Race Report: Route 68 Challenge 2017 (50km) - virgin ultra marathon

I have always wondered how it's like to run beyond 42 km. And it's also on my bucket list to do it one day.

After 7 years of running and 23 full marathons, I finally took up the courage to sign up for an ultra marathon this year. :) A very "safe", 'risk-averse" runner, don't you think?  Well, a chicken little has finally decided to turn into a baby ultra marathon man to F L Y! haha! 😜

I have chosen 2017 to run a 50 km ultra marathon for a very meaningful personal reason. See - I'm turning 50, becoming a half-century egg this year. Sad, but true. I wish I could turn back clock to be younger but I can't defy the natural ageing process. Sob! Sob!

50 km @ 50 

Either now or never!

And so - here is the chicken-little-turned-baby-ultra-marathon-man's race report that hopefully many years later can still remind this old cranky old man of the good old days! 😀

About Route 68 Challenge 2017

Held on April 15-16, 2017, Route 68 Challenge had 3 categories: 168 km, 84 km, 50 km. Theoretically speaking, 50 km is really a baby ultra marathon compared to 84 km (2 full marathons) and 168 km (100 miles)! I guess to real ultra marathon runners, 50 km is sup sup water to them - as easy as running an equivalence of a 10 km race in the normal running events. haha! But for me - 50 km is a loooooooong loooooooong looooooooong journey! lol!

Let's take a look at some statistics that I gathered from the results page 
  • 168 km : 61 participants;  21 finished (Male; 19: female: 2), 40 DNF (34% finished)
  • 84 km   : 259 participants; 234 finishers (male: 197; female: 37), 25 DNF (90% finished)
  • 50 km   : 426 participants; 383 finishers (male 300; female: 85); 43 DNF (90% finished)
Can you believe it? 168 km was so so tough with top finisher taking more than 21 hours to complete. And for 84 km, it was also very tough with top finisher taking close to 9 hours to complete. So yes, relatively speaking, a baby ultra marathon it's for 50 km distance. 😥 Nonetheless, it's still very tough and torturing.

50 km race course

This race course traverses through the beautiful and scenic landscape of remote Gombak, with hilly roads surrounded by lush green forests and lots of monkeys (and some wild dogs). 😋

I love this place for its natural surroundings, fresh air and hills! In fact, Genting Sempah is one of my 2 most favorite places to run on Sundays. The other being Lake Garden - Seri Hartamas route. But I don't come here often unless I can find running friends to run. Recently, I have trained there with beautiful and fast runner Julia Lim (who was preparing for her 50 km and also the first to finish the 50 km race in female category), Lim Keng Piew (who was supposed to pace Frank Chong in the 168 km), Tan Wooi Keat (who was preparing for his 168 km), and a few others. Usually I would run 30-32 km. And I tried out once running 42 km with Piew and Julia. Boy - they were crazy bunch!! But it was a fun 42 km training!

For the 50 km race, it would go beyond that - until Bukit Tinggi Junction (25 km), an area I have never been, before making a u turn back to Padang 68.

Here is what the 50 km race map looks like:

In terms of elevation, total elevation gained will be 1,640 m.

To summarize the 50 km route, it will be:

First 25 km
  • Hospital Orang Asli Gombak (HOAG) to Genting Sempah Bridge: 15 km uphill
  • Genting Sempah Bridge to Genting Highlands' roundabout: 1 km downhill
  • Genting Highlands' roundabout to Bukit Tinggi T-Junction: 9 km downhill 
2nd 25 km
  • Bukit Tinggi T-Junction to Genting Highlands' roundabout: 9 km uphill
  • Genting Highlands' roundabout to Genting Sempah Bridge: 1 km uphill
  • Genting Sempah Bridge to Hospital Orang Asli Gombak (HOAG): 15 km downhill
Challenging yeah? 😱

Pre-race: anxiety and fear

I had a weird dream about participating in a 4-sport event on Friday night: downhill snow skiing, road cycling, swimming and running ultra 50 km. I woke up sweating! 😭

The whole Saturday, I have been checking my mandatory gear (500ml handheld bottle, reflective vest, blinker, headlamp and mobile phone) several times over and over again. I was so worried I would miss out something.

At night, I forced myself to sleep at 9 pm but I woke up at 10 pm. After that, I was well awake and couldn't sleep already. I decided to leave home at 3.15 am to Route 68 Challenge's venue at Dewan Serbaguna Komuniti Orang Asli in Gombak, Selangor.

