Sunday, November 06, 2005

Vertical Marathon 2005 (Swissotel The Stamford Singapore)

I climbed stairs everyday cos my house was on the 4th floor and there is no lift…..but This very morning I have to climb 73 storeys up to the helipad of the South East Asia Tallest hotel: Swissotel The Stamford. This is my 5th vertical marathon after having completed 63 storeys of OUB building from 1999-2002, which is organized by NTU sports Club. So it was a totally different experience. A little fear of the lack of oxygen and also the strain on the hamstring after 20 floor cos for my first 4 Vertical Marathons, I was pulling the railing for support after 40 storeys and my legs turned jelly when I completed and my lungs was grasping for Oxygen…worst than a 20km run… Woke up early at about 6.30am to get ready and had a filling breakfast at the kopitiam near my house before I set off. My race is Men’s Open category which is the last 3rd event and it was scheduled to start at about 10.25pm. I reached the event venue at about 8am. Slowly walking around and started to see familiar faces from SgRunners….BrokenRunner, Meteor, YankeeII, Kops21, Mythos, fastlane…..later cokiee, runalone……we got together and placed our stuff at a corner and jaga by Mrs Kops21’s. All of them went up earlier than me becos they are under age groups. By 10pm, all of them came down and I transferred my stuff to another fren’s location as she and her frens will be up with me in the Open’s category… This year race for Men’s Open was a good one as they invited a few other international runners….Ben Pulham, the last year Men's winner and Esther Tan, last year Women's Champion were not able to retain their crown. This year men's category is won by Pedro Ribeiro, a 32-year old Portuguese reaching the top in 7min 18.2sec and Women's Champion is Kristy Rice from Honolulu finishing in 10min 13:15sec It was finally my turn as I purposely placed myself in the last wave of the Men’s Open while waiting to see the Men’s Open champion reaching the top from the plasma TV at the start area. Due to fear from previous VM, I decided to take a slow and steady pace in, I took 2 steps at one go and see how much I can continue…. For the first 40 storeys, I was surprised that the staircase is followed by a 10m walk before we proceed further, this gives some rest time for my muscle to recover. It was after the 40th storey that the direction changed from clockwise to anti-clockwise that posed a challenge. I continued steadily up and went past all the climbers from my wave. From this point onwards, there is no walking break but just up and up and I decided not to look at the storey. The stairs suddenly changed colour and found myself at the 70th storey, pushed up my pace and finished in a decent time of 12min 33sec (hey about the same time as the time i climbed OUB 63 storeys). A very good and enjoyable climb….I did not stop at all and managed to climb 2 steps at one time all the way to the top….and most important, I did not use my arms at all…My legs felt strong after I finished which is unlike my last 4 VM. I guess, all the endurance run did helps a lot here….In terms of race condition, this was much much better than OUB climb. There are actually ventilation system that keeps the air flowing so we did not experience low oxygen condition unlike OUB and there are less steps for a storey compared to OUB. The first half of the climb with some walk space did places an important part unlike OUB which is really climb, climb and climb. After that climb, some of us went to kiliney kopitiam for kopi, the and some food before we went home. Maybe next year, I can come back to beat this year timing….hmmmmmm Here the Photos: Cheers.................................Life is short, play Hard

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