Four Saturdays in October
Dare we hope for two FMs within 24 hours?
The last time I looked there are four Saturdays in October, 2014. We now know that the BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon will not be held on the first Saturday, 4th October, since the next day is Hari Raya Haji. There is no way outstation runners can return home in time after running a full marathon. The next logical date is the second Satuday, 11th October. The only problem is that it falls the day before the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The moment the date was announced for that marathon I had booked my flight. There was no way I was giving SCKLM a miss this year. So it would be much like killing two marathons with one trip if PNM was really held on the second Saturday. Last year I ran PNM on very fresh legs and got my PB. The temptation to run it again is great. However if push comes to shove I will still choose the KL Marathon. Yes I am tempted to do two FMs in less than 24 hours. Could do so by treating it like an ultra. So any ultra running I will do before this will prepare me for such an occurrence.
Am sure the race director of PNM knows that SCKLM is the bigger marathon. So it's a no brainer that runners will choose the latter if it were back to back. Not many are crazy enough to run both. In fact one of my good friends told me he will consider doing the HM at PNM first because he can also get a finisher t-shirt for it. That of course leaves open the 18th and 25th of October. This would be the dates I would choose. Though to be fair asking someone to run two FMs in one week is also a big ask for anyone. That then leaves us with the last Saturday of October. Truth be told I would be very happy indeed to run it then. My legs would have been sufficiently recovered from the KL Marathon, and I would have enough time to recover for the Penang Bridge International Marathon. Common sense dictates that that should be the date chosen. However I have realised a long time ago, when it comes to ego, common sense gets thrown out the door.
I have just learned through a constant runner that the official Putrajaya calendar of events, click here, shows PNM to be slated for 25th October! Unfortunately sharing the same date is Awal Muharram and the national level Maal Hijrah celebrations. The day after is the Malakoff Powerman Challenge, also at Putrajaya. So the organisers of PNM are in a bind for this date too. Now my constant runners can see the dilemma they are facing. Each Saturday they choose has it's pros and cons. What's for sure is that they cannot make all runners happy. Whatever the participation target is this year, they know they will face registration loses on any Saturday they choose. All I can say about this is that I wouldn't want to be in their running shoes.
So when the date for PNM 2014 is announced, I won't even blink if it were the 11th October. All I say is that on that night they will be many half marathon runners. Lets just hope that sanity prevails and the most ideal date is chosen. We in Malaysia are blessed with lot FMs and ultras this year. However runners are only human. As hard as we train we still need to rest and recover. We aren't running machines. I know there will be those who beg to differ. However I am talking about the majority of us. PNM should do the right thing and put us all out of our misery and announced the date as soon as possible. Then we runners can just concentrate on our training and run the marathons we want. Of course PNM can always pull a shocker by announcing a September date. All we can do is wait. When SCKLM registration opens in April I will most definitely sign up for the early bird. It's not to say that I don't want to run PNM, but if they don't come up with a date soon, how are we going to adjust our running calendar and training schedule?