Timing: 36min 32sec
In a way I was glad that I had not run my LSD yesterday since it would allow me to run all out this morning. I woke up at 5.45am and Lee picked me up by 6.15am. We had reached the starting point before 7am and parked nearby. Others running from our gang today were Albert, Peter, Chong, Ms. Chee, Ms. Leong and Naidu.
Later I met the PMs and Rachel (not running today) took some photos for us. After some chit chatting, the categories A and B (running 7.6km) were allowed to start first while the others running the 5.5km had to wait. Lee who was actually registered under veteran (category C) decided to run the 7.6km with me.
The moment we started I just turboed all the way overtaking as many runners as possible so I would not be caught in the crowd later. The first 3.5mins was flat and then we turned left and started climbing a long uphill. I just maintained my pace as much as possible on this stretch and overtook those runners who started 'too fast' and were now slowing down.
I just made sure I kept Lee in sight. After a few kilometers I realised that I seemed to be running at almost the same pace as a girl who was wearing orange. I decided to use her as my pacer as she seemed to be a strong runner. Not long after that we reached a junction where we had to turn right for another long uphill climb. This is where the route seperated the 7.6k and 5.5k runners.
With all the uphill terrain I was starting to feel fatigued but just continued to hang on to my pacer. By then I had even caught up a little with Lee. As I approached the u-turn I saw SJ (pm11) on the opposite side not far off. This inspired me even more, knowing that I was running a really good pace. By then despite slight fatigue I knew that I was still strong and could finish the race well.
After the u-turn, I realised as I ran downhill now that I still had a lot of improvement to make for my downhill running. Most runners seemed to be able to use it to make up for time. Lee had definitely done that and was a good 100m ahead by now. I just can't pick up some good momentum when running downhill. Even my pacer had broken away at that stretch.
Once we had merged with the 5.5km runners at the same junction we had earlier turned right, I suddenly felt stronger and picked up the pace and started closing the gap on both my pacer and Lee. I held this strong pace all the way back to the traffic light at Giant and turned on my finishing kick for the last 500m.
As I crossed the balloon arch I was really suffering and my stomach felt very tight. I eventually overtook the lady in orange and finished just 30meters behind Lee. Overall timing was 36min 32sec. I was upset that the officials did not want to reveal my position as they said they only informed the positon for the top 25 runners.
From Ronnie's posting I see that I am 1min 40secs slower than Tan Ay Peng who came in position 25. Perhaps I came in top 35??? Well that's not for me to find out this time! Later I found out that the lady in orange whom I had finished ahead of had was the second runner up in the Womens open category.
I am very happy with my performance today. My average pace for the 7.6km was 4m48s per kilometer. I am really surprised that I was able to hold such a pace especially since it was really a very hilly route. Today's performance has inspired me to train further and improve on my speed. I'm confident that my weekly sessions with Ronnie and Lai will help me and show results in a couple of months.