Andreas Wenger conquers 320km run in 72hrs 44min Posted on January 6, 2018
By Tan Mariviv
Picture 1 – Andreas Wenger on finishing the race
Dr Andreas has done 2hr 43min for the Berlin International Marathon 2017. In the past, he was introduced by Mr Lim Thow Wee to join Flexifitness. Over a time of 2 years, from a personal best time of 3hr 07min, he has worked his way to do a number of sub 3 hours marathon, before doing 2hr 43min ultimately.
Picture 2 – Taking pictures to remember the good moments
How was your preparation for the race?
Before the race, Nic and I went to run twice 40km to check out the route. Else I didn’t specifically prepare as I also was in vacation in Switzerland. Maybe that was the best preparation just to relax and eat a lot of cheese and chocolates.
Picture 3 – Andreas took some selfies along the way
How was the organisation?
It was a self supported race. So only the start was organized. In between the runners were looking after themselves.
Picture 4- The race route
How was the route?
The route was across the whole island. We started to run into the north, then covered the west. After that we ran across the central area and Sentosa before we started the journey to the east. In the east, we went to Bedok Reservoir and then further to Pasir Ris and Changi Village. After that we ran to Punggol. Subsequently, we ran back towards Novena and Macritchie before we went up to Woodlands again. From Woodlands we ran back to the starting point at Macritchie to finish the 320km. The runners had many possibilities to follow the route. Google maps, GPS,… I used my watch with GPS to navigate.
Picture 5 – Selfies upon running
What was your experience?
During the whole race, I had many ups and downs. We (Nic and I) started easy and we had lunch at 43km in a hawker center. We tried to order noodle soup with veggies (our main food for the race), but they didn’t understand and so I tried to explain it to them via the picture. At the end, we still got the meat but then they removed it. Overall the first 50km went well. The weather and the mood were good, then heavy rain started but we continued to run. This might have been a bad decision, the shoes and feet were wet but we still continued to run. We continued until 80km where we had dinner. So far, we mostly ran at a slow pace. After dinner, we had a bit of down and we had to walk the next 10km. At 90km, Oliver, another friend joined us. It was a good change and we could run again. Maybe we went a bit too fast and I slowly got some blisters. At around 97/99km, I didn’t feel well and my feet started to hurt and had gotten some blisters. Then we walked and slow jogged the next 10km to the 110km where we decided to stop for the first time. We took a cab back home ,showered, took a nap of about 2hr, then I fixed my blisters and we went back to the 110km point. We started slow run up to Bukit Timah, Evans Road to Sentosa and back to Vivo. There we had our lunch before we continued to Orchard Road and New Bridge Road where we met Coach Rameshon. At 155km, we quickly went home again to clean up my blisters and took a short rest. Then we continued to Marina Barrage and Kallang where we again had some food. We continued until 180km before we took the next nap of about 1hr. Usually, I will feel good after some rest although it was hard to start running again due to the blisters. After about 10min, the pain went away or better the feet went numb. There the boyd was already getting closer to the limits and more will power was used to keep going. At about 215km, Nic started to feel unwell and puked. We continued to Changi Village where we ate again and hoped Nic would feel better. After that we walked/jogged to Changi Beach and returned to Changi Village. Here, Nic decided to stop the race. I continued to Pasir Ris where I went to my friend’s place to take a nap and breakfast. I slept for about 1.5hrs, had food and went out again. The weather was good and I continued to Punggol where I met some of my friends at 235km. One of my friends followed me by bike. It’s always good to have company. It helpes to keep going and is good for the mood. Then the rain came again. This time, I stopped running and waited until the weather cleared. Then I continued for a few km before I needed a short nap (1hr) again. From here on, Nic came back on an OFO bike. This was very good for my mood to have company. Also, Oliver came again to run with me. Oliver and I ran until 270km where I stopped and had dinner and another 1hr nap. Just when I started running again, the rain came back. I wanted to keep going so I brought an umbrella and resumed running. Luckily, the rain stopped but only for a short while. Nic joined me again on bike. I was happy to see him and have support for the last 50km. As the rain got heavy again, we stopped at a bus stop when a car suddenly pulled over – Lian Soon Chye. From there on he was supporting us by car which was a great help during the rain as I could sit in the car to wait. He also got us some hot coffee which was nice in the cold rain. As the rain didn’t stop, we decided to continue running. To protect the feet, we decided to wrap a plastic bag around the foot and then step into the shoe. This was a good decision as my feet stayed dry. As I was freezing, Lian Soon Chye proposed to wear a plastic bag as vest. This was a fantastic idea. With good mood, I started in the last 40km. Here I had a few downs as I though I ran further that I did. When I asked Nic about the distance, I was hoping to have less than 30km but it was still about 32km. This was hard and the mind game really started. The last 30km, I just focused on running. As my feet were in pain, I just kept going as I didn’t want to stop anymore. Nic and Soon Chye always provided me with new bottles of drinks. So I just had to run and not worrying about something else. Without that support, it would have been really difficult. The last stretch down from Woodlands to Macritchie just felt endless. It has many small hills but every hill will test your mind. I didn’t stop running even though I was slow, only stopped at some traffic lights and directly kept running. On my watch I could check the distance to the end point (straight line) and I expected to be about 3km to the end. Close to the end is a small route Bishan Park. This was mentally very hard as Nic told me it will be another 5km. I stopped, let out my anger then continued running. Although I was close to the end, it felt far. I was tired and in pain. The last km I could speed again with the finish line in mind. After 72hr 44min, I reached again in Macritchie. When I reached, I was overwhelmed and all the emotions came up. I hardly believe that I have completed 320km.
Picture 6 – Eating noodles at a hawker center
Any difficulties you faced or found anything challenging?
Blisters were my biggest problem. Next time I would pay more attention to dry feet, change socks more often and maybe even have more than 2 pairs of shoes ready. Besides that, the weather is unpredictable over 3 days and one will have heat, sun rain,… So it’s good to be prepared. Running alone is ok when the mood is good. When the mood goes down, it’s good to have company and friends following you. It’s great motivation to see familiar faces along the race. I was surprised that sleep wasn’t such a big problem. Also after sleeping for 1-2hr, it was no problem to continue running.
Picture 7 – Plastic bag covered for upper body and feet
Are you satisfied with the race?
I am definitely satisfied and thankful for all the great support I had. To do it alone, I cannot imagine and I don’t think I could have done it. I wanted to try this race but knew it would be challenging. When I finished, I really couldn’t believe it. It was a bit insane. On such a distance many things can happen. If the stomach gives you trouble, injuries,… I did run with blisters before so I could handle this. Here, a strong mind and a bit of stubbornness helped me.