It has always been my dream to do a 100km race,either a road ultra marathon or a trail ultra marathon.Two years ago I almost sign up for Singapore Sundown ultra marathon 100 km but "chicken out" at the last minute.It was due to the fear of the distance.
After TMBT 50km in September 2012 and seeing so many ordinary runners who were able to complete the TMBT 100KM really inspired me to take up the challenge again.It took me some time to consider joining Vibram HK100 and by the time I made up my mind,the registration has closed.
With the "can do" altitude,I sign up for the charity place in order for me to participant.I have to pay HKD 3880.
Since there were no runners from Seremban for this race,I contacted my friend Dr Wong from Kuala Lumpur who agreed to share a room with me in YMCA Salisbury Hong Kong.We stayed there for 4 nights.Friday was spent collecting the race pack and doing some shopping in Tung Chung.
Woke up at 5:00am on Saturday morning to get ready and doing a last minute checking before leaving our hotel for the race.Met up a Singaporean runner who stayed in the same hotel.We took a taxi to the starting point and it cost us HKD 160.(not too expensive). After deposit our baggage-one for the Check Point 5 @52km and another for the finishing,we walked around looking out for familiar faces.Many runners were looking happy,chatting and snapping pictures.
I was tired and sleepy too.I have been awake since 5:30am, for about 18 hours.My mind was tired.I need to sleep.I told Dr Felice that I will sleep when I reached CP6.She was feeling nausea and giddy too.This was real torture...sleep deprivation.I saw one lady runner who slept on the trail while her two male friends sitting next to her.Even my new found friend Azahar from KL admitted to sleeping under a tree in the middle of the cold windy night.Nothing to feel ashamed of.Our mind and body needs some rest too.
At 2:00am,Dr Felice got up and preparing to move on.I really salute this brave and determine lady.She was going to continue to CP7 alone.I told her I am not going.I want to stay on longer.I requested to the person in charge of CP6 if I can stay on until 4:00am.No!!Either you leave by 3:00am or you are disqualified.Then I knew there are cut off time for each CP.I was in a dilemma.For the first time,DNF came into my mind.Give up and go home?or stay on? Luck was on my side.I saw Leslie and group (Azhar,Joshua,Ms Lee) were resting and eating at one corner.Leslie invited me to join them for the journey to CP7.
CP7 was at the top of a hill.We can hear loud music from far away.They set up a bonfire there for runners to warm their body.We (Leslie,Azhar and myself) spent about 10 minutes in CP7 before heading for CP8 as we were in a hurry to beat the cut off time.Ms Lee was looking too sleepy and tired.We had to "abandon" her at CP7.
By looking at Needle Hill (picture above) when one is tired will be very demoralizing.Such a steep and high climb.Mentally,one has to be strong.The next 7km I kept reminding myself that I can do it.Sure will be able to finish before cut off time of 32 hours.
Upon reaching CP9,the final check point before the end,I have lost my appetite.I just couldn't eat.I just took some drinks-Coke,one bowl of soup and orange.Went to the toilet to clear my bowel before the final assault on Hong Kong highest peak.Took 2 pieces of bun,oranges and hide them in my jacket for later use.
Immediately after passing through the timing mat at CP9,it was all the way up and up.It was very misty and windy up in the Tai Mo Shan.Visibility was poor at certain time.I just focus on walking and I was 100% sure I will finish this 100km.
My roommate Dr Wong who finished at 26hours 40minutes has left the race site.I bought a shuttle bus ticket to Tseun Wan MTR station for HKD 20.From there I took the MTR back to Tsim Sha Shui.Dr Wong was sleeping soundly when I arrived.
1)well organized event with good support at each check points.
2)tough race for an ordinary people like me.
3)happy to achieve my dream of doing a 100km race.
4)happy to conquer my own fear.
Thank you to my wife for being very supportive.Thank you for her encouraging sms throughout the race.Not forgetting to all my friends and running buddies who sent their best wishes either through email,sms or phone call supporting me in my maiden 100km.Thanks a lot guys.You guys must try too next year!
To quote an sms sent from Dr Liau before I fly to Hong Kong:
"wish u best of luck in HK100.Try your best.Do your utmost.Have faith&be strong.U can't conquer the hills,but can conquer your own weakness&fear"
Well...I have conquer my own fear and I have succeed.
I am just an ordinary people being extraordinary!!