Date: 1 July 2012
Venue: Stadium Petaling Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: 5km (Garmin: 4.90km)
Timing: 22:58 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:41 min/km (Garmin)
Result: Non-competitive event
This was a small event put up by the students of a local college, KDU University College, in aid of the Shelter Home. There were 2 other major running events – Ipoh Half Marathon and Klang Centro Mall Run – taking place the same weekend; guess everyone is trying to get these events out before the start of the fasting month (mid July). As this was put up by the students, a lot of the participants were those from the college (students, tutors, lecturers) and their families.
There were 2 categories offered – 5km and 3km with both starting from the perimeter of Stadium Petaling Jaya (same start point as the PJ Half Marathon) and finishing on the track of the stadium. Both routes were out-and-backs with the 5km-ers flagged off at 7:30am followed by the 3km-ers, 30 minutes later. The route was a pancake flat as you can get since it was around the neighbourhood of the stadium and Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS).
This was a non-competitive event, so there was no timing or place finishers. Sometimes, it’s great to run these events – just going out there and enjoying time with family and friends. I had no intention of racing this, hence the DH run with the gang the previous day; this was going to be a bit of cardio and speed work before joining Michael for a Back & Lats workout. Spoiler ALERT: it turned out to be anything but that!
Non competitive event + no racing = placing yourself deep in the middle of the pack; we started off about on time, ran past the lake onto the road fronting KGNS before turning left into the neighbourhood. The crowd petered out after about 400m. This stretch was pancake flat and I obviously started too fast for my own good! I was surprised to find a few girls in front of me but it was a matter of hanging on and slowly making my way past them. I had an unofficial pacer (guy with blue shoes) running with me for the entire run.
I tried to dial it in a bit and the minor elevations (like really minor) helped and we ran past the PKNS (?) club and field on the right with the MST shop + shophouses on the left before turning right onto the road fronting KGNS. Blue shoe guy and I were running side-by-side.
First major trouble – running headlong onto oncoming runners since this was an out-and-back course; so they directed us to the opposite of the run. Dodge traffic once. Since this was an out-and-back course, we had to run back onto the same side of the road we ran in km1-2. Dodge traffic a second time. BOTH TIMES ON YOUR OWN AND AT YOUR OWN RISK NATURALLY. With about 1.2 km left, blue shoe guy told me that there was one more girl in front and she seems to be slowing down to a jog and all I needed to do was hang on. I probably let out a whimper – remember what happened in km1-2? I started too fast for my own good and this was about to come and haunt me. He pushed ahead and I tried to hang on to his coat tails – this was about 750m to the finish (he told me!) and we passed the girl just before the turning to the lakeside. Hanging on. Or at least attempting to and soon we were back in the stadium.
THANK YOU Mr Blue Shoe Guy! If it was not for you, I wouldn’t be seeing a 22:xx! Come say hi to me at the next run or drop a comment here if you chance upon this post.
a) Good effort put up by the students and it went relatively well.
b) Online registration and my queries were answered promptly. There was also email prompts for race bib collection ( a week prior) and on the event day.
c) Great post race carnival – they had booths selling handicrafts, assorted food (even Ribena was there!), tees, headscarves, Bros water bottles and naturally Shelter Home.
d) I like the event tee design.
e) Roping in the scouts and girl guides as volunteers and marshals – don’t think I’ve seen this prior to this event. I thought this was a great effort to involve the youth and local kids in the event.
f) Distance markers – I didn’t pay attention but I saw one at km2 and when I went back to the stadium after changing out of my shoes, I saw this. They probably had some others along the way. And they’re rather cute.
a) Partial road closure – I didn’t expect any road closures for this but the km4-5 stretch was a nightmare and accident waiting to happen! There could have been a better traffic management for this.
b) No hydration station along the route – again, not a problem for me since I’ve not mastered the “art and science” of drinking in motion (probably never will either!) but with the event starting at 7:30 and 8 am, the sun and temps can be brutal and especially so for slower runners. The ONLY hydration point was at the entrance to the stadium i.e. 300 m to the finish! Oh come on, at this stage, and if this was a competitive event or if anyone was gunning for a time, would they stop to take a drink?!?!?! The other thing was only isotonic drinks (good that they gave out the entire bottle) was served; no water and since I can't tolerate isotonics on short runs, it was another 10-15 min find for water (a lecturer helped me out here).
Swag which was pretty good
Finisher's medal, certificate and goodie bag were handed out at the finishing point
Lucky draw prizes
Sprinting to the finish