Taipei Marathon - My 100th Race
Taipei (previously called Fubon) Marathon is a fast course. The route changed a bit this year but it was still flat and there were only 3 climbs which one was at about 15.7km where we had to run over a flyover to cross the Keelung River, another one was at about 38.8km where we climbed up from the Tayou Road to the Zhengqi Bridge and the last one was where we came out from the 800m long tunnel at about 41.5km. But for us who have been running in KL like Double Triple hills, Puchong, DPC hills, Alam Damai, Shah Alam, etc., these 3 climbs are like kindergarten level. LOL. That's why I love this route so much.
Unfortunately, this year the weather wasn't good enough, it was indeed quite hot, perhaps one of the hottest winters in the history. The temperature in the morning was about 16c but it rose very quickly when the sun came out, it hit 24c when I reached 30km. The last 10km felt like running in KL so it gave no advantage at all. I was expecting it to be like 12~18c!
|Pre race selfie. LOL!|
I was given the bib to enter the pen B (3:30 and faster) which was very near to the start line but too bad the pen B was very small. It couldn't fit all the runners so we all got stuck outside the side entrance. People pushing and cursing around, the queue was quite long, it might be better if I just joined the slower pen. No choice, pen C was full as well so I had to go all the way down to pen D! Pen D was quite far away from the start line, like 80m behind! I spent quite long squeezing through the crowd to get as front as possible. I wish it could be just a few seconds behind but too bad it took me about 1 minute to cross the arch so the first few km were quite hard to run.
My plan was quite simple which was to BQ! LOL! Simple but not easy! Quite an ambitious and unrealistic goal for me I know. Based on the training, I estimated my recent fitness was about 3:20 level. To BQ, I need to run 3:07 and to be even safer it better be 3:05~3:06. It's "only" 10 minutes faster than my PB 3:17 so most people think it's easy but seriously, shaving 10 minutes off a marathon PB when a runner has been running for years which perhaps already reaching his genetic cap is no joke. To me, this is even harder than any of the Kenyan or Ethiopian breaking the sub-2 hour marathon! They only have to shave 3 minutes off, mine is 10 minutes! Even if we look at the percentage, mine is still a lot harder! LOL! :P
It was either "go hard or go home", "BQ or failed" there was no in between. So I started with suicide pace which was about 4:10~4:20 and some KM was like 4 min pace, LOL. No surprise, it taxed me after 26km, I had to slow down. I was still on BQ time until 32km things started to fall apart. Muscles all cramped up and couldn't even hold on to 6 min pace for the last 5km and I didn't bother whether to sub-3:30 or not. It didn't matter anymore. I was thinking which FM I should join for next BQ attempt and how I should train for it. Should I go for Gold Coast? Melbourne? Should I wait until December? Etc. My mind wasn't in the race anymore. Not too excited about my result too. It was OK but still far from what I wanted to achieve. It's still a long way to go. I need to be patient!
Our Malaysia elite runner Tan Huong Leong 陈洪龙 ran his PB. He got overall 13th and 4th fastest Taiwanese. No.1 in Malaysia category (if there was one) and of course I was the no.2 (I think so :P). Our timing was just 1 digit different which mine was 3:3x, his was 2:3x. :P
|Actually it was not too bad for 2016! Also my fastest HM this year!|
There went my 100th race - The Taipei Marathon. Good route, good baggage service, sufficient water and sponge station like every 3~4km, separated 42km runners from other categories, good traffic control, runners basically own the whole highway. Plenty of freebies including finisher tee, running vest, towel, medal, cert and foods. Many professional photographers and supporters along the route too. I might come back again in the future!
What's next? Hibernation aka hang shoes mode! Woohoo! Don't poison me for any running events! See you next year! :D
Garmin log: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1487078393
Strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/805002830