Yes, I did it!
It was truly an amazing feat for me to clock a personal best time of 3:43:09 in such a grueling race in Putrajaya Marathon. I am surprise that I was able to beat my previous best of 3:49:48 which I did in 2002 in a much easier and cooler Penang Bridge Marathon.
I would like to dedicate this special moment to my beloved wife and also two of my best friends, Adam Loh and Kelvin Ng who encouraged me to go for a PB before the start of the race. It was as if they had this feeling that I was going to make it today.
As my initial target was just a sub-4, I started very easily and aim to reserve some energy for the hilly sessions later part of the race. I sticked to my pacing of 27 minutes for each 5km. Everything seemed to work out fine to me. At 32km, when I realised my body was still going strong and should be able to cope with additional stress, I increased my pace. As I knew a PB was within sight, it was now a matter of how fast I could go!
Alas, the last 2km was really a major challenge to me, both physically and mentally. The heat has taken its toll on me. The "climb" at the last slope near the finishing line was a killer. All of a sudden, the short distance seemed to be so long!
Luckily, I managed to hang on until the last 100m where I heard cheers generously coming from friends and supporters. Thank you guys and ladies!
For the record, here's my split time:
5km - 26'40"
10km - 26'54" >> 53'35"
15km - 27'00" >> 1:20'35"
20km - 24'50" >> 1:45'26"
21km - 6'53" >> 1:52'19"
25km - 18'47" >> 2:11'07"
30km - 27'02" >> 2:38'10"
35km - 27'53" >> 3:06'03"
40km - 25'42" >> 3:31'45"
41km - 4'59" >> 3:36'44"
42.195km - 6'24" >>> 3:43'09"
P/S luckily Powergel was provided at 30km. Otherwise, I would curse the Organizer as they prepared only one banana station. They failed to keep to their promise of providing fruits from 24km onwards!