River Jungle Marathon 2014

posted in: Blog, My races, Running | 10
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Back in January 2014, my running group (Frank, Romi, Anees, Nick, …) were all very decided to do the Standard Chartered race in October. Some of them had done the half marathon the year before or the 10km race. I thought we would all do the half marathon but then Frank started talking about the full marathon… Comes april, Frank and Romi registered for the full marathon. I registered for the half marathon (more enjoyable to me)… but then later on I bent to… peer pressure and registered for the full marathon. In fact the training schedule for a half marathon and for a marathon are quite different. There was no bib exchange at that time yet, so I had to register with a different passport number and email address. And for months, the training went on… slowly at the beginning, but increasing in length and pace since end of May from what I recall now. We were increasing the weekly mileage especially from August onward after Ramadan and when everyone was back on track. At that time, only Frank and I were remaining training due to injuries on Nick and Romi’s side. Anees was just starting holiday season.

By first week of september we were supposed to reach 35km for the weekly slow run. As this was planned few months in advance, we used the opportunity of the River Jungle Marathon (organised by The Marathon Shop) to have it entirely organised (for a fee), which is quite nice in fact. The goal was really to do 35km then walk to the arrival… Of course it did not go that way…

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We started early. Frank went ahead as usual, and I started pacing myself for a 35km run. This time I had taken my headset with me to have some music (crossing a long desert requires some… distraction !). It was dark in some places with very few public lights on the side of the road. I hitched with one guy who had put his light at his tummy level to light where his feet were going. Clever trick ! I started eating some almonds and hazelnuts by km 10 not that I was hungry but more that I knew it was time to start feeding regularly. By km 19 I looked at my watch and saw I was very good to actually make my PB for half marathon ! So despite the last 2km of the half marathon being hilly, I kept pushing. Bingo I made the PB in 2h06++ instead of a previous 2h09:18 at Brooks half marathon.


Then the going up kept continuing, I arrived a the top of the first hill, feeling good. Got a picture with 2 strangers who grabbed me for the pic (that was cool) then went downhill. I realised I was not very good doing that as some people I was easily overtaking going up were taking me over… lesson learned, I need to work on that. Fast forward at the 3rd hill, which was one of the toughest… I was at 35km… tired but not too much, with enough juice to push, so I kept going… it would be a shame to stop now when I’m so close to 42km ! Downhill, flat, going up a bit, … many cars… and I arrive at the finish line. It was not 42.2km but 41km at my GPS… and I was finishing my first nearly full marathon in 4h20… happy moment ! Unplanned result, happy surprise. Frank finished in 3h53.. impressive. Now for the upcoming standard chartered (mostly flat) I hope to be closer to 4h and if I’m doing very well drop just below…Let’s see !

I was so happy to finish it 🙂

Frank the man who blew the 4hours ark on his first hilly marathon ever


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