Date: 8 May 2011
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distance: 7km (Vincent’s? Garmin: 7.56km)
Timing: 37:31 minutes or 4:57 min/km pace (my Garmin “died-ed”)
Result: 9th placing
I am going to get this out of the way: Miss E4163 – could you please exercise some courtesy??? Barging and elbowing your way to the front and hi-fiving the mascot is not ON! Unless you’re gunning for a podium finish and/or keep speed with the likes of Susan Khoo, Lian Bee Hoon, Agness Tee etc, could I suggest you line up where you guess your average pace and finishing will be? The mascot? I can guarantee that he will still be there when you finish; in fact he might be among the last to leave the event or may even have to help pack up or clean up. Oh yeah, apart from the elbow to my ribs, you stepped rather forcefully on my VFF-shod toes – mind you, that’s only 2 mm of protection I have against your pounding.
I knew I was in trouble 100m into the race because all I wanted to do was pull over to the side and curl into a ball. The right shin ligament was tugging at me and did not seem to let up – I was in 2 minds about doing the race even up to the moment I left. On the one hand, I felt much better after Mr Soon ironed the kinks out of them the previous evening and on another, it was in a “healing” stage and definitely not race conditioned. Wokie, decision made: line up mid way, run slow, don’t push it but 100m on, my ligament shin and heart flew away.
Darn it! Forward or to the side? Make up your mind before heading mid way and deciding to quit then because by then going forward = heading back!
The first 3km was pure hill climbs and there were a few moments I lost my stride. I was keeping pace with the girl who eventually finished after me and some of the firefighters; the first km was the toughest since I was accelerating from zero to 5min/km or something. The heartbeat calmed down in the next two. KM4 and 5 were getting out of Bukit Tunku – rolling downhills to Lebuhraya Mahameru. Part of KM5 and KM6 was the turnoff to Jalan Parlimen and this was where the Garmin “died-ed”. It was also around here that another girl in the event tee pushed ahead of me.
Ronnie spotted us at the traffic lights to Lake Gardens and shouted for me to overtake her and that I only had 1km to go. Oh boy, I wish I could too! Believe me, I so wanted to but my ligament shin was so wasted and threatened to buckle. I really did want to walk, just let me walk. Anyway, I kept Miss Event Tee in check with a 20m gap and soon the girl whom I was pacing earlier slowed down at the turnoff to Dataran Merdeka; we overtook her. I had no illusions of overtaking Miss Event Tee even after Ronnie’s shout out given the precarious shin ligament and was content to follow along.
Oh wow…I made it onto the top 10! Wow…oh wow! Plus point – discovered after the fact – my average pace was a tad under 5min/km. Joy, joy, joy to the world! Susan came in first followed by Bee Hoon.
The field for the event was very deep, for every category on offer: Peter, Shaharuddin, Arulthelva, Ramakrishnan, Casey, Amelia, Amutha, Susan, Bee Hoon and outstation runners. I guess it was due to the lack of events this weekend and the attraction of the cash prize – RM1,000 for the winner in the Open categories and RM750 for the rest.
a) Fairly well organized.
b) El-cheapo registration – hey, it’s RM20 and Dannie and Carrie even receive a RM10 refund because they ran out of the event tee. Now…I must ask Kei Ming about my tee.
c) Sufficient hydration stations – there was one mid route and of course at the finishing, they gave out 500ml bottles. Note to other organizers: Let us not try to skimp by handing out paper cups because I would have to stand there for the next 15-20 minutes taking my fill of H2O. Paper cups mid route are fine and are even encouraged since I doubt anyone would need an entire bottle.
d) Cash prizes! Enough said! I am so over product vouchers and there’s just so much Nike, New Balance and Mizuno tees and shoes you can buy…even for your extended family or for Xmas or birthdays. Can I also add that they were very generous? RM100 for a half-baked 9th placing.
a) Typical Malaysian race traffic control or rather lack thereof notwithstanding that the route was through the least traffic bound KL roads. But kudos for closing off Jalan Parlimen and having traffic police (not race marshals or Rela – motorists have scant regard for them) man the intersections.
b) No distance markers – are you surprised? Then again, may not be necessary for the regulars whose playgrounds are these very roads though I can’t say the same for outstation runners. Ahh…but if they’re regulars to KL races, they would be most “intimately” familiar with the route – practically all races starting from Dataran Merdeka wounds around the same route.
c) Uber boring magic show and it was sweltering by 8:30 am. I doubt anyone was paying attention and most prize winners, while shaded under the blistering sun (pity the rest who were shoo-ed off and had to sit in the middle of the field) were getting agitated and restless. Let us just get the show over and done with.
d) Medic tent was nonexistent or maybe my eyes weren’t sharp enough? I was hobbling after crossing the line and needed some ice for the ligament; the Gods must have been smiling on me because the first firefighter I approached had a spray and ice – totally random and lucky shot.