Race Review on Chiangmai Marathon 2018 (Part 1) Posted on December 29, 2018

Title : Are You Ready For Midnight Run

By Rameshon

Picture 1 – Tan Mariviv (left) and Rameshon (right) just before the Chiangmai Marathon 2018

1995 Chiengmai SEA Games will always be memorable for me as it was here that few Singapore National Records were broken. The High Jump record was broken by Wong Yew Tong, who did 2.22m. Yvonne Danson, our Singapore representative won a silver medal for the women’s open category for the marathon, doing a time of 2hr 34min 41sec. She has a time of 2hr 32min 24sec in 1994 Commonwealth Games and 2hr 30min 53sec for 1995 Boston Marathon. Of the three marathons mentioned she did not do well as expected in Chiangmai Marathon as she lost out to the Indonesian lady. She told me that she was pushed to run the 10000m, one or  two days later, and that worried her and made her marathon run negative. I was directly involved to experience all this. Worldwide people told her not to run and she conveyed this to me and the past officials, but nothing happened and she was make to run in the end. She came in third.

However, it was in Chiangmai that South East Asian countries did not have internal problems, such as political problems etc.  and the countries were able to send the best of the best marathon runners to the 1995 Chiangmai SEA Games Marathon. Her 5000m time and 10000m time are still the records in Singapore for women open category.

Summary of Yvonne Danson’s Race distance and timing

5000m 17:35.3 in 1997
10000m 36:27.39 in 1995 SEA Games
Marathon 2:34:41 in 1995 SEA Games

It was during the Chiangmai SEA Games that Yvonne was in top shape of her life. She and I were the only qualifiers who qualified for the Olympics. However, she was selected, and I was not selected for the Olympics. Actually, only we two met the qualifying mark of the whole 1995 SEA Games Track and Field Championships. However, I was not sent for Olympics. Officials met and just made their own decision, and I was not informed on why I was not able to go for the Olympics. Yvonne told me to appeal and many others told me to appeal too, which I did not intend to do as I left it to the officials hand, to do the right thing. Instead, they had sent Wong Yew Tong, and I found out that he was knocked out in the first qualifying round. I believe that I could have done something, may be. 

One reason for me to do well in SEA Games is because of the hunger I had. Just like Yvonne, I did 10000m in Singapore doing the fastest as a Singaporean doing 10km road race in 32min 22sec. Several records have been done in my own time trial done, and I intended to keep the timing in my own diary. The timings are yard stick to do the 2hr 24min 22sec.

Picture 2 – One day before the race. 

Race review

The other thing that I would like to discuss here is that the current race time for the start of Chiangmai Marathon 2018 surprisingly had to be changed. Officials cited increased tourism, people going to airport, increase in traffic etc had made the route unsafe for many to run if race starts at 4am. As opposed to this, they started the race at 1am Thailand time, which was 2am of Singapore’s time.

In this race, I knew beforehand that my timing will be grossly affected. Why? In the past, I have not done even one midnight run, and do not like to run any one of them, as we are told to run when we are going through   ‘sleep mode.’ Our safety on the road can be compromised because of the race start time. I always feel that sleep is like a battery charger, and it is wise not to run at time where actually it is time for me to sleep. I have done some conditioning and I still feel that the last minute telling us 2-3 weeks that they are going to start the race will be at 1am was not a fair thing. Since, I have already registered for the race, I decided to run it, after some conditioning, believing that still I can do a season best time so that I can progress in marathon timing.

As, I have run and finished the race already, I would also like to do a race review so that many will benefit from the race if they have to run the race in the morning, which is 1am.  The finish time for many was  actually affected, to a certain extent. With this limitation, Mariviv and I have done well in the race.

Picture 3 – Mariviv, knew that a sub-4 hour marathon was imminent

In my next post, I shall write on the route, weather, water points, organisation of the flow of the event, timing of the race, pollution, safety on the road, support of the people, awareness of the race itself. There will be some recommendations that I am going to give so that it forms as tips to do a successful run.

By Tan Mariviv!