Four days ago, I battled the 90Km East to West Qatar Ultramarathon in 9hr 7 min chopping 3hr-ishfrom 12:32 min previous time. Before I stepped my foot out, I looked at the mirror and told myself…I believe in you, just run how you feel and you got this.!
Armed with goodluck messages, two legs, mindset and heart on fire, I was ready to throw my ass out there and unleash the beast inside.
The race started at 5am and the energy was too high. Everyone are excited, mixed emotions. Questions of what’s your goal time? How will you run without any support? You’ll do the entire 90K solo? Really? All was answered by just a smile. I was already feeling butterflies in my stomach. Told myself to calm down because no more time going to toilet if in case. That startline anxiety attacked!
This was my 3rd time running this incredible challenge, so a lot of lessons learned from previous years, hydration and essentials to carry. The weather was perfect for me. Started slow, increased the pace gradually and maintained the momentum until I reach 42km (full marathon distance). The plan was not to stop at any stations or if so at least not longer than 3 minutes, just picked up some stuffs needed and off!
At 70km mark, I felt cramps in both legs and that was where the drama started. Self talks, teardrops, questioning life, every part of me was hurting and even peed on pants literally while on the move. I didn’t care at all. I walked for few meters, continued self talking, mantras of “keep going, kick your ass, I am a pocket rocket, you got this!, you just need 2 more loops of 10km and you’re done! Mind can be so tricky sometimes, can be your best cheerer or your killer.
I ran my very best because I was running out of love for this sports, out of expressing myself – not out of fear, or with a chip on my shoulder or with failure hanging out as dark cloud overhead. It was more than a competition amongst others. I was competing against my own battle inside and I got this! Be the first to pick yourself up when you hit rock bottom because no one will. Everyone are busy trying to figure out how they can survive their own race, their own battles.
Got the podium First Place in Women’s category.
THE BATTLE AND VICTORY DIDN’T END THERE
I personally joined the race with a full trust and belief that the spirit of Sports For All is applied.
Regardless of nationality, age and gender.
Prior to the above event taking place, it was announced that prize money would be awarded to the top three finishers in both the Male and Female categories. This was the agreement reached between the event organisers – Qatar Ultra Runners (QUR) – and the event sponsors – Qatar Sports For All (QSFA). It was agreed that the podium ceremony and cheque presentations would take place upon the third female crossing the finish line as stated on the race information given.
Approximately two hours prior to this happening, QSFA called QUR and stated that they had reversed their decision and all the prize money would now go to the top three male prize winners only. No representative from QSFA stayed at the finish line to inform the women of this decision reversal and instead left this task to the event organisers.
The pain I had physically had been tripled upon hearing the decision. I wanted to cry hard and kick someone’s ass literally!
Not because I’ll beg for that prize money! But the feeling of WE’VE BEEN FOOLED was a shit!!!!!
I may not be an international, influential, elite or professional runner but I know how it feels when your dignity and pride as a woman, as an individual, as a person has taken away from you.!!