The Lessons Of The 7-Eleven Skyway Marathon


run-7-eleven-2017-race-kit-claimingSince the time I have come to understand and embrace running as a lifestyle, I have become relentless about my carefully chosen battles, which means training for the scheduled race, and properly gearing up on race day.

The Run 7-Eleven 2017 race village was all perked up when I arrived to claim my race kit. Roughly a quarter before the 11pm gun start for 42K, most runners including myself joined our respective wave groups. And being my first marathon for the year, I was excited to set the bar for this distance. I had a pretty good start running alongside my dear friend Rhina up until about the 5th kilometre.

Running through the Skyway was quite overwhelming I must say. But at some point, it has made me feel invincible. As I picked up on my pace, I realised I have missed my personal electrolytes solution (oresol). So I had to make sure I hydrate whenever necessary. Hydration marshals politely offered unli-water and unli-sports drinks along the way, and even went an extra mile of peeling off the bananas before handing them to us. It was actually a good idea to prevent banana peels from being scattered along the route, which when stepped on can cause someone to slip. A group of marshals were chanting giving life to the Skyway and giving the runners that extra push just when the legs started to feel heavy.

The Skyway became a rendezvous for me and my friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time, it was a good venue to simply catch up and say hello to, reciprocated each other when there’s no one to boost our waning energy.

At the 22nd kilometre, I could feel my calves locking in. I came up to the medics team and asked for a sachet of oresol to prevent further depletion of my electrolytes (although I already filled my personal hydration bottle with Lightwater, which is always available in 7-Eleven stores!). Lack of proper nutrition plan resulted to leg cramps. It prompted me to slow down and even walk to release the tension in the muscles, and started running again as soon as I could.

Literally hard-earned 42k medal. #Run711

Literally hard-earned 42k medal. #Run711

I was targeting a 4:30 finish time. Due to recurring leg cramps, I had to accept the fact that it was seemingly possible as I still had about five kilometres to go. Like what I would always advise to the runners I’m training with, “Always listen to your body.” I had to play it by ear, even if it means going beyond my target time.

Finally, as I was going off the skyway towards the finish line, a myriad of thoughts came into my mind. There were quite a few important things that I fell short on. Lessons were learned.

Back at the race village, I changed into my fresh clothes and had two bowls of the delicious rice porridge. Tucked my hydration with me and by 6 in the morning, I was back in the Skyway to fulfil my marshal duties to make sure that runners are off the Skyway before it opens for the motorists.

Marshal duties. #Run711

Marshal duties. #Run711

Capturing the sunrise as seen from the Skyway. #Run711

Capturing the sunrise as seen from the Skyway. #Run711

The race has brought me to a realisation that running is not all about the medal, the finisher shirt and the loot bags after crossing the finish line. Running a marathon has taught me how to value training, discipline, respect, integrity and self-worth.

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