This must be my most mentally unprepared race. Registered through my mobile phone in a MOF restaurant during the only nights off during my reservist in-camp training, a few hours before registration deadline because I was too busy with work prior to that to pay attention to races (the organizers subsequently extended the registration deadline). I collected my race pack on a Friday evening barely a few minutes before they officially close for the day. After race pack collection, I never paid attention to the contents of the race pack, and never read the race guide except for a brief glance of the map. Was working on a programming task till past midnight the night prior, so slept for less than two hours before waking up for the race. Felt quite heaty when I woke up, and only pinned my bib and tied the timing chip in the taxi on the way there - it was when I realized my bib number is a palindrome. The taxi was doing so much abrupt acceleration and braking that I arrived at Padang slightly dizzy. The whole thing is quite a comedy.
And then I proceeded to run the best half marathon in recent times, should be less than 1 hour 58 minutes. If I discount the 2014 edition of the 2XU Compression Run, which seemed like more than half a kilometer less than 21.1 km, then this Army Half Marathon will be my new personal best for half marathon if it is officially recognized.
For myself, I tried to squeeze towards the front of the pack, and once the race started I headed towards the 02:00 pacers, overtaking them at Anson Road. I like knowing my relative position among pacers as a gauge of my own pace, but the downside of this strategy is that I run too fast during the first few kilometers. The first ten kilometers proceeded normally, but subsequently I started to lose core energy. My pace slowed down quite a bit in the final third of the race, and everybody else seemed to be overtaking me. According to my tracker, the final kilometer took almost 6 minutes. I pushed myself very hard during this race, and passed the finish line exhausted and totally out of energy. During the race, I consumed one chocolate bar at 7 km and another at 14 km. I didn't accept the bananas from the race organizers.
1. Haze threatened to affect the race right till the evening prior. Thankfully the winds blew away the haze, and the race events proceeded as planned in good quality air.
2. I very much appreciate that there are a lot of water points along the route. Although I also acknowledge that the organizers have a lot of free labour resources at its disposal.
3. Previous editions of this race have been plagued with serious congestion at the Tanjong Rhu area under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. There is no such issue this time, because the path at that area has been widened.
4. I observe an increasing amount of pacer service at running races. This particular race had pacers for 01:50, 02:00, 02:10, 02:20, 02:30, and even 02:40. Although I rarely run with the pacers, I find them very useful.
5. There isn't much to do at the race carnival post race. But this is a very minor point for a race that is well organized.
Update. Official timing is 01:57:33, ranked 692 of 9903 by net time. The splits are:
1.55 km - 00:07:10
10 km - 00:52:57
15.7 km - 01:26:55
17.3 km - 01:35:07