Friday, September 16, 2011

Tourism Taiping Heritage Run 2011 (10km)

Date: 11 September 2011

Venue: Padang Esplanade, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.75km)

Timing: 47:11 (Garmin)

Pace: 4:50 min/km

Result: 4th (Women’s Open)

Website: Here

This was a local race put up by the Hash Harriers of Larut Matang in conjunction with the Tourism Ministry and local council and second year running (my first though). Overall, it was a well organized event and with the spread of the word through some KL runners’ blogs and the added online registration via The Marathon Shop, there was a good showing on Sunday. Many runners from KL, Penang and naturally Ipoh came and I spotted a few Singapore runners as well. There were also a handful of African-descent runners – probably due to the cash prize incentive.

Taiping is not known as the wettest town in Malaysia for nothing…which I found out to my chargin since it rained from the start to the end of the event. The half-mary started just after 6 while the 10km-ers were let loose at 6:45 am. 5 minutes ahead of schedule! Bah! Not that it would have made any difference. I was super surprised to spot Bee Hoon among the crowd since I thought she might have gone for the half-mary.

There was the usual crowding at the start line but given the small number of runners, it petered out by 100m. This section was around the park/lake and it was dark – the city council needs to get their act together on lighting up the place! The race leaders took off at the word “go” and were 400 meters ahead before the first km. I was chugging along when the fifth placed girl overtook me going into the second km and I was happy to trail along like a bunny.

Start point

Look at those balloons


We were still in the park and it was STILL DARK (the overcast sky and light drizzle didn’t help). The first hydration station and ribbon check point (different points) came up before km3 and after that we headed out from the park.


From the park, it was through the street passing the Taiping prison and the second hydration station and ribbon check point (yeah, old school style; no timing chips and none expected for a small local race). It was bright by now (sky still over cast and drizzle never ending) and I continue to trail bunny girl but I was starting to hurt. Oh h***, which race didn’t hurt?!


Going into the town center and the distance between bunny girl and I narrowed and it was painful. Like really lungs and legs falling out painful. Ok, this timing may be chicken feed to most of you but it’s probably my fastest pace to date. The third and final hydration point came at km8 and while bunny girl took a swig, somehow I managed to pass her. No, not being sarky here – I didn’t intend to overtake her and was more or less contented to keep pace (and not die!). I was all expecting bunny girl to catch up and head to the finish line but she didn’t and I didn’t dare look back either. All I wanted at that point was to be done although with about 50 meters to go, I heard one of her supporters cheering her on and telling her, there was only one person (aka me) in front. Now with that kinda impetus, you can’t blame me for turbo-ing ahead into the finishing chute, can you?

Running thru town

The last 2 km was through the main street of Taiping (Jalan Kota) before we finish at Padang Esplanade. It’s not an out-and-back course per say since we basically ran a loop around Taiping and it almost pancake flat.


a) Well organized for a local race.

b) Kudos to the many volunteers at the hydration stations, ribbon check points, start/end points, manning the intersections. Not only did you guys do fabulously and in the rain to boot!

In their ponchos
c) No shortage of hydration stations.

d) Plenty of post-run breakfast choices – fried beehoon, cendol, hard boiled eggs (really!), bread, curry puffs (missed out on this coz I was late and it ran out by the time I found out), local Chinese pastry, biscuits (Tay Poh Chye got this), bananas and watermelons.

e) Well thought out traffic management system at end point – run through the finishing chute, get your place card, medal, goodie bag and you’re free to roam the field, visit the sponsors’ booths or head for breakfast.

The field at the finishing point

f) Nice and solid (read: heavy) finisher’s medal.

g) Distance markers – for the life of me, I can’t remember how far apart they were, just not every km, think I saw the 4 and 6?


a) Can I say rain? Even though the weather is beyond the control of the organizers? Then again, perhaps they can take a que from the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run by preparing for inclement weather? After all, this is Taiping we’re talking about! Poncho wearing run, anyone? Ooohhh don’t forget the muddy fields and lack of planks. All this doesn’t detract from a well put up event.

b) Inexperienced emcee and it became very draggy; especially since the run started early and most of us were chilly (from the sweat and rain) and the prize presentation didn’t start till 10 am.


c) Cotton tee – this is something I’m indifferent about since I don’t use or wear event tees. Someone did say that cotton tees can make a big change from the run-of-the-mill technical tees that are handed out every time. Er but this cotton tee...could do with some design help though.

Photo log:


Prize $$$ and trophy

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