Date: 6 May 2012
Venue: Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.1km)
Timing: 50:31 (Chip); 50:59 (Garmin – stopped the Garmin way later)
Pace: 5:04 min/km (Garmin)
This is the 5th annual event and a major running event in East Malaysia. The event was organized by the Kinabalu Running Club which took over after the passing of the previous organizer, Andrew Voon (RIP) – this guy more or less single-handedly put up the previous editions. There were the usual 3 categories – 42km, 21km and 10km together with the Fun Run and Special Needs run. Definitely a popular event with runners from neighbouring Sarawak and Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore and of course, West Malaysia.
This was an out-and-back course from Likas Stadium although the 10km started outside the stadium but all categories finish in the stadium. The route is pancake flat – not my favourite; in fact, these are my nemesis – using the same muscles over time tires me out; with hills, I get some recovery time on the push up and wheelie down.
Hung back about 8-9 rows back; Sylvia was about 3 row front. Started slow, really slow. Didn’t want to blow up. Finally caught up with Sylvia around km2 which was where we hit the coastal road.
Gorgeous stretch – coastal road with the sea on your right…if I wasn’t huffing and panting like a mad dog. First hydration station.
Heading into the town or something. Saw lots of shophouses and this was also where we saw the leaders on the return stretch. Loudest crowd support I’ve ever encountered! My heart rate probably shot through the roof! That's not due to the crowd support...more like my feeble attempt to push the pace. And failing miserably naturally.
Back on the coastal road and the same hydration station in the previous km3. The flat route started to take a toll on my hips and I had to slow down…slow down way lot…like a lot. It’s partially the flattish route together with the heavy load that Michael has been putting me through. Yeah, all my own doing – i.e. lack of training and fatigue.
Edging closer to Likas Square and the stadium. I literally collapse at the finishing point – my hips were killing me and more or less locked up. Now guys…tell me what I can do about this? What stretches? What yoga moves? Foam roll?
Finishing point at the stadium - different lanes for the 42km and 21km from the 10km
a) Well organized event – kudos to the Kinabalu Running Club! And to think they were only set up in November last year and had to pick up the ropes quickly when Andrew Voon passed on (RIP).
b) Hydration station every 3km and they had tables on both sides of the road; also at the finishing point although I heard they ran out towards the end and the slower runners were left to grapple with Milo and milk from the sponsor booths. Love that F&N sponsored orange and apple juices as well – I gave mine to Dannie and Carrie since I don’t take any.
c) Fabulous crowd support along the route – super enthusiastic. I don’t think we even had this amount of support in any of the major events in KL minus a few e.g. SCKLM?
d) Online registration and race day bib pick up for out-of-town runners.
e) Shuttle service from various points in the city to the stadium/start-end point.
f) Lovely (and heavy) finisher’s medal.
g) Different start times and slightly different routes for all the categories = no issues with congestion.
h) Despite the partial road closure, the traffic police manned the intersections well and there were no ugly scenes like those we normally see in KL. Think there’s really something about the mentality of the East Malaysian and Bruneians that the KL motorists can take a cue from.
a) A bit of a boo boo with the prize presentation: (1) it took way too long which I gathered was due to mistakes between “Nationality” and “Place of Residence” for the chip timing; (2) so with the cocked up “Nationality” and “Place of Residence”, we were seeing a lot of Caucasian runners awarded for Malaysian runner categories; (3) they definitely had trouble with the timing chips etc because some of the runners tagged as “5th” or “6th” etc were announced as “2nd”, “3rd” etc. Not too sure if and how this will be rectified – there were certainly grouses and complaints among the local runners.
b) No distance markers – this could be a bummer for those without GPS-enabled watches if they need to know their paces, speed up etc. The only “distance marker” was one of the volunteer/crowd support shouting “1.5km to go” towards the end.
Some of the winners
Sponsor booths at finishing