I chose the Penang Bridge marathon to be my first because Penang is my hometown and should any untoward incident (touch wood) occurred during the run, at least I'm just a few stones throw away from home. Also the event was scheduled towards the end of the year, which gives me more than enough time to prepare for it.
From the marathoner's feedback last year, the refreshment stations ran dry towards the later part of the race. It's something that needs serious thought when you are attempting this great feat. I was looking for a solution from the net when I stumbled upon the Thunderbolt. I first looked up for the more popular fuelbelt but unfortunately it wasn't available locally. While surfing the Triathlon Malaysia website, I came across an advert from quick-sport which is the local distributor for Ultimate Direction's hydration belts. I selected the 3-bottled Thunderbolt which has three 20oz bottles, a 4oz bottle and a small pocket. Although it is more expensive and bulkier than the 2-bottled Blaze, I knew I could always remove some of the bottles if not in use. It costs RM165 for the Thunderbolt while the Blaze was selling at RM125. For a reasonable shipping cost, I placed the order online and wired the money. To my liking, I got instantaneous response from the seller and had a very good impression of him. Not surprisingly, I got my order within 2 days of making the payment, which was great! The item was carefully packaged and arrived in excellent condition. Thumbs up to the seller for the excellent service and prompt delivery.
Apart from some minor adjustments required to the Velcro waist belt, the product is quite satisfactory overall. I have been using it for a few months now during my weekend long runs and have no major complaints. Of course, it needs a bit getting used to as you suddenly feel extra weight on your hips while running. As long as you snug it tightly to your waist and not leave it hanging, you won't feel much bouncing sensation.
I always hear advise from the elites on not trying anything new during the race event. So it is wise to experiment during trainings or long runs. As this is going to be my first-ever full marathon, I'll be glad to complete it within the 6 hours stipulated time frame. Any sooner will be a bonus to me. Happy running!