AHM Race Account from FatBird Anthony
Photo Credit: Rand Yan, CK Lee, Onin Tayson

The change of wind direction at the eleventh hour allowed the Army Half Marathon 2016 to proceed as scheduled.  That ensured that the weeks of hard training by the Kingfishers did not go to waste, delivering many Personal Bests and Season’s Best.

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After 7 weeks of PowerFlight training comprising of weekly tempo runs, intervals, hills and steady paced runs, the Kingfishers met up at the Esplanade Amphitheatre 3:45am.  We went into the personal dynamic warm up routines at 4:10am to prep our engines.  By the time we entered the start pen after group photos, it was already quite filled from the front.

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Our group managed to jog up and wriggle our way to within 25m from the start line.  The air was good, although slightly humid.  We were entertained by the MC until flag off at 5:00am sharp.  I managed to break through the thick crowd after about 500m and settled into a 4:40h pace.

The FatBirds went on a conservative start and followed closely to their race plan.  They were to use the Official SAFRA Pacers as guideposts, but still rely on their own timing devices and Heart Rate Monitors to maintain their Optimal Pace.

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The first half of the race went around the city area and Gardens By The Bay.  Other than the first drinks station which came only in the 4-5km mark, the rest of the hydration points were well positioned and carried ample stocks.  I maintained my 4:40h pace and tried not to have too many surges.  The night was quite dark, so we were all careful especially at the dimly-lit areas of Gardens and Tanjng Rhu area.

The second half of the race saw us running around the National Stadium and then up on to Nicholl Highway.  It was relatively flat throughout, save for a few rolling slopes.  It was pretty smooth for me at the drinks stations, except for one where I had to run back to get the 100Plus which I didn’t want to miss.

Although I didn’t really need it, I popped a gel at the 13km mark as what was prescribed during our Kingfisher training.  That could have helped to stave away any potential cramps from maintaining the pace.  With 7km left, I decided to move the pace up slightly after I body sensed that there were no tingling in my calves – signs of cramps brewing.

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I carried the 4:35min/km pace all the way to the finish line at the Padang with no incident.  Based on some quick mental calculations, I was already in my HM PB zone from the 15km mark onwards.  A check on my trusty Garmin 235 showed a potential Half Marathon PB of 1:36h.  My HM PB of 1:38h was last achieved at SCMS 2015.

As I had another appointment, I left the place immediately after collecting my finisher tee and medal.  It was later that I learnt the good news of so many Kingfishers and FatBirds that have scored Personal Bests.  All their hardwork and dedication at the weekday track and hills workouts, and weekend long steady runs have paid dividends immensely.

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The FatBird trainers were so happy and proud of our trainees’ achievements at the AHM16.  The list of good performers are too long to list.  Instead we will just share some kind words of appreciation from our Kingfisher trainees below:

“Right on target!  Thank you Operation Kingfisher( Team Fatbird ) for helping me achieve a new personal best of 2hr in the Army Half Marathon today, shaving off 3mins from my previous timing of 2:03 set in 2013. The hard work at the track, the hills and the weekend long runs helped tremendously. I couldn’t have asked for a better timing ? I felt that I have given my all today! For this effort, I’m totally happy and contented.”
–  Adelene Ho

“HM PB! Thank you Team FB chief & trainers for all the trainings, tips and encouragements, especially Jayson, Arnel & Jacqueline Tan…Great run great fun as usual. I will be back stronger!”
– Ruby Pryor

“Thanks for my Sub-2h HM PB! Shout out to a few good people throughout this period of running. Robin & Adelene Ho for the honest & open running whatapps-conversations & encouragments; Rand TF for making your AHM 16 about me. Thank you! Oh yes, & how can we forget Team Fatbird, their iRuns, #RunningKakis! and to many, thank you for sharing my joy.”
– Kevin Ho

“Safra Army Half Marathon PB: unofficial net: 1hr 47min”
– Jarrell Tan

“Army Half Marathon – 21KM. Thank you to Team Fatbird for the awesome training that help me to sustain a sub-6 pace. Faded a bit in the end due to cramps but overall happy with my result!”
– Kelly Ho

“I will like to thank u and your team fat bird for the training and guidance. This August completes my first year of running (marathon) and being associated with team fatbird. Completing two marathons (still learning) and reasonable sub 2 to make first year. The track and hill training and guidance really helps. Hope to achieve personal best next year in marathon and continue with training with team fatbird. Thank u once again.”
– Sandeep Seth

“I have lost 7 lbs in the last 4 weeks of Kingfisher training. The track and speedwork have helped me build up good speed and I had a good run at AHM. I enjoyed and benefited from the final track session where we were introduced to good running form.”
– Becky Taylor

With AHM16 done and dusted, we now look forward to Operation Sunbird 2016 – our 12-week structured marathon training program for Standard Chartered Marathon 2016 and the list of overseas marathons.

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