The Sunday Times (25 November, 2012) feature on marathoners

I have been waiting a year for this second chance at the marathon.

Racing has never been just about finishing for me but to also finish in a good time and position. But, as they say, the marathon’s a beast and it can humble even the most well-prepared of men. 

At my maiden attempt at the distance in the Singapore Marathon last year, I cramped up severely at about the 24km mark and had to be reduced to a combination of walking, jogging (if you can even call it that), and stretching to get to the finish line. For the first time in my life, a race became not about performance but, merely, survival.

I had passed the 21km mark in about 1 hour 27 minutes, which was nine minutes slower than my personal best for the distance and which I thought I would be comfortable with. Alas, for a myriad of possible reasons I still cannot pinpoint, I was struggling with the pace after, obstinately, not taking heed of the feedback from my body.

I eventually finished, but in a time I am not proud of. As I write this post, I am unsure still of how the race will turn out for me tomorrow. I have put in some promising long runs during training that have been encouraging towards my aim to finish under three hours and amongst the top Singaporeans. But, at the same time, my preparations have not been perfect with other things going on.

Every race is a journey of discovery and that is what I realise I am excited about as I sit at my kitchen table, with the drizzle of rain outside, raring to go.

Added pressure now that I have been put on record with the stated aim of sub-3hrs? Nahh, I don’t think so…