I hope that you are ready to race tonight. The Sundown Marathon is an annual marquee event for serious runners. The nature of the race is straight forward: Choice of 10K, 21K or the full marathon (42.195K). The approach is not so simple. It is, probably, the most humid time of the day with limited evaporation of sweat so hydration and pacing are key factors to your personal success. Here are some considerations if it is your first time:
1) Hydrate, in small amounts, regularly from now till the race. Drinking in large amounts merely leads to urination, and dilution of body salts – not a good thing.
2) Select the right pacer. If you are a first-timer, aim for completion, and choose a pacer nearest your average training time. Do say hello and be guided by our friendly and experienced Sundown Marathon Pacers. They have volunteered to assist you, indirectly, in your personal quest.
3) Drink, at least a cup of water or electrolytes, at each aid-station.
4) Bring your on nutrition, if this what you trained regularly with. Heavy 'sweaters' and those who cramp easily should use salt tablets at intervals. Bring your own energy-gel (calories), and refrain from using an unfamiliar sports product.
5) Dress in running attire that you have used in training with. No new gear (including the anathema called ‘new, minimalist, light-as-a-feather shoes’, which time and again, has disappointed with battered feet). Use good-condition socks, however not brand-new. Use vaseline or body-lubricant on areas that chaff (abrasion) easily.
6) A 10-15 minute warm-up is useful. Never run at a fast pace, when you are ‘cold’. Warming up, literally, increases body temperature and enhances muscular activation (flexibility, strength, power, coordination and agility).
7) Use self-affirmations to encourage yourself on. Write on your arms (in permanent-marker) your favourite sayings. Keep them as positive as you will. This can include ‘Go for it’, ‘Keep running’, ‘I will complete’, ‘I love the challenge’ and ‘Enjoy my race’.
8) Stay alert to your surroundings. Be aware of those around you. Read messages. Listen to conversations (if these are loud enough). Watch others manage their race. Pay attention to encouraging fellow runners.
9) Be respectful to fellow runners. If are drinking at aid-stations, keep out of harm’s way. If you need to stop, go to the side of the road/path. Collisions are not good! If you are listening to music, still be aware of verbal announcements of those coming by.
10)Pay attention to road-signs and traffic. It is still our responsibility to protect our own safety. Read the race-map again, and appreciate where the major turns. If you are alone, for a while, you are probably lost.
All the best tonight, Fellow Runners! See you at the Pen, and the End-Point. Have an amazing experience. The Sun seldom sets for those with a Purpose.