Nike Half Marathon - The Sub-1:50 Squad
When I registered for the Nike Run I was actually thinking to break my personal best or at least running a sub-1:30 but after a series of procrastination only I started my training 3 weeks before the race which was quite impossible for me to run a decent time. I could barely run a 6km at 5:15/km pace on the first few days of my training. So I thought why not take this chance to run with friends and just to enjoy the run. I knew many of my running friends HM standards were around 1:40~1:50 and based on my training records, my HM standard was around 1:42~1:45 too (LOL, I'm not lying OK! I was and still am pretty out of shape so that's the best I could do!). I didn't want to push too hard so I think 1:50 should be a good pace for most of us. Not too hard and not too draggy so I started to jio people to run together. That's how I came up with the idea of forming a sub-1:50 squad.
|Let's put a group phot first! We are a bunch of energetic runners!|
The first person I asked was actually Charmayne as I knew she just did her sub-2 PB not too long ago and based on a few runs together I felt like she was almost if not already at 1:50 level. Perhaps a little better route, a little better weather or a little better pacing strategy she could definitely achieve it so I tried to con her to "up car" and run with me. LOL! 1 person was not fun enough, so I tried to ask more people to join and finally I managed to gather a bunch of about 10 people. I was quite motivated and very looking forward to it.
First thing to do on the race day was to meet everyone and quite lucky that they spotted me right away when I reach there. I saw Kevin, Sabrina, Charmayne, CS, Pan, BJ, Adam and Aiden. These few guys were the potential sub-150 kaki on that day. Some had achieved before some hadn't but we decided to run together and some tried to follow as much as they could. The other main person was actually Audrey as 1:50 was exactly her PB and I promised to pace her too but couldn't see her before going in to the starting pen. I kept looking for her while warming up but couldn't and we saw the queue going in was getting longer and we kiasu that we would have to stand quite far behind so we didn't wait too long. Luckily the sub-2 pen was not so crowded.
I actually forgot to bring my sub-2 hr tag which Nike used to divide people into different starting zones based on the best time we had given when we registered so I tried to follow the gang and hope they won't check as they saw we were together but too bad the lady stopped me when I tried to sneak in. LOL! Good I actually liked that! This is how it should be. Rule is rule. You need a 5 stars event you need to do that. You have to be strict and stick on to your principles! But maybe because of my handsomeness after some persuading and begging she let me in. :P OK, I felt bad and guilty but I had a mission! LOL! Right after entering the zone we saw Audrey! Kee Siong, Lucas, Derrick and some others were there too!
At 5:30am sharp the race flagged off! I started off with my planned pace 5:10/km. It was quite hilly at the beggining but we were still fresh so the slopes became not so obvious. I have to apologize to Charmayne, Audrey, Adam and some others that couldn't keep up because of my inconsistent pace. I actually ran on quite an average pace for the first 10km. To be exact, it was actually:
5:13/km for the first 3km,
5:11/km for the first 5km,
5:09/km for the first 8km, and
5:09/km for the first 10km.
This is where the problem is, a good pacer, he shouldn't rush to make up for the time lost! He should chase it back slowly. For example, you can tell people that you run an average pace of 5:10/km but a more important thing is how you run this 5:10/km pace. An extreme example would be running the first 500m at 4:10/km and the second 500m at 6:10/km. You actually run 5:10 for this KM but the people who follow you would have already punctured in the first 500m.
A more real life example would be stopping at the water station for 10 seconds then make up the time by running the first 300m at 4:45/km and another 700m at 5:06/km. For a people who can run a 4 min pace easily, they can hardly tell the difference between 4:45/km and 5:06/km (perhaps they could but not as obvious) but for the people who is racing on the edge of their limit, 4:45/km could be their anaerobic zone and 5:06/km is right at their threshold. This makes a huge difference. So I learnt this time, I actually should be more picky and DDLY on the pace.
|My actual splits and Elevation|
At the half way mark, only Aiden, BJ and I were still together. Others were either ahead or behind already so I decided to speed up a bit as I knew Aiden and BJ were way better than just 1:50 and I saw Sue and Jason too so I decided to follow them. After a while, Aiden and BJ ditched me too. At about 16km I saw Angel and NK so I closed the gap slowly and followed them. Angel looked like she was going to faint anytime, LOL! I was surprise that she could hold it until finish line and we crossed the line together with the same gun time 1:47:58! That's the spirit of PIA, with the cost of being sent to the medic tent immediately in the wheelchair. This is how she treats all her races even though she knows that she can't win, she gives it all! That got her the top 10 position!
|At about km-18 point, kudos to Victor and Elaine|
|Congrats Jiun Pan on his PB!|
Shortly after, everyone came back. I was glad that most of them achieved their PB and goals! Some didn't achieve but given such conditions, humid and hazy weather and not very flat course, I thought they did it quite well!
|Pacer Kartini in the house!|
|We do what the champion does - for JW. :P|
|Congrats Daniel and Benedict on getting 4th and 5th respectively!|
I've a few targets to lock now, namely Guo Shen, Jing Jing, Karsten, Teck Wai, James and Lewis. :P They did sub-1:32 to 1:35 respectively which I doubt I could even I was at my peak, it was so humid and hot! Congrats to them!
Honestly, this is one of the best events I've joined so far. The best is to get the route AIMS/IAAF certified! Regardless what your watch told you, it was a 21.0975km race. The emcees were good, adequate water stations, marshals and volunteers at the right places, good pre-race programs, nice race village setup, good flow and crowd control. Kudos to the Nike, Rainer and the team. If really wanted to complain, there is actually 1 thing. Why the hell you wanted to use such stupid ankle timing band? It was so eco unfriendly and so inconvenient.
Since it's a certified course now, maybe I should make this my annual goal race.
My Garmin log: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1119497259
My Strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/540633716