I guess I was overly anxious, not knowing what to expect in an ultra marathon as a first timer! I also scared myself with my fear of the unknown! Oh well, I guess it would come to pass in few more hours!!

Start line: sea of lights

Unfamiliar to ultra marathons, I was so happy when I saw Julia Lim and How How at Padang 68 - the race venue. She looked very relaxed and calm!! :) In contrast, I looked so tense and gan cheong as if a big storm was coming!! lol!

I also saw the ever passionate runner and photographer Tey Eng Tiong resting on a chair and then standing up to chat with runners and taking photos. I was very amazed by his commitment to running community and his selfless-giving kindness. I remember I saw him posting some running photos of the 168 km and 84 km the night before. Seeing him so early on 2nd day morning for the 50 km flag off really surprised me. I then asked of out concern if he actually slept over there for the night. He then told me that he actually went back home to sleep and come back the next day! I really salute to him and other photographers, marshals, volunteers, race organizers for the support throughout the 2-3 days. Really impressive!!

I was also happy to see William Lim and Angel, as well as Rooney. They are my running sifus who have shared many running tips with me before. William even helped to pace me to my sub 4  during Twincity Marathon 2016 when he was a pacer. Awesome running friends!!

And of course, seeing Sifu Terence Poon and Gan, another running buddy, made me feel more at ease. At least there were familiar faces now! haha!

I was also very fortunate to have witnessed the awesome 160 km finishing of the great almighty ultra marathon elite Yim Heng Fatt @ Yimster in a time of 22 hours 14 min, earning him no. 2 position!!! Wow!! I was so impressed seeing him and others endure through the long hours of running. 22 hours? I couldn't imagine how I would endure it if it were me!! Unthinkable!! Salute to him and other ultra marathoners, especially 168 km and 84 km participants.

With running buddy also the no. 1 female finisher (50km) Julia Lim and TPRC's sifu Terence Poon.
Photo credit: Tey Eng Yiong

Julia Lim was right. She shared with me before the race that ultra marathon events' start line is usually rather "relaxed". At Route 68 Challenge 2017 start line, I witnessed just that: less crowd (only about 500 people vs the usual running events of thousands of runners); relaxing and "slow pace" environment.😜It was like a very boutique full marathon event that I experienced at River Jungle Marathon and the Island Ocean Marathon in Langkawi. Even when it was close to 6 am, the flag-off time, all the runners were still chatting close to the tent and not moving to the start line!! haha! I thought it was rather cool that no one was rushing to the start line - unlike the 10km, 21km or even 42 km races.

It had to get the race director Jason Tan to use the loud speaker to inform all runners to switch on all the headlamps and blinkers, then move forward for the mandatory gear check and then to the start line for flag off. As a first timer to put on reflective vest, head lamp and blinker to run, I was rather amazed by this whole new experience!!

And I got even more excited when I saw all the headlamp lights and blinkers switched on.

I saw a sea of lights in the darkness before run rise. 

It was truly an unforgettable beautiful scene!! 

As I followed Julia Lim moving closer to the start line, my heart started to pound harder and harder. Deep inside my heart, I was saying to myself, "I will be venturing into a new unchartered running territory - a distance longer than 42 km. If I manage to finish the 50 km, I can then officially be considered as a baby ultra marathoner! Please God, grant me strength and courage to take this step forward in life." 

Then it was announced - 06.10 am (10 min delay) - and then off the runners taking their first step towards the 50 km ultra marathon...

See of lights at flag off. So nice!! I was nervous but excited about this new experience at same time.
Photo credit: Tey Eng Tiong

Yohoo! Off we went!! Look at all the lights from the headlamps!! So so beautiful and nice!! Such a unique experience!
Photo credit: Rany Tan
I have also uploaded the below YouTube video by our beloved brother Tey Eng Tiong to showcase how beautiful the sea of light was. (Please go to YouTube to watch other Route 68 videos shot by Tey Eng Tiong.)

Start - A3 Genting Sempah (16.5 km) @ 5:50 min / km

For the first 15 km, it was all uphill! Scary! 

I was running along with Julia, then William Lim, Angel (accompanying William 💗😏) and Rooney. I also bumped into Teoh BJ. Both Rooney and Teoh BJ were running their first 50 km ultra marathon too. After 2 km or so running almost side by side, I started to run slowly ahead of them. The running strategy I was planning to use was to try my best to conquer the hills and then take a 5 min rest at 25th km Bukit Tinggi Junction before making the u turn back.

