I finished the 10K version yesterday morning – timing was super sucky because it was an uphill (all the way!) run and I had to stop around 9.3km to check that I was on the right route.
Ok, let us get the rants out of the way and I could then describe the better half of the run. I was royally pissed at the race medic who gave me a puzzled look as though I was on the wrong route and when I shouted for a confirmation, neither she nor any of the marshals manning the water station said anything. Now, I’m not sure about the rest of you but there has been incidences of runners going the extra loop etc (the most recent being the Malakoff Run last month, also organized by Pacesetters) and no way, was I going to do 20km! I spotted a marshal on a bike shortly thereafter and asked if I was on the correct route and he said yes – wasted at least 2-3 minutes slowing down (because if I was on the wrong route, I was going to give up right there and then) and then more time confirming with him.
I found out later that I was not the only one with this problem. Ronnie, Stanley and Kei Ming too had to second-guess which road to take when they came to a few junctions – Richard Habeya was perhaps the only one who was happy with the mess – he spotted a group of runners coming back on the wrong route and happily joined them for the remaining of the race. I found out from Ronnie that Casey did an almost full marathon because of this. Poor fella, especially since he’s one of the potential podium finishers.
Since this was a Pacesetter event, no one should expect anything other than hills and upslopes. Runners would be lucky if they are only saddled with 3 slopes – the Malakoff Run last month was 4 for the 7km and 7 for the 12km. I started the race with a stretched right calf from the previous day’s yoga practice and the run aggravated it – I can’t wear any heels for the moment. I am waiting for the soreness to kick in for the rest (quads, hamstrings, and gluteus); this should set in today since the 2 days after a run (and a tough one) are usually the worst of the lot.
Despite the foul up and the less than forgiving route, I came in at 57:03 minutes, an improvement over my maiden journey on the same route during the Mizuno Wave 2008 of 1:06 hours. Lo behold, the field was fairly light as most of the serious runners were in the 20K and 30K and I ended up in second place. For this effort, I received a trophy (bigger than the puny one from the Malakoff Run) and a New Balance voucher of RM200. Yay!