My first marathon afterthoughts


Running revealed to me the different facets of life. Everyone dreams of a fairy-tale ending, but life doesn’t always go according to that script. Completing a race isn’t the end of a story, but I realised, it could also mark the opportunity to write a new chapter differently.

I shall live to “run” another day.

I finally completed my first full marathon (Singapore Marathon) on 7 Dec 2008, making a fitting end to my 2008 running calendar, a tick across my personal to-do list.  A marathon is demanding challenge but during this race, I picked up a painful injury (Iliotibial band syndrome, IBTS) at the 25k mark and I limped to complete the remainder.

My target timing was 5.30-5.45h and I came in a 6.15h. Naturally, I was very upset with the result. I was caught between beating myself (mentally) for the poor performance and overlook the positive experience and the camaraderie among my circle of runners friends.

Then, I stopped the “beating” for a moment and asked myself, “Why are you not happy for this personal achievement?” or could it be because you had set your heart on the matters (Pride? Lack of self assurance? Who/ what are you running for?) which are not necessary centred on the  right values. A thought (or a voice) came up, “You run your own race. This is only your first, you can always improve on the next attempt. Right now, smile and share the positive moment with those around you and learn to let go.”

I felt a heavy (self-imposed) burden lifted up when I listened and accepted the prompting of that voice. In life, there are many matters that could easily let us down but should we let it get to us? Maybe we should ask, why are we sad? Even if the reason was valid, do we surrender to misery or try around, smile and move on?  It is always easier to move on with hope.

In closing, I’m grateful to God for granting me the ability to complete the event and people from my running circle who encouraged and trained with me along the way. Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum.

Here is a link to my marathon pictures.


6 thoughts on “My first marathon afterthoughts

  1. hey Bernard,

    It is your first attempt. Look forward to at least one more marathon next year ok. I hope we can run together in Sydney next year. You better take care of yourself.

    I limped my way to the finishing point during my first marathon last year too. It;s not fun but I am happy I did it. 🙂

    Cheers !

  2. I just saw your Flickr page. I saw someone here in Manila wearing the same Monash yellow jersey when we ran in the last Centennial run of the University of the Philippines.

  3. Congratulations Bernie! Feel proud because not everybody has done what you’ve done. Good luck in your future races. Travelling elsewhere next year for the runs?

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