Boy - was I totally wrong on my running strategy! Wrong! wrong! wrong!! Totally wrong! Sob! Sob! 😰😭

How could I ever run ahead of sub 3:20 FM runner & Route 68 Challenge 2016 (50 km) #2 finisher William Lim; the 3:45 FM finisher Teoh BJ and sub 3:50 FM  young gun Rooney Law? And also the forever strong Julia Lim? Mind you, they are all regular podium finishers!!!! 

Who am I? Turning 50 and not even a podium finisher before, how could I be faster than them?

And that was the start of a torturing, long-suffering journey ahead!! 😭

Back to the race. I was thinking of running the average pace of 6 min per km  through out. I knew it might not be possible but I thought I should try. 

As I slowly ran forward, I started to embrace myself with the darkness of Genting Sempah road. I started to lose sight of other runners behind me. I couldn't see William, Rooney, Julia, Teoh BJ and the rest. With the fresh air blowing on my face on this rather cool morning, I was feeling rather good despite not being able to sleep well the night before. 

Looking ahead, I saw 3-4 runners' blinkers blinking in the night! I decided to slowly catch up with them the best I could. 

Meanwhile, at the back of my head, I was thinking where were the elite runners Mark Williams and Karsten Korbel. I didn't see them at the flag off. Could they be the runners with the blinkers I saw ahead? 

As I caught up with 3 of them, I realized that none of them were Mark Williams and Karsten Korbel. With their speed and endurance, I believe probably they would have been far far few KMs ahead already.

Along the way up, I also saw some 84 runners running back to finish line. I saw my running friends like Ang Chee Kiang (who finished as no. 4 - congrats to him for the strong finish!), Chong Kong Hui (whom I haven't had a chance to take photo with yet), and a few others. 

I gave high five to Chong Kong Hui and I also said hi to Ang Chee Kiang. It was a rather nice experience to see all these super ultra marathoners finishing up their races strong!!!

Still full of energy during this initial stretch!
Photo credit: Yong Chee Keat

Hello - still feeling ok at this point of time.
Photo credit: Yoo Chee Keat

Close encounter with legendary elite runner Mark Williams

My idol Mark Williams - a close encounter for the first time! And I behaved like a small little fan! :)
Photo: taken from the internet since I couldn't find his photo at Route 68 Challenge. 

After about 8 km run, the sky was getting brighter. Then out of a sudden in the morning silence, I heard quick steps running towards me from behind. 

When I meant "quick steps", I really meant "quick". 😃 

It was because by the time I turned my head around, I already saw Mark Williams passing by me out of no where!!! He was like a running ghost in the thick of the jungle - appearing out of no where and zooming passed me!! haha! Wow!! wow! wow! I was so humbled by this close encounter with legendary Mark Williams. 

You see - I have never met or spoken to him in person before. I have also not seen him in any full marathons that I participated. And even if we were in same race, I would not have any chance to meet him. He is too fast! Simply too too fast!!! With the blink of an eye, he would have "flown" few kilo meters to the front already. ha! ha! How does he run so fast? Really amazing!! 

Well, I couldn't help myself but to call out his name since he is my idol. :) It was very nice and friendly of him to talk to me. haha!! I was like a little fan, feeling the excitement of talking to him! :)
He asked me how far ahead to the Genting Sempah check point. He also explained to me that he forgot to bring along his smartphone which was one of the mandatory gear. He had to go to his car to get it. Hence, he was starting off late.

Wow! Mark Williams started off late behind the pack! Yet, he was catching up so fast!! (Eventually he finished the race as no. 1! No surprise but I was just really impressed by how easy it was for him!)

Then Mark Williams ran further and further ahead of me. I was trying to see if i could follow his speed and pace. I ended up panting like a wild dog!! He was truly in a class of his own!! I then quickly settled back to my own pace, catching up with my breath! It served me right for even trying!!! I should have known!! Who am I? haha!!

Anyway, it was such a wonderful close encounter of an idol and legend Mark Williams!! 

With the first 15 km all the uphill, and another 1.5 km downhill to A3: Genting Sempah checkpoint, I ended this split with an average pace of 5:50 min / km. Too fast already!I knew immediately I would suffer on the way back!!  I should have kept it to around 6:00 - 6:10 min / km. 

The consolation was that I got to run along with Mark Williams for a few steps and talked to him like a little fan!  😉

A3 Genting Sempah - A5 Bukit Tinggi Junction (8.5 km) @ 5:07 min/km

This 8.5 km was the most enjoyable stretch!! It was all the way down hill! The whole 8.5 km of it! 

