3:57:57 Miracle at Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2015

Clocked net time of 3hr 57min 57sec at SCHKM2015 - my first ever sub4 timing in FM. It's truly a dream come true for me!

I couldn't really believe my own eyes when I crossed the finish line. I had to wait for official result published on the website later that night to be sure! It was truly a miracle and it made my throat choke when reliving the event in my mind! I will never ever forget Jan 25 2015 in Hong Kong.

My Garmin GPS watch failed to locate the GPS location at start line - making me very nervous, disappointed and almost cursed 4-letter word. Left with no choice, I decided to switch off the GPS totally after 400m into the race. This meaned that for the very first time at FM, I ran without a GPS watch and a pace to watch out for. Truly nerve-wrecking not knowing my pace throughout the distance.

Anyway - I decided to listen to my body and run at a pace that allowed me to breath comfortably throughout first 30km. I also followed 3 other runners whom i found were running at almost the same pace as me for most distances - to ensure I was consistent throughout since my GPS watch wasn't working.

At 10km, my time was around 54min; at 21km, around 1 hr 52min; and at 30km, around 2hr 44min. By then I started to get excited knowing that it's still a possibility to make my dream come true. But with the hardest subwater tunnel at 35km coming soon, my nerve started to get very uneasy. Anyway, I decided to just go all out to run following another runner in front. Thank God I managed to survive the tunnel - the hardest part for me.

With 2 more hils in sight after tunnel (37-38km) I almost gave up as I started to slow down lots. Legs started to feel as if they didnt belong to me. I wanted to give up on my sub 4 dream by then.
Believe it or not, I started to pray for God's strength at that point because this race didnt even start off as planned (GPS watch not working - strategy change, etc). So I was hoping for some miracles to happen.

At close to 39km, I suddenly heard a worship song "we look to Yahweh, Yahweh.." sung by a small group of people at the side. My throat started to choke - and I took it as a sign to press on without giving up depending on God's strength.

To cut the story short, I ran the last 3km as if I was chased by a dog with renewed strength and hope. I really didnt know how I managed to do that though now thinking back.

And the moment i crossed the finish line knowing potentially there was a sub4 time, I almost broke down. Never had I have such emotional feeling crossing finish line - knowing all the hard work could potentially pay off finally. It was such an unforgettable moment!

To me, it's truly a miracle! It took 8+min off from my previous PB in SCKLM2014 and 11 min off from SCHKM 2014. What was amazing was that I finaly broke the psychological barrier of sub4! Something i could only dream of previously!

Lessons learned:
1. Turn negative into positive and restrategise quickly if need be (i.e. no GPS watch -> listen to body and paced someone else)
2. Conserve some energy for the last 21km.
3. Strong mental strength is more important than physical strength - and don't give up easily (for me - it's through prayer when my mental strength got weak..)


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