5th Half: Sanchong Half Marathon (1:27:51)

I broke my PR today at the Sanchong half by about 3.5 minutes. It was a beautiful run in the (very early) morning on a bike path next to the Danshui River.

I started out too fast but settled into a nice rhythm after about 10 minutes. I got to 10k in around 42 and was pretty broken by the time I reached the finish.

My time (1:27) was good enough for 12th overall and 1st in my age group. Next up is a 10k in 2 weeks, a 9k the week after and possibly a 14.6k at the end of May. Now I just need rest…


2nd 10k: Taipei Express 10k (40:21)

I ran the Taipei freeway 10k this morning. My goal was to go sub-40 and my previous (and only other 10k) was 40.44. After having a cold/cough all week, I was not sure if I could make it but decided to go for it anyway.

The course was almost perfectly flat and I started right in the front. I went out to fast for the first 2k and managed to stay around the 4 min/k range from 2k to 5k until the turn. My time at the turn was 19.31 and I was feeling good … but coming back I had to contend with a howling gale in my face (maybe not a gale but it was really blowing!)

No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get my splits under 4 min/k for the rest of the race. Although I didn’t get a time that I know is in me, I still think it’s ok due to the conditions.

I finished in 40.21, only just better than before and not my goal. 24th overall and 3rd in my age category, which is a testament to the wind considering my time. Next race is a half in three weeks and then a 10k two weeks later.

4th Half: Fubon Taipei Marathon (1:31.24)

What an awesome race! I really enjoyed not having to run up and down any serious hills (probably just means I need to train more on hills). I past 10k in 46, a minute slower than my goal pace (4.30) and started picking up the pace. By 12k, I was on pace at 54 min and still feeling good. Last 9.1k in 37.30 (4.12 pace) and the last 3k in around 10 min!

3rd Half: Taroko Gorge Marathon (1:39.44)



Sweating hard near the finish.

Did the Taroko Gorge Half Marathon on November 11, 2009. I started fast as I was aiming to get under 1:35. Went passed 10k in 44.30 but ran out of steam after that. Final placing: 81st out of 4027 finishers, 15th in my age category (20-29).

I must say that the course was stunning though and I’ll definitely be back again next year.

1st 10k: Nike Human Race 10k (40.44)

The Scene on Freedom Square

8000+ people dressed in red looked pretty spectacular…

10.24 … the day the world runs! I ran along with 8000+ people in Taipei and millions of others worldwide. It’ the biggest one-day race on the planet. 48th in 40.44, could actually have done it faster I think but I started out too slowly (my goal was just sub-45).

The winner ran it in 33 … next year? Maybe!

2nd Half – Rotary International Sun Moon Lake Marathon (1:38.29)

Water break near the finish.

Water break near the finish.

This was the first time I had to travel a to another city for a race and I made a few mistakes. I stayed in a hotel in Taichung the night before. This meant that I had to take the train to Taichung on the Saturday (after coaching two soccer practices in the morning and teaching two hours in the afternoon) and a bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake at 3a.m. the next morning! I also didn’t pack my usual breakfast, assuming that 7-11 would have bananas … the only one I could find didn’t.

Anyway, it’s all a learning process at this stage I guess and I ran quite well in spite of my legs feeling like lead for most of the run. The course, which I knew nothing about beforehand, was exceptionally hilly. I managed the uphills better than most of the other runners and I was better on the downhills than in my first half.

The scenic aspect of the course was a bit of a downer. Sun Moon Lake is one of the most beautiful features of Taiwan, and yet we hardly glimpsed the lake during the run, just had a peek of it going round the one corner. Instead, we just wound up and down a mountain road that could have been any other in the country. I hope Taroko Gorge next month is better!


1st Half – Knysna Forest Marathon (1:45.32)

I ran the Knysna Forest Half Marathon on July 11, 2009. My training before the run had been patchy but I still think it went okay.

After starting out too slowly, I soon settled into a nice rhythm. There was a long downhill section which might sound easy, but I hadn’t done any hills practice and I don’t think I passed anyone going down, they all went by me!

I still felt quite fresh when I realised there were only a couple of ks left and I finished strongly. The race has motivated me to train harder than it did before and I would definitely recommend trying a couple of theseget into the sport … you’ll soon be hooked!