After 10 weeks of progressive basebuild and marathon pace training, it came down to the Grand Finale – where all the pieces come together as the Sunbird trainees took to the runway one more time at their Optimal Pace and Performance rehearsal.
We spent a bit more time this morning with a pre-race pep-talk geared towards getting the Sunbird Marathoners (yes, they have officially passed out as Marathoners) all prep-ed for the mother of all marathon battles on Dec 1, the SCMS!
The weather conditions was primed to be quite similar to race morning, with a cooler first half followed by the sunshine at about 8.30am onwards – that would also be about the time where the full marathoners begin running back along ECP towards Fort Road on race day.
The Sunbird Marathon warriors were in Full Battle Order (FBO) as they practiced and tried on apparel and race day gear, right down to minute details such as the hydration and fuel equipment, socks and inner-wear, and even the exact caps and sunshades they would be using for the race – nothing would be left to chance as the ‘redcon’ status will be elevated once the full dress rehearsal have been passed.
After some quick passing-out group photos, we flagged off as an entire group (just like on race day) and the respective pace groups soon settled into their Optimal Pace momentum.
By now, the Sunbirds are trained to a level where they are sensitive to sustainable pace, rehydration and refuel strategies to keep their ‘mojos’ steady and most importantly, being able to stick to their individual race plans that will bring them the rewards that will justify the effort and commitment of the 12-week journey.
The tapering distances of 9km (QM), 13km (HM) and 18km (FM) were executed well inside the comfortable zones, gaining high confidence levels for the Sunbirds who are smack on at their peak fitness and endurance levels.
Spirits and camaraderie were high, especially among the pace groups who have been training closely as one for the past several weeks, and it will be these levels of confidence and mental strength that will see the Sunbirds through to a good SCMS race.
Congratulations to all Ops Sunbird trainees for successful completion of the comprehensive training program, and special thanks to all Sunbird trainers and pacers who have sacrificed their training time and offered themselves generously to help the trainees achieve their training objectives.
We wish all Sunbird participants a fruitful SCMS race, with many PBs and goal achievements