The last month was pretty busy. Something happened every day. After coming back from Taiwan, I had a lot of work for the university and I had to start preparing hard for my first half marathon. Later, I went to explore the Guangdong province and when I get back to Macau, I was glad to welcome my mum who visited me for 10 days. As a result, I haven’t found any time for resting or even writing my blog. Now, I am already on Christmas vacation, lying on a wonderful Filipino beach at Boracay and I have finally some time to memorize what happened in last days and to update my blog. So let’s start from the beginning of December.
On the 1st December, I participated in Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon. I wanted to practice for it regularly the whole semester but due to tough humid weather conditions in Macau and my travels, my training plan was often interrupted. Luckily, it was the best weather for outdoor sports at the end of November (+18, sunny, low humidity) so I could run every day. A few days before the run, I finally felt confident to manage the race. I checked the website about details of the race and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Imagine the feeling you practiced running almost every day, sacrificed parties with free beer (It is offered every last Thursday of a month in an Irish bar in Macau), and even most of your hair to a crazy hairdresser in China to be more aerodynamic and they tell you it starts at 5 a.m. Who is able to move so early and even to run?
I was wondering why the organizers scheduled the race so early but I haven’t found any reason… Due to weather conditions? Not probable. It was cold at 5 a.m. (+14) and during day there would be ideal conditions. To avoid traffic? It might be the case but it was Sunday morning and the traffic is low. Moreover, all other big cities manage it so why not Macau? Furthermore, there would not be any spectators because of this early beginning. This also must put sponsors off. Anyway, I had to handle the crazy time so I bought breakfast one day before and set an alarm clock at 3 a.m.
I woke up early enough, took my Subway baguette and a cup of coffee. I prepared all I needed. However, I underestimated the distance to get to the start of the race so I had to run around two km to get there in time. At least, I warmed up. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people (I mean runners, of course no spectators). The runners managed to set their alarm clocks and wake up. I came just in time when the race began.
It was still dark and very quiet during the first 10 km. Drunken people coming back from parties encouraging us and a runner who was singing loudly Rihanna songs were the only distractions. After the thirteenth kilometre, we were passing a bridge from Taipa to Macau. The Sun just occurred at the horizon and it prepared for us a beautiful view at Macau. Even, some runners decided to stop and take pictures of the sunrise.
I managed the first 19 kilometers without problems. My time was good enough to finish in less than two hours as I wanted but I lost all my energy in the moment. I decided to walk for a while to accumulate some power but a Chinese guy took me after few steps and said:” Come on, it is just two km, you have to run with me till the finish. I will go with you.” He encouraged me and I didn’t stop till the end of the race. I tried to get even faster to improve my time at the final lap at the stadium but as a finish camera showed I was really out of energy.
I fell down in the finish totally exhausted but happy I managed it. Five doctors came to me and asked if I am ok and tried to stand me on feet. They didn’t understand that I was just really tired and wanted to lie for a moment. After a few minutes, I managed to stand up and headed to find some refreshments. I have to say I haven’t eaten such tasty bananas before. After eating five of them, I got a medal, a nice towel and I walked back home, took a beer and went to sleep again.
Consequences of the half-marathon were obvious in the following days. I couldn’t walk stairs and I had a jet lag due to the crazy waking up time. Anyway, the feeling after I finished the race was amazing. I don’t regret singing up for it.