Along the way, I also met few running friends - Jerry Young, Lawrence Ng, Loh Zijun, Allan Koh and runners' cafe's owner Chua Wen Keat and Lim Kim Houn just to name a few - who were running back to finish line in their 84 km ultra marathon category. I wished them all the best!

I remember Jerry saying to me that I was at 7th position when I reached KM 17. 

I got quite excited about it but at the same time I realized the runners in front of me were very far ahead because I couldn't even see any of them. 

But since it was downhill all the way, I decided to let my speed pick up and follow the downhill momentum. I was thinking that once I reached the Bukit Tinggi junction u-turn point, I would take a 5 min short break before I crawled up the hilly undulating road again.
The most enjoyable stretch - 8.5 km all the way down hill.
Photo credit: Hansen Chua Chin Shen

Smiling smiling smiling - of course! downhill mah!! haha!
Photo credit: Ysa Lai

2nd close encounter with Mark Williams @ 23rd km

Wow! By the time I reached 23rd km, which was 2 km away from Bukit Tinggi Junction's u-turn check point, I saw #1 runner, followed by Mark Williams and 4 other runners. They were all super fast. By the distance, they were already 4 km ahead. 

I called out to Mark again and he replied before he speedily ran passed me in different direction like a wind!

Due to the downhill nature, I managed to increase the average pace to 5:07 min / km for the split time.

Unfortunately, by the time I reached A5 check point - Bukit Tinggi Junction, I was already so exhausted from the "too fast" uphill and "too fast" dowhill!

I really regretted for running out of steam already during the first half of my first 50 km ultra marathon race!! Wrong wrong wrong strategy!! Sigh!! Well, I just gotta go along with it and do my best for the rest of the long suffering journey! 

A5 Bukit Tinggi junction u-turn point

I reached the u-turn point happily seeing some familiar faces - Kelvin Ng, Jason Loh, etc. The coca cola, cookies, cut oranges and cut bananas as well as carbonated drinks looked so tempting. But I only drank the coke, ate 1 slice of orange and filled up my water bottle with more isotonic drinks. I also felt an urge to use the toilet! :) I guess I was already in the resting mode due to exhaustion! haha!

Seriously, if ever I can make a cartoon movie, I would. And this u-turn point shall be the highlight of all!! 😇

You know why? 

Remember I shared earlier that I was overly exhausted already by now and I wanted to take a 5 min break here before I ran the 2nd 25 km back?

The fact was the moment I stopped at the check point and energy / water station, I took a peep at the road coming downhill to see where were other runners!!

Then I saw 3 heavenly running kings......... Rooney Law, Teoh BJ and William Lim - or rather 2 heavenly running kings (Rooney & BJ) and 1 prince William already reaching the checkpoint the moment I tried to take my first sip of coca cola!!! And I thought they were still behind giving me time to take a rest!!! I could imagine they would have sped down the 8.5 km in a very very fast speed! May be more like rolling down the hills? hehe!!! So fast! 

3 heavenly kings - or rather 2 heavenly kings (Rooney and Teoh BJ) and 1 prince (William)
photo credit: Tey Eng Tiong

I then blinked blinked my eyes. This time, I saw Genting Sempah Queen Julia Lim and my dear running friend Gan also about to reach the Bukit Tinggi Junction check point. 

They all looked fresh and strong while I was already feeling like a deflated punctured tyre! 😩

At that moment, I already knew I would have a long long journey back! Seeing them in sight, I knew I couldn't afford to take my planned 5 min rest, I quickly ate some raisins that I brought along, drank another cup of water, then followed behind William, Rooney and Teoh BJ to make a u-turn back.

Genting Sempah Queen Julia Lim and my running friend Gan... about to reach U turn point - going strong and steady!
Photo credit: Yong Chee Keat

A5 Bukit Tinggi Junction - A7 Genting Sempah (8.5km) @ 7:35 min / km

Oh no - it would be 8.5km uphill to A7 Genting Sempah plus another 1.5 km uphill to the Genting Sempah bridge, totaling 10 km uphill!! And the hills are steep, especially after running 25 km!

Initially, I was still talking to Teoh BJ while Prince William and Rooney were already ahead. Then I started to slow down while BJ continued his momentum to go uphill!

I could only hopelessly see them run further and further away from me while I became slower and slower!! How frustrating!

Wonderful thing about this stretch was no longer the run. It was more of seeing more and more of 84 km participants making their way back to finish line. By saying hi to them, saying "go go go" to encourage each other became the highlights of this stretch!!

