Date: 20 November 2011
Venue: Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: 7.7km (Garmin: 7.35km)
Timing: 35:56 (Garmin: 35:49)
Pace: 4:52 min/km (Garmin)
Ok, you guys probably heard about the kindergarten antics, tantrums and brickbats leveled at me prior to the run (and on FB after that). Whatever.
This was a small local neighbourhood run which I first did in 2008 and after a lapse of 2 years, it was back. I can’t remember the previous route but don’t think it was the same. Then again, it’s basically a run around the Bandar Puteri Puchong neighbourhood. This was an out-and-back course – not much of an out-and-back except at km3, the rest was a loop around the neighbourhood. As the prizes were very generous, there were a handful of African runners (only guys; surprise surprise since the last round, there were a few ladies who dominated the podium) as well as lassies like Yuan Yufang. There have been some stories circulating among the running community about her but I refused to indulge – so no comments from me.
The start was very crowded and I end up towards row 10 with Rich Chai, CK and Ricky for company. I asked CK on his pace and expected finish hoping to perhaps follow or draft him. We settle on a 5 min/km pace or around 35 minutes. No different from any other event, the first 200m was spent dodging and playing American football . After this, things petered out; then again with the first hill climb after this…it should! Rich powered up that upslope and left us. This portion was a steady hill climb, probably not my ideal since it takes me a while to warm up. Then again, I was passing a few people e.g. Jennifer (nice to have met you!).
A long stretch of road with another steady incline – probably the longest stretch. This was also where we saw the race leaders on the opposite side. I saw Yufang neck-in-neck with Sheila here and kept wishing for the turnaround to come sooner because then I “will be rewarded with the downhills”!
This was through the main road of the neighbourhood and I spotted Mich upfront. Not that I could ever hope to match her pace but it was good to have someone to pace off (if I don’t kill myself first!). There was a slight climb at the Columbia Hospital which I remembered from 2008!
Flattish route through the shoplots around Puteri Avenue to the finishing point. Flattish which meant I had to push the pace or a reasonable person would be expected to…without having your heart fall out!
c) Plentiful of parking around the area.
d) Easy and quick race bib collection at IOI Mall.
e) One hydration station mid-way and plenty of water and Gatorade at the end – they gave up 500ml bottles of the former and included a can of the latter in the goodie bag in addition to having a truck serving them.
a) Post-run traffic flow management needs serious improvement! There wasn’t an organized system for water or goodie bag – you had to queue up twice. I was lucky to come in early and had no problem getting both but the lines for both queues were snaking all the way a bit later on.
b) There wasn’t the usual ribbon check point and a lot of seasoned runners felt that there were numerous loopholes if someone wanted to cheat (yes, as noble as running is, there are black sheeps). There were, of course, officials on the course to record your number but as things go, it can get complicated when you’ve a bunch of runners running towards you. And you better be sure, he wasn’t cocked eye either. There wasn’t any placing card at the end either – gain, you’re relying on their eye, hand and hearing coordination (the last one being listening to their partner calling out the number).
c) I didn’t like the way Mich and I were “chased” out from the tent during the prize presentation; apparently the chairs and area was reserved for VVIPs and VIPs. Look, I’ve no issue giving up the seat if there were indeed VVIPs needing a place but there was hardly any around and only the first row was occupied. I also felt oft-putted by the manner we were told to vacate our seats.