„When things go well, you are the king. When they don’t, you’ll find out, that you are… just human. And that it is human to fail.“
It is not a big effort to run a marathon in 3 hours, it is to run it in 5 hours. I always thought how the runners feel who are running the marathon for so long. How much they suffer. Long time in the finish, I always saw them finishing, with last energy, while I was jogging after the race or going for a beer. I always thought how it is, but I never thought I could experience a similar experience. Until the moment I experienced it on my own.
I still don’t understand what happened in Singapore. Always, when I raced being not 100% fit, I told to myself, „you will make this, even if you should walk to the finish line.“ No, not this way. Few days before the Singapore marathon I arrived from Cambodia with something in my tum, stomach and intestines cramps started to worry me. I even had a higher temperature, for sure I didn’t feel fit. One day before the marathon it improved, and I was ready to start.
Just before the Singapore marathon I ran a half-marathon in Malaysia (Penang, 27 rank) and in Cambodia (Angkor Wat, 43 rank), every time under horrible weather conditions (hot, humid), but I did, in addition, the ranking was above expectations. Half-marathon is not a marathon. Already during the warm up session in Singapore, I sweat and sweat, it just doesn’t stop. And it will not until the start. Not good.
The race starts and from the very first meters I feel real discomfort. I am not well. So far so good, the first kilometers I am somehow able to keep a relatively good tempo. This lasts until the kilometer 5, when I must visit the toilet for the first time. Intestines playing their opera. From the kilometer 10 I start walking, I just cannot continue running. I hate running, I hate Singapore, I decide to give up and walk to finish with the half-marathon runners. I look forward throwing the towel. The next 10 kilometers I spend with half-running and half-walking, waiting for the end of the suffering.
The crucial moment is here, two boards, half-marathon left, marathon right. I start doubt and think. Suddenly I start running… to the right! I still don’t understand, what was the reason, why did I do it. Who will tell me, gets a kiss on the bow. Maybe giving up wasn’t the way how I would want to leave Singapore. Long before this race, it was my wish to suffer, and now I decided to continue suffering till its end. In a different way than I expected but… I continue running, on kilometer 23 I must visit the toilet again. I am sorry for all the runners running behind my back during the race.
The next kilometers are never-ending. Run, walk, run, walk… since with the time there is less and less energy left, it’s becoming more a walk, than a run. The sun is rising, it decided to grill us. I am not ready for this, this time I should have been in the finish already. Instead of that, I am suffering at the beginning of the last third. The suffering has no end. On kilometer 36 I decide to not run a single meter anymore, I will simply walk to the finish line. I remember the „you will make this, even if you should walk to the finish line.” No, this is not going to happen, on kilometer 38 I run again, I will fight this till the end.
So it was, I fought this till the end. I never thought I will run a marathon in 5 hours, maybe in many many years. I didn’t have to wait so long.
What am I taking home from Singapore? Two important learnings:
1.) Never again I will run a full marathon in Asia. Never say never, but in this weather it’s really stupid.
2.) Next time, when I will feel like giving up, I should normally give up, instead of suffering. Giving up is human.
The hell of Singapore will stay in my mind for a while. It will take a while to find the positive part on it. So far, I found one – my marathon number 17 I was able to finish till the end. Nothing more, nothing less.
Never sign up for a marathon in Singapore, if you love running. I mean it seriously…