Date: 20 March 2011
Venue: Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: 7km (Garmin: 6.13km)
Timing: 30:35 minutes or 4:59 min/km pace
This was a small neighbourhood run around Klang. Yes, I made it there but not before more than a few detours and stopping to ask for directions; I should just give up heading there for runs or anywhere outside of my comfort zone of KL (this is also limited, mind you!) and PJ. There were probably about 300 odd runners with more than 2/3 schoolchildren and I would hazard a guess that 95% were from Klang from the lingo heard around the race site. Nonetheless, the faster runners were there: (Uncle) Tan Wah Sing, Murali, Jasni (?), Susan Khoo, Nur Amelia, Haslina Dollah (?).
On a whole, this was a pretty well organized event by the Klang Executive Club (KEC) with about 6 categories: open, veteran and schoolchildren. The event started about 15 minutes later than the advertised time (Chen Pong Pong must have heaved the biggest relief since he got there at 7:15 am) due to the usual warm up “senamrobik”. The 7km Open categories went out first and the first 100m was pure down slope which of course meant the last 100m would be otherwise since this is an out-and-back course.
I started slow and there were at least 5-6 ladies in front of me but I managed to pick a few of them off towards the end of km1 or into km2, including Haslina. This was a mega surprise for me as Kei Ming had told me that she was fast and I was expecting her to pass me at some point – she did not! Kei Ming, Suresh and Chen Kwok started from the mid section but guys being guys, they overtook me at km1 with Kei Ming giving a shoutout to follow his pace. I am so glad I did not because he dipped below the 4:30 min/km pace mark. Which goes to prove I am not suicidal! LOL! Even Chen Kwok was glad not to tag along.
Route and elevation wise, this was probably the flattest pancake run around the least traffic flow road race you can ever have. Somehow I felt it was so much tougher than last weekend’s runs and the stitch on the last 2km did not help (I definitely slowed down here). From the blare of the gun, it was fatigue and all I wanted was to get the run over and down with (I was more than happy with the 1km discount). This was probably some sort of a delayed onset of fatigue from weeks of continuous races. Mental fatigue that is.
The prizes were limited to the top 3 and I was so glad to come in 5th – I would probably have kicked myself if I came home in 4th (despite all the brohuha of mental fatigue). On the whole, I am not writing this race off because my pace was still under 5 minutes. Now, if only I could hold it for the rest of the way!
Result: 5th placing
a) Relatively well organized.
b) Registration and race bib pick was good and quick. All I had to do was mail in the registration form together with a cheque. They even emailed me the direction map to the club when I called up. Definitely 2 thumbs up!
c) The route was on the peripheral roads of the neighbourhood which on a Sunday morning was relatively clear of traffic and along the closed motorcycle lane along the Klang highway on the back course (probably 10-15% of the route). And there were traffic policemen manning the “busier” intersections (yes, I said my thanks to them for being out there). I even heard one of the KEC trafiic marshal telling a motorist off when the guy attempted to drive through to one of the roads near the club house. Vast difference compared to being a road kill during some bright spark’s idea of running the MEX highway in the Bareno Run 2011.
d) Plentiful parking with guards directing the way. I parked about 50m from the race site – this must have been the closest I have ever parked during a race.
e) Post race grub include 100 Plus, Milo and Gardenia bun. I think there were also curry puffs which I missed. As this was also a fund raising event, there were noodles, coffee, tea and water for sale.
f) For a smallish event, the race carnival was pretty good – well spaced out stalls and/or trucks for sign ups for the KL Towerthon, local college programmes, food, Milo, 100 Plus and Gardenia. I especially like the race start/finish banner and the balloon man.
a) The delayed start had a few of us agitated and I even entertained the idea of an 8 am gun off. It probably worked for Chen Pong Pong but the rest of us have been there since 6 or 6:15 am which of course meant a 5 am wake up if travelling from the other side of town.
b) Zero H2O at the finish point. This is the second time no water was provided at the finish point – the first was during the Larian 1WP 2011. There were 100Plus but that doesn’t jive with my stomach and I wasn’t willing to fork out RM2 for a bottle of mineral water which I think is an essential/given item in a race.
c) Unlit and unpaved parking area. Normally this would not be a problem in daylight but making your way from the car to the club is a major problem at 6:15 am in Vibrams. I stubbed my pinkie toe (yeah, the same one which was healing nicely before this incident) on a rock. I was hobbling for quite a fair bit and wondered if I could even start.
d) Toilets – without doors at the half finished sports court adjacent to the race site???!!! Susan was nice enough to stand in front of the cubicle for me. The alternative was the one in the club next to the race bib collection room but given Malaysians lack of courtesy, someone chose to smoke in there and discard his ciggy butt into the toilet bowl. When will we ever learn? Le sigh.
e) Ok, this is not really the organizer’s “undoing” and falls squarely on individual runners. C’mon guys, I know you want to pace your buddy or run with friends but going 3-abreast is so not the way! And if someone wants to pass you, it is common courtesy to move to the left when someone is coming up. That is why I always turn to my right and back if I am running on the outer lane and once I have passed someone, move to the left. Perhaps the emcee or the organizers could have put in a friendly note either at the race start or in the runner’s guide.
f) Not sure if it was just me but I did not dig the emcee’s voice.
All that has said and done, it was definitely one of the better events.