I also knew by then that I could never make it to the 6 min / km average pace to the finish line!! No way!! I couldn't even move my legs up the seemingly easy hills!!

It reminded me of a verse in the bible, "the spirit is willing but flesh is weak"

I felt exactly just that. 

I couldn't even move my legs up the steep hills smoothly.

By then, I already got sick of the power gels I had consumed - 4 by now! 

My impatience started to surface! My weak flesh started to overtake mental strength! Self-doubt of completing the race started to eat into my mind. Oh oh - I also regretted for signing up for this 50km ultra marathon!!

All the negative thoughts

Look at me! so tired! so beaten! so hot! so exhausted! so giving-up! so torturing!
Photo credit: Lim CH

Then Julia Lim came to rescue at around 31-32 km. 

She caught up with me. She then over took me! 

I then tried my best to follow her cadence to keep up behind her - for a short while! Then my tyre punctured again! I really struggled so much on the uphill! 

Then I started to walk and walk and walk and walk.....

By the time we reached the Genting Sempah Check point, I could only smell Julia Lim's fart!! haha! (still can laugh about it now but I was almost crying during that time!) She pulled further and further away. By the time she ran / walked up to the Genting Sempah bridge, I could never see her any more!! 

So sad, now left alone behind! Sob sob!

I completed this 8.5 km at an average pace of 7:35 min / km, a far cry from the 5:50 min / km and 5:07 min / km. What a drastic drop in speed!! So sad! Really sad and disappointed and demotivated!!

A7 Genting Sempah - Finish (16.5km) @ 6:51 min / km

But God is good! 

When I was down, He sent forth angels to give me encouragement.

He sent my running buddies Kelvin Tan, Jason Tan and also Yap Khin Hui driving in a car passing by me to give me support and encouragement at this very low point of my 50 km run. They were also around to support another running buddy of ours Gan Kim Wah who was not far behind me. I was really grateful for their patience for us to reach the finish line. And I was really grateful to them for taking the effort to drive along the road to look for us to encourage us. 

I remember at that time I told them,"I beh tahan liao!! No more 50 km! Don't know if I can finish or not!"

But they asked me to press on.... 

 Thank you Kelvin, Jason and Yap (not in picture).... you are all awesome!!! I was so moved when seeing you all! 

I couldn't even smile! I just wanted to get over with it! At the Genting Sempah bridge area, I was looking for ambulance! And if there was an ambulane, I would have hopped on it to go back!! Serious!! 

My thighs also started to have chaffings creating discomfort to me during run! Stomach was hungry but I got sick of power gels so I decided not to eat anymore!

The last 15 km downhill stretch was originally thought to be rather helpful and I could run faster. But you know what? Even running downhill, I couldn't even run properly! I had to walk for some, then run some, then walk some, then run some!! 

And the sun was getting hotter and hotter! Awful feeling! The thoughts of quitting crossed my mind so so many times! I thought I was prepared for this 50 km race but I guess I have underestimated my own capability and disrespected the distance!! 

I gotta respect the distance!

I also saw more and more of the 84 km runners completing their race. As I saw then and envisioned the pain that they had to endure over night and extra 34 km compared to my 50 km, I then tried my best to motivate myself again.

The self-motivation came and went because my flesh was just too weak! And my mental strength was also getting weaker and weaker!!

Assam bui ice pops @ K38 😋

Then I heard someone shouting out, "come on, you can do it!", "You want ice cream?"

Did I hear ice cream under such hot weather with a tired body and soul?

Then I looked to the road side. True enough, there were a few very supportive, smiling, appreciative supporters with their car passing out assam bui ice pops to runners!!

You should see my facial reaction!!

Suddenly my face brightened up! I started to smile again! Assam bui ice pops!! Oh wow!! That was the best thing ever that I would want to have - a nice cold sourish assam bui ice pops!!! Yummy!! Refreshing!! Cooling!! Simply awesome!! 😋😋😋

Yay!! assam bui ice pops!! So so nice!! The best!! Thank you whoever you are!! Really appreciate it!

"God, please save me, please save me..."

With much walking and slow running, I finally dragged my feet to reach A1 Indian temple check point. I saw the sign 4.5 km and I was so so happy!! I rested for a while and replenished my water. Then before I wanted to run to the finish line, I asked the volunteer about the distance to finish line.

I was given this answer, "5.5 km"

I said, "what? I thought it was 4.5 km?"

Same answer, "no, 5.5 km. But you can do it!! Go go go!"

