Monday, January 9, 2012

Multi-Purpose Insurance Run 2012 – 12km

Date: 8 January 2012

Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Distance: 12km (Garmin: 11.52km)

Timing: 57:25 (Gun); 57:20 (Chip); 57:21 (Garmin)

Pace: 4:58 min/km (Garmin)

Result: 4th (Women’s Veteran) (results here) (all results here)


I think this probably ranks up there for one of the best and most enjoyable run. I ran with Michelle and Brittany for most of the run – we were trading horses most of the way – and without whom I doubt I would have finished as well as I did. Michelle definitely gave me that extra push to finish strong (my weakest link – yeah, how ironic on the choice of adjectives here!).

This was a large loop of our usual training ground – Double Hills – although for the event, the route was in the reverse. Hence Lebuhraya Mahameru came first. The women were flagged off 10 minutes before the guys – insufficient, in my-tongue-in-cheek-opinion because the lead runners (and a lot of the middle of packs) still pass me! My ego and self esteem is bruised! Organisers take note!!! LOL!

Think of the route as one washing cycle in a washing machine: up, up, down, flat, up, up, down etc.

First 500-800m: Hill climb heading out of Padang Merbuk. Great. Awesome. Nothing like a heaving puffing head start eh?

Km2-3: Lebuhraya Mahameru and climb going into Bukit Tunku. I just adore hate tolerate climbs.

Km4: Downhill. Time to fly!

Mind: Eh, not so fast that you gobsmack into the tarmac. Plastic and reconstructive surgery is expensive and not covered by your insurance.

Km5-6: Long flattish stretch along the never ending Jalan Bukit Tunku. Timing mat.

Mind: Odd, is that Bee Hoon ahead? Can’t be…she’s fast. Oh never mind, better put one foot in front of the other. The faster we wrap this up, the better it is.

We kept Bee Hoon in sight and soon we passed Pei Leng.

Km7-8: Up the slope near the apartment and bridge before wheezing down towards Bank Negara. We saw Kelvin on the way down and Michelle gave him a pat on the butt which prompted a rapturous exchange from him urging me to overtake and slap her in return! Hilarious. Right turn after that (instead of our usual left turn towards Jalan Parlimen).

Km9: The 6km and 12km merged and when I saw the “km9” distance marker

Mind: Fark! Only 9km???!!! Fark! I’m almost dead and I don’t think I can survive 3 more. Why didn’t I sign up for the 6km? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Look what you got yourself into…trying to be a hero.

Km10-11: Climb. Climb. Climb heading towards hill number 2 at Carcosa. Horrible. I felt so slow and almost unmoving. I spotted KahWai and Jeff here playing photographers. Appreciate the effort guys! Especially KahWai who was leaping and running up trying to snap my dreadful-about-to-murder-someone look.

Let me tell you this…Jeff survived because all my energy was directed to my legs (not that it did any good since I was probably only moving an inch per minute). Yes, I so wanted to whack him on the head when he said: go go go or the Chinese equivalent (“kah yau” or the literal translation, “add oil”).

p/s: Jeff, if you’re reading this, you know I won’t do it. It was a rash irrational thinking at that time. Wait, I’m irrational 99.99999999% of the time. Does that mean you don’t want to be friends with me now?

Rest: Downhill – wee! Taking cue from Michelle who was powering the home stretch.

Pros:

a) Well organized event by Runners Malaysia. Kudos to Mr Wan, Jamie and Jue.

b) Well stocked hydration stations before, during (3 for the 12km and 1 for the 6km) and after run.

c) Rela patrols for the Bukit Aman and Lake Gardens car parks – this is taking a cue from the Bareno Run and I’m sure everyone was very appreciative of this well-thought out plan.

d) Jue is, undoubtedly, one of the better event emcees; her voice/instructions were clear and loud.

e) “Useable” (or maybe “edible”!) items in the swag (cereals, crisps – not sure how appropriate since they aren’t exactly the nutritionist’s food choice) and generous prizes.



f) Pat on the back for the volunteers and road marshals.

g) Preliminary results available within 24 hours.

Cons:

a) The space around Padang Merbuk felt a bit inadequate (?) to host this event or at least the organizers could have opened or used some portions of the field (not sure if this is allowed by the local council lest the field gets trampled on/unusable for games). Once you cross the finishing chute, you’re ushered to collect your medal and breakfast goodie bag. No biggie here. Unfortunately, the stage area, sponsors’ booths (New Balance), Secretariat, Nestle, Milo and 100Plus trucks, High5 and baggage deposit came right after one another – things can and did get a bit congested when you’ve runners coming in and those queuing up for the various items. Since 2 roads were “cordoned off” for runners coming in, there was really only 1 road (I think) for everyone to mingle – hence it can get claustrophobic.

See the vast expanse of the field...

 
b) The prize presentation is another area that could have been better managed. There were some gaffes with the 6km Men’s Open with names, positions wrongly announced vs the runners being ushered to collect their prizes (believe this arose due to the DQ of the 8th placing runner). Apart from that I found it disconcerting to have Mr Wan counting off the prize winners lined up on the stage before they started the prize giving for the various categories – a better way would be to have them all ready at the side of the stage area. Not sure if this left an “amateurish” impression on the sponsors/those giving out the prizes.

Here's the group pic of the "controversial" (?) 6km Men's Open

c) This is not a runner’s gripe but something I think the sponsors would have appreciated. I didn’t find the visibility or the contributions from the sponsors as prominent as it was during the last 2 Malakoff events I attended. There is always a fine line between having the sponsors’ name droning on and on and having that much more attention. For example, how many of you would have thought or knew that Alliance Bank was one of the sponsors? I certainly didn’t until I saw their logo on the backdrop at the stage.
d) The UGLY: indiscriminate parking along roads leading to Bukit Aman including on the road “island”. Common Malaysian trait and it’s nothing to be proud of. Walking that bit further (since you’re already running even longer) isn’t going to kill you (oh really, it might?!?!?!). Alternatively, you could have taken the LRT (oh, I’m sorry that slipped your mind). So yeah, I’m unapologetic for those whose were issued summons by the police (hey, I gathered from the traffic police – nice guy BTW – that the CPO issued the directive since he couldn’t enter the Police HQ) or those whose cars were towed away (I was there when the DBKL truck attempted to pass, failing naturally) or whose side mirrors were smashed.

e) Distance markers. Not sure if there were any or consistent because I only remember seeing 2: km9 and oddly later, km5 (probably for the 6km…which meant the 12km-ers had another one to go). Anyone else remember?

Photo log (photo credits to Vincent Khor, Lian Bee Hoon):

Love this pic...yeah, showing off my bod in a public forum; trying to entice unsuspecting impressionable toy boy etc...but I still love it! Thank you Michael!



And this one - ignore the agony on the face and just focus on the abs!!!




With Bee Hoon.



1 comment:

gracie said...

Hey just found your awesome blog! Now that I've finished drooling over your abs, I can say Congrats on your 4th placing!