Adidas Sundown Marathon 2009

By now, you may have read in the papers of a recent race event that took place on the evening of last Saturday 30th May 2009. It was the Adidas Sundown Marathon 2009 which was into its second year, 2008 being its first. Besides the Team event, Womens 10K and the standard marathon distance of 42.195km, there was a group consisting of 602 runners that participated in the 84km Ultramarathon. The standard marathon distance already demands a lot from a runner. Imagine the distance that these runners had to cover, from Changi to Tuas and back…on foot. It was no easy feat to accomplish. But for these runners in every way ordinary folks like you and me, they possess an unbreakable spirit that led them to the finish line.

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^ As I waited for the bus at 10.30pm on Sat 30th May 2009 to bring me to Changi, Ultramarathoners were seen passing the 36km mark on their first loop of the 84km journey after having been flagged-off earlier at 7pm . A lady with a placard waited anxiously at the bus-stop to cheer her husband in the race.

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^ Bright lights and blaring music at the startpoint. Pretty deserted as runners in the Ultramarathon, Team Challenge and Women’s 10km has been flagged-off earlier in the evening and have completed their race segment. At 12’midnight, this place was filled with a hive of activity as the full marathon began.

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^ After my race, it was time to spend a while near where I stayed to cheer on the Ultramarathoners. At 8am Sun 31st May 2009 when the following photos were taken, it was 13 hours since their flagged-off at 7pm the previous night. Ultramarathoners passing the 78km mark. A body in perpetual motion, their mood was all written on their faces.

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^ Ultramarathoners wore blue number tags. A runner’s sense of elation with 6km more to go.

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^ Taking a breather to stretch those tired limbs to get through the pain barrier. As the sun rises, another barrier appeared – heat.

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^ Definitely a much easier mode of covering the long ardous distance.

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^ Experiencing sweet victory that is about to come.

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^ Still going on strong with every step.

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^ Exhaustion, fatigue and the heat has sapped the runner to a walk. 6km more to go can easily be magnified to become an insurmountable task. Dehydration, heat, humidity, abrasions, blisters, pain…the list goes on.

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^ Cool runner.

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^ Managing a smile…that’s the spirit.

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^ Ordinary people, Extraordinary feat.

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^ An encouragement by just saying “You can do it! Keep it up!” will surely light up the faces of runners who otherwise will be trudging on a long and lonely path.

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^ Keeping the pace.

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^ Running buddies.

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^ When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

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^ One of women Ultramarathoners.

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^ We do everything together…well almost. Supporting her beau in the Ultramarathon.

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^ Many hours spent on a long and lonely road during training days just for this day. Pounding the pavement quietly to accomplish one objective – to complete the gruelling distance.

It will almost be close to 10am on Sunday morning nearing the cut-off time. Runners in the Team and Womens 10K would have got a restful sleep after having completed their race the night before. For most 42.195km marathoners, the majority are making their way home after having completed their race in the early hours of Sunday morning.

For these Ultramarathoners, there won’t be much cheers nor fanfare at the finish line except to be given a finisher’s t-shirt and a medal to remember the ardous journey they have completed. Theirs is the unbreakable spirit that puts them in the ranks of the Ultramarathoners. To them, Nothing Is Impossible.

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