Errr!!! I wanted to scold 4 letter word XX#$$%^^&&!@@@ already!! The only time I scolded 4 letter word in a race was during the Island Ocean Marathon 4 years ago. Also under hot sun, hilly route towards finish line.

But I decided to compose myself and keep calm!

Instead, I started to pray to God fervently, "God, please save me, please save me. Please grant me strength to finish the race. I don't want to DNF as I don't want to start all over again to run another 50 km. It's too painful. God, please save me, please save me. You said that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So God, I pray that you will help me to pull through this round so that I don't need to do it again to achieve my running goal of running an ultra marathon."

And I was also reminded of that Sunday being Easter Sunday - the resurrection. 

I told myself I need to "resurrect" myself too for the remaining 5.5 km.

Suddenly, I felt a surge of renewed strength flowing through my body, my motivation was uplifted, my energy was slowly returning to higher level, and my mental was regaining strength

I then did my best to run as fast as I could towards finish line!!

When I saw Tey Eng Tiong taking photo again, I couldn't put up a good smile for a perfect finishing photo already. haha! 😀 I was forcing myself to give my best smile for the camera. Meanwhile, I was saying to him that my tyre punctured liao. But he encouraged me saying I was still running fast despite a punctured tyre.

With his encouraging word and my renewed strength from God, I just pressed on until the finish line!!

Tey Eng Tiong - my apology, I really couldn't smile already even though it was only 500 m to the finish line.
Photo credit: Tey Eng Tiong

Finish Area

Yay!! After much suffering and torturing, I finally crossed the 50 km finish line in a time of 5 hours 17 min with the ranking of #12 in male category and #13 overall category.

Yay!! I could officially qualify myself as a baby ultra marathoner!

Yay!! I could finally cross out running an ultra marathon in my bucket list!!

Yay!! I completed 50 km at 50, a meaningful finish for me!

Yay! Yay! Yay! So so happy to have crossed this 50 km finish line!!! The feeling was simply indescribable.

And a big shout out to all my friends and finishers too for such a great accomplishment:
  • Julia Lim - so proud of you finishing at # 1 in female category
  • William Lim, Rooney Law, Teoh BJ - you are all so geng!! Sifu sifu sifu! I can also call you 2 heavenly kings and 1 prince william liao!! Thank you for showing me what true champions are made up!! Great motivation for me to keep running!
  • Gan Kim Wah - well done bro!! You haven't run many full marathons and you did exceptionally well for your first ultra!! Proud of you!
And of course, the awesome race directors Jason Tan and Jeff Ooi, along with all the volunteers supporters and marshals. Really appreciate all you hard work to make it an unforgettable experience for us.

Last but not least - to all the wonderful photographers - for patiently standing under hot sun to take memorable photos for us! thank you!

Below are some photos taken at finish area.... before I share my last thought at the end of article.

So happy to have officially become a baby ultra marathon at age 50 :) 
Yes yes - only 50 km. Not 84 km, not 168 km. hahaha!

Wow! My name - a baby ultra marathoner!! hehe!

Big congratulations to William Lim, Rooney Law, Julia Lim, Teoh BJ and Gan KimWah all my dear running friends / buddies.

Kuan - you are awesome with your 84 km completion with #14 placing. Gettting stronger and stronger. BJ - once again, you are super fast!! Sub 4 for FM in Malaysia is in the bag liao!!! So happy for you.
Thank you Julia Lim and How How for everything. Julia - you have shared with me so many ultra marathon tips. And thanks for the training sessions together too. Much appreciated!! And congrats once again for your #1 podium finish! awesome! :)

Prince William - my idol - congrats on your #4 finish! Glad you didn't cramp ! Keep inspiring, bro!

Gan - 恭喜你哦!你很快!两年前我没看错眼! 加油!

Low Kim Houn - congrats to you bro for completing 84km. Gary - come back again strong next year! :)

After thoughts

This 50 km ultra marathon really brought me lots of mixed feelings.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to laugh.

I was in pain. I was in joy.

My precious precious silver finisher medal for 50 km at Route 68 Challenge will be something I treasure for many many more years to come.

Some friends asked me to run another 50 km again. 

Some friends asked me to upgrade to 84 km next year.

Some friends even asked me to upgrade to 100 km.

And my answer?

Haha! I am just joking!! 😁

You will never know - may be one day my legs are itchy for the ultra distance again and you shall see me at Route 68 Challenge or other ultra distance races in future! 

And the chances are pretty high! lol!

Written by Vincent Khor on 22 April, 2017.


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