks for your anticipation. It strives me to be better. I keep your words in my heart, learn from the elites and be comfortable with the new me.
      Thank you for your words!