It was one of those inexpensive (read cheapo) short runs that comes about now and again. Hey where can you find registration fees for runs at RM10??? Naturally you can’t expect a tee or a goodie for that kind of price; then again why would I want another tee or the various promotional leaflets?
While billed as a 7km run, the actual distance (measured on my FR405) was 7.563km which tallies (give and take) with the 7.55km registered on another run’s Garmin. The earlier number of 7.4km posted on Ronnie’s blog prior to the run probably didn’t account for the finishing bit which we had to run on the field – yeah a senseless move by the FTAAA.
Since the kick off and finishing was at Dataran Merdeka, it was inevitable that we had to run through some of the dreaded hills and upslopes at Bank Negara (BNM) and Bukit Tunku. In fact, I gave up counting after the first upslope at BNM.
Surprisingly there were no speeches and the gun actually went off on time (ok, maybe slightly earlier than 730 am). Customarily the first km is marked by overenthusiastic leisure runners running as hard and fast as they could. I could watch and think in amusement because in no time, they will tire out and start walking. This happened quite quickly since the first upslope was right behind BNM.
I plodded along as I normally do but yesterday was the first time I wanted to strangle a fellow runner! I mean the guy (bib B1085 – yeah I committed this to memory!) has zero running etiquette – now I don’t know about you but unless I want to pass someone, I generally keep to the side of the road. Hell no, this guy was running alongside me and when I wanted to push ahead, he moved into my path from the right. So I did the next best thing, I move to his right just so he could have the left hand side to himself but no, no, no it won’t do and he cut across in front of me. Golly, I could forgive some sort of competitive streak if he was running in the same category as me but HE was registered for the Men’s Veteran category!!!!!!!!!!! I only managed to shake him off after the third km.
Since this was a small event and notwithstanding the organizer being City Hall, there was only partial road closures. I had to dash across the road after coming out from Bukit Tunku onto the highway leading back to Dataran Merdeka – normally the traffic police would wave me through but not yesterday and since I was gunning for time, I followed another lady who was in my category and ran right across.
The last 1.5km was pretty exciting as there were three of us (in my category) challenging each other since only the top five runners in each category are given hampers (more about this later). I was strong going up the upslope leading to the Lake Gardens and managed to pass one lady only to have her overtaking me at the flattish Jalan Parlimen. Then on, it was a fight between her and another lady. I tried to up my pace but at this stage, I was pretty tired and I felt my heart bursting. I also spotted Tobi who was doing his LSD training (that’s long slow distance) along this stretch but as I was incapable of anything other than breathing and panting hard like a dog, did not manage to shout out to him.
I tried to up the ante at the turning into Dataran Merdeka only to find out that we had to continue running into the field to finish off. Apparently Kei Ming also discovered this to his horror. I mean why would you arrange the ending point in the field except for the FTAAA’s convenience? Was it not possible to segregate the runners into the various categories and time them as they come in – similar to how the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2009 and Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010 were set up?
So it was a sixth placing for me with a time of 39:13 minutes (officially 39:10 minutes) missing the hamper prize by one spot. Oh well, nothing lost since this was my fastest timing to date (added to that, the somewhat hilly route) and the Milo & Power hampers were nothing to shout about – Milo sponsored umbrellas, sport towels, shoe bag, Power school shoes and unnumbered position medals. The field must have been fairly deep and competitive because I felt I was running faster than at any other time and yet remain out of medal contention.
There was not much of a carnival at the end point – just a few stalls providing water, 100 Plus, Milo and Nestle breakfast cereals. Hey, bear in mind the registration fee.