2009 calendar updated!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Memory - Penang Marathon 1986

The Certificate

The 1986 Mas International Penang Marathon is special to me because it is the only full marathon I completed.

I failed to finish two other marathons, ie the 1985 Mas International Penang Marathon (stopped at 25km) dan the KL International Marathon 1987 (stopped at40km - yes, another two km and I would have completed it, and still my most disappointing moment in a full marathon event).

Participating with two Maybank friends, Khairuddin and Woo, I completed the race in the six hours time limit by clocking 5 hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds. As long as the time is before six hours, it's fine with me.

Cold start, hot finish! This is what I experienced at the marathon on the 7th September 1986. The race started at 6am and finished at 12 noon.

It rained heavily half an hour before the race and went on for about an hour after the start, whilst the sun was scorching when I arrived at the finish line at the Penang City Stadium.

After the disappointment of completing only 25km the previous year, i was determined to do much better this time. Strategy? Run 11km or more in the first hour, 10km the next hour, and use whatever physical and mental strength left for the rest of the race.

Tiredness began to creep in after the 25km mark. To keep on going, I used 'markers' - electric poles, phone booths, bus stops, people, anything I see in the distance - and run or walk when I reached them."I'll run until i reached the bus stop" or "I'll walk when I reached the old man," I kept on doing it until about 7km to the finish line. Checking my watch, I felt I could finish within the time limit. Despite the hot sun which at times felt unbearable, I still had enough energy to run all the way to the finish line.

How do I feel when I entered the stadium and run another 400 meters to the finish line? So happy, and I also felt like crying as I approached the finish line. Despite the pain, the agony and the suffering and the countless times my mind told me to quit, I soldiered on and I finally did it!

I also experienced a special moment at the finish line - the official garlanded the finishers medal on my neck. Maybe he appreciated the efforts of strugglers like me to finish the race no matter what.

The Unique Medal

Even the medal is unique, a 3-in-1. Besides being a medal, it is also a bottle cap opener and a key chain. But I never used it as a key chain or bottle cap opener because it is too precious, my hard earned medal.

I read recently in one of the bloggers blog that only one percent of the world population had completed a full marathon. Well, I'm one of them.

Will I run another full marathon? We'll see.

By Shahrizal Sanusi


Evil Angel said...

Wah Alang. Your story really got me pumped up. Next year, definitely, at least one marathon. I want to be a statistic too.

fyrul said...

wahhhh,.... nice story!!
its fantastic u can survive the hot condition, in the very long run.
like u said, your using the 'markers' strategy, i'm using it too :D
it's like a motivation & target to keep the pace...

maybe lepas ni, i wanna try the half-marathon pulak ...

Julie said...

Inspiring and very touching. Thats the Sportmanship spirit that is missing in most of our athletes these days. Perhaps I'd like to prepare for 2008 KL Marathon (I mean I'll try the 21km first).

Keep this spirit which is much needed in today society.


Darlene said...

Good words.