Monday, December 3, 2007

Race Day

I did the Singapore Marathon 10 kilometer run today. Last year, I walked it with an older lady from my Dragon Boat team and finished in about two and a half hours. This year, I ran it on my own. I wanted to finish in under an hour to beat my 10K run-time of one hour and five minutes, which I did in October. But I think I finished in one hour and three minutes. I won’t get the official time until later.

It was tough-going. There were so many runners, it took me about 15 minutes just to get to the starting line. And even then, there were hoards of people in front of and behind me and I found myself dodging people, running up and down curbs to pass them, going sideways to get around the other runners. I think that added some minutes to my finishing time.

The best part of the run was at the end when I started to sprint toward the finish and people were cheering along the route. It felt so good that after I finished, I stood near the finish line and shouted out encouragements to the other runners until I was hoarse. I think some of them picked up speed when I shouted out at them, “Looking good! You’re doing great!”

I’ll bet if someone did a study, you’d find that runners and other athletes perform better when there are people cheering them on.

I’ve decided that next year, I’m running the full marathon. I was going to work up to a half-marathon next year and then a full marathon the year after, but I might not be alive by then. And even if I am, maybe I’ll be too sick to do any running. So I’m going for it next year.

A friend of mine suggested I raise money for charity when I run. So I’ll be hitting up all my friends and family to donate money to cancer research when I do my marathon next year. I’ve always felt awkward asking people for money or making sales pitches of any sort, but I’ll put my feelings aside for a good cause. Besides, I’ll only be doing one marathon in my lifetime.

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