Date: 26 November 2011
Venue: Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distance: 5km (Garmin: 5.35km)
Timing: 26:00 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:51 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 10th (Women’s Open)
Small local race but generously sponsored and “prized” (is that a word?) by Angkasa. Duh! It’s probably from the moolah from all the personal loans granted to the co-op members. Wait, we shouldn’t be talking bad about this since we did sign up, run and collected the prize moolah. I digress.
It was a short out-and-back loop from Taman Tasik Permaisuri and started about 7:40 am, 10 minutes later than scheduled. Any later than that, we would have been fried by the sun.
• Crowded until after 500m and there wasn’t much weaving I could do.
• Was pushed at the start by this Aunty-in-the Purple-Tudung (I had the mind to tell her off after the race but I couldn’t find her; obviously the pushing didn’t help with shaving time off). Note: Zero issue with Islamic headscarves – it’s a personal choice. I’m only describing it here coz the colour was significant and sticks in my mind.
• Nope, couldn’t have moved any further front – it was that crowded. But the company (Mich and Jessica) were awesome.
• Steep uphill along the main road; believe this was the only major climb.
• Passed Chia Ee.
• Glad to have the downhill after km2; why hello there!
• Spotted “KT Wong” and kept his back within sight. You know,
older matured runners are even speedier than the young lads.
• Crap…slight uphill climb to finish. Why do race directors have to be so “cruel”???!!!
a) El-cheapo registration fees. RM10 and you get a tee, finisher’s medal, finisher’s certificate and a nice run.
b) Ever helpful En Zainuddin from Angkasa – from calling to remind me about bib pick up and when the bib was mistakenly trucked to Taman Tasik Permaisuri on Friday when I went to their office, made some calls to the driver to see if he could turn back. Nah, told him I’ll just get it on race day.
c) Race day bib pick up.
d) A lot of family activities after run – saw the set up for games, carnival and fishing competition. Had to leave early coz of a prior appointment.
e) Like I said, generous prizes – top 20 for each category, which probably explains the presence of Shaharuddin and the speedier national runners. Amutha also race – her first race since end-2010; glad to have caught up with her.
a) Rude FTAAA official. I got a dressing down when I enquired if it was possible to collect my prize on another day since I had to leave early. Look I would have hung around if I could. Here’s the exchange:
Me: Excuse me, would it be possible for me to collect the prize money on another day as I need to leave early? Or perhaps now?
FTAAA: No, wait a bit, the results are being finalized and we’ll distribute the prizes after this.
Me: I’m really sorry but I need to leave early.
FTAAA: Then you should not have signed up or raced if you cannot stay back.
How do you respond to this? Where’s the spirit of encouraging people to participate in sports, keep healthy etc if such comments come out from the FTAAA, the state body tasked with supporting and promoting running?
Sure, it was partly my fault for scheduling something on the same morning but if I could help it, I wouldn’t have. I’m more than happy to give back the money if the rules state that finishers must be present in person to collect the prize but not simply because of such comments. The prize makes no difference to me – I don’t race professionally and I still have a day job. Your thoughts?
b) Wave starts should have been implemented – it was way too crowded at the start. There were 500 of us crammed into a single lane road and I had feared falling and getting trampled when I was pushed by Ms Aunty-in-the-Purple- Tudung.
c) Partial road closure – this wasn’t too bad as only 1 portion was on the main road and traffic is lighter on weekends. Plus the intersections were marshaled.
Photo log (ok, just one):