A month ago I took part in the 2017 China Coast Marathon, sponsored by Gammon. It’s a wonderful event that features a scenic full marathon and half marathon on a very challenging course of mostly incline and decline.
First I had to get up in the early morning hours to catch a minibus from my home to a shuttle bus stationed at Tai Po Market. That bus was due to leave at 6:00am and arrive at the race site at close to 7:00am.
Everything went smoothly and I arrived at Po Leung Kuk Holiday Camp with enough time to get my things ready, go to the washroom and properly warm up for the race.
There were already a lot of people milling about, trying to warm up. I was freezing. I immediately regretted not bringing a heavier jacket. I had thought a simple athletic wind breaker would suffice. I was mistaken.
Leading up to race time, I had to battle with my nerves to keep my digestive system at bay but I lost that battle. I had to go to the toilet shortly after getting off the bus, and then about a half hour later. By then the line was too long so I just hoped there would be some sort of toilet during the run.
At 8am we were off at the starting line and I felt GREAT, despite having to go number 1 and 2 at the nearest porta potty.
The run basically consisted of 2 rounds of the circuit shown on the map posted below. It was fairly challenging as most of the run was either at an incline or decline.
I was somewhere around 25% done when my left ankle began to act up as it sometimes does. I kind of expect it. I had sprained it a few times through the years and it healed a bit less every time. It’s not a big deal most of the time. From then on, I was forced to give up on my target pace of 6km an hour and had to alternate between walking, limping/running, and running. It’s funny how pain kind of comes and goes when you’re running.
I ultimately crossed the finish line and the feeling was amazing. This was my first countryside marathon and I had a lot of fun despite the poor performance. I hope I do better next time!