Bali Half Marathon that is. It turned out to be an interesting weekend.
I went to the registration mid-day on Saturday expecting to change my category from the Full Marathon to the Half Marathon. Registration took place in Nusa Dua, which is pretty far out-of-the-way for most people doing the race. But, it served the purpose. A nice open hall that had room for all the necessary functions of a marathon registration.
I went back and forth with the persons at the information counter and the persons at the registration counter. Finally they decided that a person can not drop down to the Half Marathon. It was too late to reprogram the timing chip, or something. By the way, they used a flexible /disposable timing chip that was attached to the back of the race number.
So I was forced to start with the full marathon and drop off the course after I finished doing my training distance. Not really the way I wanted it to go, but in the big picture, it was what it was. A catered training run.
The race started off in the 5am darkness with fireworks and photo helicopters overhead. Also there was traditional Balinese music being played on the side of the road. Many thanks to the Balinese for getting up so early to entertain us.
The first 10k (6.2 miles) were along the Bypass Road. A slightly rolling road, it was just fine in the darkness. As the sun came up, the local people were getting noisy, cheering us on. The different villages along the route, put on a few special things. I saw Balinese dancers and at one point I was showered with Jasmine flower petals from young Balinese women.
After the turn around at the 10k mark, the road started uphill for the next couple of miles. It was deceiving, since it didn’t really feel like I was climbing, but when I looked back behind me, it was defiantly downhill back to the ocean. Along this section of the course the young kids were lining both sides of the road and wanted “high fives”. I found myself speeding up through these groups of children. Faster than I really wanted to be running at that point. Must have been the energy they were giving off.
The road went up and down until the 13 mile mark where there was a steep drop and steep climb. I was able to run down the drop, but walked up the steep incline. At the top of the climb was the 13.1 point. The Half Marathon point.
I had a personal best time at this point and felt that it was a good point to ease up and head back to the starting area. This meant that I was officially a DNF, but since I had not planned on doing the full marathon, it didn’t feel too bad.
I am hoping that by being smart, my race in MN in 27 days will be a success.