Lombok Marathon 2016 – Race Review

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Race day is like every day in school. You need to do the best you can to make sure everything is prepared, including your outfit.The race day and a school day are the culmination of your preparation. Sometimes it’s slow and steady, but you are always moving forward. Sometimes the finish lines feels great and sometimes you don’t think you’ll ever get to the finish line. Either way, there will always be another finish line on the horizon.fb_img_1481099565735.jpg

To me, race day is a funny thing. It can be the source of your greatest triumph or the cause of your deepest sorrows. It can make you love yourself and hate yourself at the same time. Run the race because you love to run, not because you want to achieve something!

The buzz around Lombok Marathon event in the weeks leading up to it was awesome and rightly so, as the Lombok’s first ever marathon there was a lot to be excited about.

It was raining ,when we arrived at the Lombok International Airport on Saturday, 3rd December 2016, a day before race day……you could almost feel the nerves in the air. My hubby and I managed to arranged transportation by ourselves at the airport-using the official Lombok Marathon car to collect our race packs and to take us straight to our hotel- Kila Hotel at Sengigi. The transportation cost IDR250,000 (Rm55.00) Many International runners that came and took the same flight with us from countries like Kenya, Australia etc also had to find and pay for their own transportation. Just a suggestion to the organisers, maybe next year the organisers could consider a free pick up shuttle bus/van or car to the race pack venue or hotel.

The race pack collection was very well organised and getting the timing chip/bib and t-shirt was a piece of cake. Hubby and I even managed to grab a “KFC” take away. After collecting the race packs, we headed to our hotel – Kila Hotel,which was the official hotel and got into race day preparation mode! Only to discover at the reception, that the 10 km starting point is about 10 km from the hotel. To make matters worst, Kila Hotel is the official hotel for Lombok Marathon and the road closures will start at 2am until 10am. A rush of panic went through my body…My nightmare!I flew all the way from Malaysia to run 10 km race- Lombok Marathon only to miss the race because there were no transportation provided by the official hotel or the organisers! Well, the plus side of this was the 21 km starting point was just a block away…..Hmmmmm…..

Think, Chrisy! Think, Chrisy!What to do?? Am I the only 10 km runner staying at Kila Hotel? There must be a way!  A solution! I hadn’t anticipated the cluster that transportation to the race would be…

Hubby told me to calm down, take a deep breath… check in the hotel….take a shower and have an awesome dinner in Lombok..What else can we do…….? Leave it in the hands of the Lord..

After dinner, the reception contacted and informed us that there were two other 10 km runners from Kila Hotel that will be leaving by 4am tomorrow from here and I could share the transportation cost with them. ( each of us had to pay IDR200,000) seriously, kindly provide a free shuttle bus/van or car to the race venue in the near future, as promised in your marathon promotions.

I had a sleepless night,thinking I was gonna miss the 10 km race…..LOL! Race day morning, my alarm rang at 3am, I jumped out of bed and I fell flat on the floor…OMG! I felt like humpty dumpy…Thank Goodness, I did not break anything…..phewww..My Hubby jumped out of bed because he thought we were hit by an earthquake…..hahahahahah….LOL

Our morning routine was swift and quick, we managed to buy 3 in 1 milo packets and gulp it down our throats and made each a peanut butter sandwich and dashed out the room and went straight to the hotel lobby. Said our goodbyes and wished my hubby all the best for his 21 km and at the lobby, I met two awesome iron ladies…Devi and Mute. We shared the ride to the 10km starting point. We clicked instantly and got along well……They were a ray of sunshine….

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My race didn’t start until 6.45am and we arrived at 5am and I hate waiting around (no choice, though) but actually the time went by super fast and before I knew it I was lined up and ready to go.

The hype, the people, the crowds and the emotions! This trip was truly a once in a lifetime destination race and eventhough I wasn’t able to “race” it. just running it was such a gift.

This race offered many picturesque views of the surrounding hills and small towns, with bustling energy from locals throughout the course, all the while never having to go off-road. The route was just right as well, with roughly three thousand marathoners and the 10 km as well as the 5 km runners.

The course support was incredible. It was perfectly flat. There were a trillion signs/markers and volunteers all along the streets. There were school students who were singing and marching with their bands, cheerleaders- cheering and singing! Absolutely fantastic! At every 2.5 km were water stations and Pocari Sweat and the scenery was truly amazing! It also boost my motivation by clapping for musicians along the course, high-fiving kids on the sidelines and thanking volunteers at the water stations. Kudos to them for waking so early to cheer us on!  “Semangat! Semangat!” They kept cheering- means…GO GO GO! Don’t give up!

Then at 800 meters to the finish line, I saw my fellow runner from Malaysia who was holding the Jalur Gemilang- he was walking…So I ran by his side and said….”Let’s go….Let’s ran…..we are almost there”! We held the Jalur Gemilang, filled with honour and pride…we ran towards the finish line…and wooooooot wooooot……We finish the race strong, honored and proud! What do you know, we even made headlines…!

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Collection medal was systematic, Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 km and 5 km runners were seperated after the finishing line and we were led to seperate pens to collect our medal, drink, bananas and goodies.

POST RACE THOUGHTS

A large scale event with over three thousand runners nicely done up. I thought that there were many hydration zones given that it was only a 10 km race! Kudos for that! Distance markers were well placed. The volunteers/ students/ bands were truly amazing! This made Lombok Marathon fantastic and memorable. The medal itself is heavy and what makes it unique- it is a double medal- awesome pawsome!

People say that there are many reasons that we run, I run because I can….and so can you!

Will I do this race again? Definately! Maybe a half marathon next year!

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