Monday, May 25, 2015

I climbed Mount One Raffles Place

When hubs is at work, sometimes we email or text each other. Usually it's something short, and from him it would usually be something like this:
- what did you eat for dinner. (he likes to know what we eat for dinner)
- have you seen my key? (he loses his keys a lot)
- have you seen my work pass? (he loses his work pass a lot)
- are the kids home? (he likes to know if the kids are home)
Occasionally he sends me info about marathons he wants to sign up for and for me to sign up if I was interested. During one of those exchanges, he must have asked me if I was interested in participating in the National Vertical Marathon under the Lover's Challenge category. Perhaps the category "Lover's Challenge" bowled me over so much I missed out the word "vertical". Anyhoos I said yes and he signed us up. That must have been months ago.

Over a month ago, he reminded me that we had signed up for the National Vertical Marathon which was on Sunday, 24th May 2015. WE HAVE TO CLIMB 63 STOREYS, JANE.

I was like...are you f#&king kidding me? Are you f@%king kidding me? ARE YOU F*#KING KIDDING ME?

He wasn't f@%king kidding me.

I can't climb 63 storeys. I can, at most climb 16 storeys twice. Then I need to lie down and sleep for 4 hours. We practiced once. We climbed to the top of my block which was 16 storeys, took the lift down and climbed up again. That was it. Then I became engrossed in my tennis elbow which I wrote at great length about in my previous post here. Anyway with my tennis elbow in the way, I immediately forgot about the vertical marathon I had to climb.

Then I got better and before I knew it, the day of the National Vertical Marathon arrived. Hubs said not to worry about anything and just climb the stairs. Well, the night before I kinda worried about almost every single scenario - like what if I had trouble breathing, what if I had height phobia, what if I fainted, what if my ears got blocked?

I came very close to backing out. I asked hubs how he would take it if I were to back out. He said he would be very, very angry. Now, I'm not afraid of hubs. But he is such a nagger. Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag. He is capable of nagging about one topic for years. So I wisely did not back out.

One good thing about a vertical marathon is you don't have to start at a stupid time like 6am. Participants do it in batches spread throughout the morning. Our registration time was after 9am.

The building we have to climb is one Raffles Place.

I wanted to see how high 63 storeys is. It is very, very high.

I had my race bib and there was the START line. It was happening.

Just to give you an idea, majority of the participants were several decades younger than us. I was thinking: crap, everyone's going to sprint past us.

There were 2 different stairs - one for Lover's challenge and another for the others. We were told that when we crossed the finishing line, we had to hold hands.

One of my readers, Sandra wanted to know what a vertical marathon is. First of all, it does not involve scaling of walls. We don't need any rock climbing skills. All we do is climb stairs. Regular stairs. And we keep climbing until we reach the roof. That's it. You can run up the stairs if you have the ability. If not, just do it one step at a time. To overtake, you have to do it via the side closest to the wall.

So, yep. This is basically it. Climbing the stairs. My strategy was to walk, not run, one step at a time. Also, I carried a bottle of water so I could sip water as I went. That really helped me a lot. My other strategy was not to stop for more than a few seconds. And that's what I did. Just kept going and going. Along the way, some people stopped. Some people who sprinted past us, we managed to overtake later on. (they ran out of steam)

The first 20 floors was strangely hard because the air was quite thin and I felt claustrophobic. But after 20 floors, I got used to it and it became easier.

Hubs had a ball. He has done vertical marathons before and he's a fitness maniac so it was leisurely for him. He walked behind me throughout, taking photos.

He sweated a lot though, much more than me. Along the way, there were people stationed to cheer us on. Some of the cheerleaders were "eating snake" (skiving). Many of the cheerleaders lied. They kept saying: you're halfway there (I was 1/3). Or: almost there. Or 13 more floors (it was 15 more).

Finally we reached the roof and I was expecting a rousing cheer or something. It was more of a : this way please. And I wished I hadn't worn hubs' shorts. I'm just realising how big my butt looks in it. And do excuse the auntie fanny pack.

And that's my winning walk. Walking with legs feeling like jelly. And we forgot to hold hands!

My first vertical marathon. I felt really good.

We had our photo taken for free and here it is, scanned in.
Originally I wanted to photoshop the colour of my face but I decided to let it be. You see, when I exercise, my entire face turns RED. Not the healthy, pink of health red. It's more like the 'what the hell happened to you' kind of red.

My official timing: 30 mins 34secs.

Australian Suzanne Walsham won the marathon with a time of 9 minutes and 55 seconds. I think she must have flown up to the roof. Demmit. I should have worn my winged Adidas.


Sandra :) said...

You forgot to hold hands at the end - you have to go do it again, Jane and hubby, LOL!

Well I had no idea that a vertical marathon is stairs, but it makes sense - and I would only have participated if I actually DID have winged Adidas, lol. Congratulations on finishing in 30 minutes - that seems quite fast to me! Perhaps Suzanne DID actually have winged Adidas, lol!

Will you do it again next year?

P.S. Your butt doesn't look big in those shorts :)

Linda said...

Good for you! I would probably have complained all the way up! My family still jokes about an incident almost 20 years ago while climbing Stone Mountain in Georgia. ( It's more of a very big hill.)I was at the tail end of the group, which included my sister and her four children and me with my three. I ended up " herding" seven children up the mountain. I was furious by the time and by the time we created the top I was red faced and out of breath. I shouted out at the adults who were standing calmly enjoying the view, " I can't believe you did this to me!!!" To this day they use that phrase to tease me.

Chris H said...

I think it's amazing that you did it! That is a lot of staris, did you count them???
I would have... if I had done it. And that is never going to happen! I can't imagine even doing 16 stories of stairs.
My face goes BEETROOT red, much worse than yours.

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