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My First Marathon

“A marathon is like life with its ups and downs. But once you’ve done it, you feel like you can do anything.”

My first marathon finisher medal

My first marathon finisher medal

42.195km – the distance that killed Pheidippides in 490 B.C. who died after running from Marathon to Athens to bring news of the Greek victory at the Battle of Marathon. This myth has advised me to stay away lest it destroys my body and probably take away my life.

A family of runners

A family of runners

I run not because of obligation, but simply because I want to. I am thankful for discovering my runner passion at age 42, starting from 800m and eventually a marathon one year after. For me, starting to run was about losing weight and getting healthy. Gradually, I run to de-stress, to make myself feel better and eventually I run because I want to experience. Running also becomes one of the most motivating factor to travel to a city which I am not really interested of. Through running, I also understand the people of that country better.

My result

Pain in my knees from the beginning. Calves like going to explode. Fatigue, exhaustion, I wasn’t sure of completing the marathon. Endurance, triumph of will over reason…I’m glad I finished it in the hot weather and being one of the few in women 40-49 category. Hope I can achieve better result next time.

Many people I feel grateful, for the encouragement, guidance and sharing experience. And also the feared Nepalese Gurkha whom I don’t know by name. I live just 400m away from them and we run on the same roads. Seeing their commitment in their training inspires me to get up early and work harder. Although it’s tough to get up at 5:15am daily and sometimes I feel like walking in the hilly terrain, I don’t want to appear a weak Singaporean female runner in front of them. Ego, probably…by all honesty, that’s what propels me. All these create a ripple effect. Not only I did it, my husband too. Last year he did a 10km. This year he “upgraded” to a full marathon. My 2 bigger sons, Robin and Dominique completed their first 10km run and 7-year-old Clement did his second 750m Kids Dash without the parents with him.

Our family's race packs

Our family’s race packs

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 6.27.06 pm

7-year-old Clement in Kids Dash


Picture taken on 2 days before the race


Full gear for the day


Beautiful sun-rise. Photo credit: Robin Goh

Sunday, 7 December 2014 – It’s a hot day and for first timer of marathon category, we were not familiar and did not know what to expect. Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014 organizer made an effort to ensure first-timer (also consists of a huge number of foreign runners) to have a great experience. It’s awesome to see very kind people who not only cheer for us but also bought Coke for us. We thirsty runners shared the same bottle of soft drinks, struggling runners motivate one another to carry on. The volunteers also sponged us with cold water to cool our bodies. I’m very grateful and touched by these acts. This is the toughest run I ever had, I enjoy every second of it – a mixture of pain and joy.

It’s the energy we put out in the world combined with us taking action toward our intentions and letting go of the outcome of our actions. We don’t sit back and expect awesome things to come our way. We are thankful for living in tiny Singapore where we can be weekend warriors.

A Mount Everest of my own definition.


About Pamela's Online Journal

Working mother of 3 boys, loves travelling & writing.


3 thoughts on “My First Marathon

  1. Hi Pamela, I’m a journalist from The Straits Times who would like to interview you for an upcoming trekking feature article. As the article is slated to be published soon, (10/5/15) I would appreciate it if you could get in touch with me as soon as possible; I’ll leave my email address, so please do drop me an email when you receive this. Thank you!

    Posted by Tan Jia Hui | May 6, 2015, 03:45

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