While the NightHawks were into their final 2 weekends of long runs, the Kookaburras were just about entering the mid-way of their training program, with 7 weeks of training remaining. Both training groups were early as the NightHawks collected their finisher race singlet, while the Kookaburras collected their bright-red race singlet for qualifiers based on attendance requirements.
The group briefings and photos were kept short to achieve a nice start time of 7:15am. The respective pace groups soon settled in with familiar faces amongst each of the groups, chatting and catching up on events and training of the past few weeks.
The NightHawks were in cheery mood and high spirits as they have only 15km (HM) and 25km (FM) to cover during this tapering phase. The Sundown Pacers were also putting their final race night plans into practice, with some fine-tuning and tweaking to even out any creases in their teamwork and formations.
The Kookaburras were in for a longer buildup with 21km (HM) and 30km (FM) @ Optimal Pace, requiring an extra effort from the participants.
The air was humid and felt heavy. With the sun creeping up in the early part of the morning, the first 10-15km felt laboured although the pace were still being maintained fairly well. The showers at 9:00am were a welcomed relief for the tiring runners, giving an immediate boost to motivation to sustain targeted Optimal Pace.
We have not run in the rain for some time before this, and it sure felt cool and refreshing with the sweats of perspiration being washed away and the rain droplets helping to cool off the runners to bring heart rates to sustainable levels.
The spirits of the runners also improved with the rain, as fellow NightHawks and Kookaburras cheered and Hi-5 one another whenever they see pace groups coming from either operations. The entire workout completed slightly ahead of time – by 10:15am, every runner was back and accounted for.
This was a very useful session where the final kinks were being ironed out, and we had a few runners who sacrificed their 10km Green Corridor or Real Run just to be able to do the 25km-30km LSD. By the time the runners were leaving home, the rain has stopped and the skies cleared up – such a nice timing.
The Kookaburras will have the next 2 weeks as self training. A number of them are participating in the Sundown Marathon on 31 May, using that as a time trial of sorts to gauge their chances and any improvement areas for the GCAM on 5-6 July.
The NightHawks will continue into their final week of tapering with reduced long run mileage, but maintaining respective intensities and paces for their weekday tempos/fartleks and weekend LSD. Final preparations and tests of race night gear, race/hydration/fuel plans will be locked and loaded next weekend before the Race.
With the consistent and smooth buildup of the NightHawks, and the reasonable base established by the Kookaburras, we are confident that all trainees and Sundown Pacers will perform to expectations and achieve race timings or Pace Group targets on Sundown Race Night.
The Sundown Runners Are Ready! Bring On The Night!
Facebook Photos by Meng Kiat