Monday, February 8, 2010

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010

Another run in the pocket. It was a fast and furious pace at the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010 (PNM 2010) on Saturday night given the short distance (7.7 km) and the “relatively” flat route (vis-à-vis the humdrum of Bukit Tunku and Damansara Heights). I am pretty pleased with my results – 8th placing in the Women’s Open with a timing of 40:32 minutes (40:36 minutes on my Garmin since I stopped it much later). So that tallies up to an average speed of 5:17 min/km – this should be my second fastest speed since I started using the Garmin – the only other faster timing was clocked during the KDU-Makna event in November 2009.

I was in two minds about making the trip to Putrajaya for a number of reasons: firstly, it was my virgin trip driving by myself there; secondly, the horror stories I heard from everyone about the humidity of the place who ran the Men’s Health/Shape Run 2009; thirdly, the snail pace traffic on the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (yes, even at 6:30 pm on Saturday for god’s sake!). But hey, I arrived early, safe and sound. In fact as a bonus, parking spaces were aplenty despite having only arriving at 7:30 pm. I guess the only downsides were the long journey and the toll charges of RM3.20/one way.

The full and half marathon were flagged off at 8 and 8:30 pm respectively. The 7.7 km and 5 km started 30 and 40 minutes later. For a Malaysian-organized race, the PNM 2010 was good. Some of the positives:
(a) the flag-offs were on time
(b) parking spaces were aplenty
(c) scattered mobile loos – very short queuing time!
(d) more than sufficient drink stations – there were two even for the short distance ones like the 7.7 km
(e) I heard they provided both water and 100 Plus-es at these stations
(f) courier services for race pack
(g) the end point was not too messy or maybe it was because I came in early but my colleague Shan was telling me things were still sorted out and organized when she came in (slightly after 2.5 hours for the 21km). This was unlike the scene at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009.
(h) separate lanes for the 42km, 21km, 7.7km and 5 km and sub lanes for genders

I enjoyed the run since it was my first race in Putrajaya, the flattish route and the wide-open spaces given the road closures. Putrajaya can be very pretty at night when the buildings are lighted up. I especially appreciated the cheer from a Caucasian guy who shouted “C’mon people, just a little bit more to go” at the 6km mark as he ran past me as well as the encouragement from some Malay girls at the last 400m stretch. I really needed those boosts.

I got home just before 1230 am after having to wait for the cash prize (it was RM100) and had a quick shower before having a bite. I managed two black sesame seed puff (thank goodness I had the mind to buy a few more earlier in the morning) before climbing into bed. Unfortunately my mind was still buzzing and I only dozed off at 3 am.

Sleep was fitful given the adrenalin rush and I got up when the alarm went off at 7:15 am. I was debating whether to head to the gym after the previous night’s run and lack of shut eye – I eventually did since sleep proved elusive but made a note to myself to take it easy.
There hasn’t been any major aches or muscle soreness so far – probably due to the short distance, relatively flat route and my body’s adaptation to regular runs. There’s some niggle on the shins this morning but this is manageable.

Photo credits to various sources (these guys actually spend their time and $ doing public service! my heartfelt thanks)

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