Borneo International Marathon 2014 – Half marathon race report

Borneo International Marathon, an annual event here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah was held on 4th of May 2014. This year, I decided to run their half marathon, the first ever half marathon of my life. Last year I ran 10km event, in which I did in 61 minutes. I decided to run the half marathon just to push myself a little bit more and would like to know how far my body could go.

500m before the finishing line

500m before the finishing line

This time around, I did register my 10 years old son for 10 km event. I knew he could do it, but I just did not know whether he could do it within the cut off time. We did some training runs together around our home, sometimes to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 1, and sometimes around Tanjung Dumpil beach, Putatan. Our home is very nearby those places.

Most of the time, my training runs consist of long slow distance (LSD) running with heart rate around 140bpm. I used Garmin Forerunner 210 with heart rate monitor and following Phil Maffetone’s advice on building my aerobic base at the stated heart rate. Most of the time, the pace was around 9min/km, in which my son was able to follow me.

My longest distance of training was only about 16km. I don’t think I’d ever run more than 20km since my Climbathon last year. Anyway, I am still confident that I could run the half marathon within the cut off time.

Race day came,and a lot of things were out of my control. The race started at 5am in the morning with my heart rate as already at 140bpm! My usual early morning hear rate should be around 70bpm, but maybe because all of those adrenalin and anxiety of a half marathon virgin (HMV) made my heart rate double even before the race started!

There were a lot of people. A LOT! Nearly 7000 participant took part in this year’s race. The ambiance was not like last year’s event, when it was rescheduled to August in which maybe half of the numbers as compared to this year.

So, I started to run with all the runners for half marathon from the starting line, with my heart rate rushing at 160bpm! My strategy was to maintain my heart rate, not to exceed 164bpm during the race. With that, my pace was only around 7:30min/km in which was quite slow. But my target was NOT to get muscle cramps at the end of the race and running without any blisters.

I bought High5 energy gel – only 3 packets – to be consume during the run. Hopefully it could fuel me up through the race. I took it at kilometer 6, kilometer 12 and kilometer 18, and drank water and 100Plus at every water station. I knew that hydration is very important and energy gel was even so, to prevent electrolyte imbalance in which can predisposed me to muscle cramps.

Dany Hijazi & Me

My first ever Half Marathon & 10km for Dany Hijazi

The last 3 km I ran all out. I am glad that although the pace reached 5:30min/km, I did not have cramps during the race. I arrived at the finishing line at 2H 40M, 10 minutes off my target time at 2H 30M. Anyway, I am glad that I did not have cramps and blisters – in which was my target for this race.

My son? He actually ran alone with all other runners in School Chlidren category. He was flagged off at 6.15 am in the morning, and reached the finishing line at 8.05 am. Total of 1H 50M. Not bad for a boy his age and a starter. Apart from complaining that his socks were too tight that makes his feet hurts, he is quite fit for the run. He was even happier when he could finish it within the cut off time and received a medal!

Dany crossing the finishing line

Dany crossing the finishing line

So, next year’s BIM, I am going to participate in Full Marathon, 42.195km. Target time: sub-5 hours!!! See you next year!

My Garmin profile for the run.

These are the resources that I used for this event. Phil Maffetone method:

Chi running, for an injury free long distance running:

And Garmin Forerunner 210:

This entry was posted in Running on by .

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)

2 thoughts on “Borneo International Marathon 2014 – Half marathon race report

  1. drizad Post author

    Hi emi,
    YOu can get the energy gel from GNC shop or any running/outdoor/sports related shops around KK. I bought mine from Suria Sabah.

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