1st Chapter in September (Half Marathon + 120 Points Towerrunning Competition)
This is going to be my 3rd time taking part in Great North Run since 2021. I am glad to be invited by the Great Run to be one of the Men’s Elite. Link here: https://www.greatrun.org/one-mo-time-sir-mo-farah-lines-up-alongside-a-competitive-field-at-the-aj-bell-great-north-run/
My previous Great North Run results were the following:
2021 – 74:37 min (3:32 min/km) PB | 2022 – 75:39 min (3:35 min/km) SB
2023 – What do you think my time will be in 2023?
My target for this Half Marathon is to run a Sub 73 min (3:27 min/km)
I will be traveling on the night of 7th September at 2305, taking Turkish Airlines, depart to Manchester, transit in Istanbul. I will be then taking a train from Manchester Airport to Newcastle to take part in AJ Bell Great North Run, the World Largest Half Marathon happening on 10th September.
I am also glad to meet Sir Mo Farah, the 6x World Champions, 4x Olympic Gold Medalist here in Newcastle whereby he is the starter to flag off the 5km runners last night. I even got his autograph on my shirt!
Part 1 Ended.
Part 2 will talk about my experience after the AJ Bell Great North Run 2023!………..
Part 2 Elite Briefing + Great North Run experience…
It was a hard day for me yesterday and I have no choice but to DNF the race at 2 mile mark of AJ Bell Great North Run due to the left lower back pain that I have it with me since yesterday morning after not having a great sleep on the first night. Hi guys, just a quick update. I decided to DNF the AJ Bell Great North Run 2023 at slightly after 2 miles due to lower back pain that I got it on my first night in Newcastle.
Back on Friday evening at around 4pm as I felt great once I arrived in Newcastle and quickly went out for a short run. On the night of it, I was too tired and ended up fall asleep while watching the Diamond League with the TV on.
I woke up at 1.30am yesterday and felt the pain on my lower back, off the TV and continue to sleep until the morning. When I woke up yesterday morning, my left lower back was hurting and I couldn’t bend to my left and right. I went for a sports massage session at 10am as I have booked it before heading out for the run last night.
I felt bad due to the lower back pain and I hope for the best that I should be able to recover before the race this morning but it didn’t. Although I felt slightly better than yesterday when I first have it but still it affected my running motion and my breathing. I can’t take in a full breath as the lower back muscles hurt and painful.
We got a special bus to pick us up from the hotel at 9.30am and brought us to the starting line. I went and take a photo with the Sir Mo, Andrew Butchart and Bashir Abdi. I then went on to prepare myself up for the warm up.
Did a jog all the way to the starting line then took some photos there with the Elite Men Lead Vehicle and a photo right in front of the starting line.
During the warm up before the race, I was debating internally, whether I should still go on to start. I can still feel the pain during the warm up, not being able to stretch fully and breath normally. I went on and test it out with a few striding during the warm up and it felt okay but of course it’s only a short stretch of fast running, not the entire distance.
I told myself that I should still go on and give it a try as I might be feeling better right after the start. And so, I went and start the race. I started off the first km in a tough condition as I couldn’t breath smoothly and fully. I have to readjust my breathing style to accommodate the pace that I was running.
I knew it’s not a good sign but looking at the bright side that this condition restrict me to run at a great pace, not over pushing myself right from the start. I just have to keep on going with this pace and it’s okay to let anyone passed me and at the same time trying to look for someone who are running the same pace as me.
First km at 3:16, second km at 3:18, third km at 3:20. Right after the third km, I felt even harder to run the pace that I targeted due to the breathing issue that I have. The condition got worsen and I was struggling to even breathing. My heart rate was at around 183, it was really hard for me at this stage even both my legs are in great shape but the lower back pain is the main threat to me that cause all this.
Then, after a hard debate, I decided to DNF and walked to the next aid station to seek for help. I ended up walking back to the hotel as it was easier to do that than waiting for the support car to send me to the finishing line.
I felt disappointed but it’s definitely a good move to DNF rather than going all in for this as I do have many upcoming towerrunning competitions lining up. I am sorry that I didn’t finish the race but let’s live another day to fight!
I got back in the hotel and did a short update about it to let all my fellow friends and fans know about what happened to me. Thanks to friends who texted me and asking about my condition as they were tracking me through the app as they see no update from there after 2 mile.
Thanks once again to all my sponsors for the support – MBPJ (Petaling Jaya City Council), Manuka Wellbeing Malaysia, Saucony Malaysia, Mitoceps Malaysia and to all my fellow friends and fans who constantly supporting me.
Let’s take a break to recover fully and come back stronger for the next competition!