Just when you think you're tough enough

Running Tough Takes

Cyclist turned runner pushes the threshold at BESRAYA Highway Challenge 2018

Writer Heng Chye chased his own personal best at the BESRAYA Highway Challenge.

There I was, still suffering from jet lag after returning from Europe, embarking on my first running race since 2014 by racing 13km on the BESRAYA highway which is part of the IJM Duo Highway Challenge 2018.

Race morning started in Seri Kembangan, and not knowing what to expect, I started the race with so many runners trying to get to the front of the pack. Managed to squeeze through the crowd after 1km while trying to keep my heart rate low.

After the first kilometer mark, I tried my best to control the pace at my threshold, and kept telling myself to not run too fast too early.

Thanks to the training during March’s Powerman Duathlon, I was able to hold my pace. Having water stations 3km apart helped a lot too, even though the temperature wasn’t high.

At KM6, I passed the start and finish point, and got much needed cheers from my best support, my wife. That pumped up my adrenaline to continue the race as hard as I could, and I was surprised that I could continue at threshold pace. I said to myself, I must make this my personal record, PR.

At KM10, the feeling of stopping ran through my mind, telling me to slow down.

But I remembered what my good friends told me, “Pain is only temporary, shut up legs, let’s go, full gas.”

So, I pressed on at the same pace until KM12 and then I decided to go faster at the last km. Jubilantly, I crossed the finished line few seconds below the 1 hour mark!

All in all, it was a good race, and I topped it off with winning third place in the Media category on behalf of Tough Asia.

More about the author

Gan Heng Chye always tries to outdo himself and enjoys success beating his own PRs. He also aspires to be even stronger as a runner and cyclist as his age increases.