Date: 29 July 2012
Venue: Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distance: 3.14km * 4 (Garmin: 3.05km)
Individual Timing: 15:47 (Chip); 15:43min (Garmin)
Pace: 5:09 min/km (Garmin)
Team Timing: 53:04
Team Result: 5th (results here)
Team: Black Mumba: Chen Keat Hoong aka Chen Pong Pong; Richard Habeya; Stanley Cheong
Previous year’s recap here.
Last minute entry at the urging of Chen PP and given the choice, I would rather be impaled than do a relay. I don’t do relays or team events and avoid them like a plaque. Don’t ask me why – I just suck at them or maybe I’m cursed.
Add the double whammy of a stair climb.
Right 2 things I don’t do: relays and stair climbs.
I. Kid. You. Not.
Ever read a recap of a stair climb event here? Nada. Zilch.
There were 2 categories on offer: Competitive (4-person team with at least one female runner) and Non-competitive (3-person team) and the course was our adiNation Training Run camp (aka Lake Gardens) with a twist of the 154-step stair climb to Memorial Tun Razak. The Competitive category was flagged off at 7:30 am (girls must be the first runner) after a short briefing by Championchip Timing on the use of the baton (timing chip attached) and the Non-competitive, 5-10 minutes later.
Here goes the longest 15 minutes of my life:
Km1: Since we were starting from Tapak A, the first thing that greets you is a 300m+ upslope. Yup, things were going “swimmingly well” (read: I was in the mid pack – what?!?!?! I didn’t want to blow up). Headed towards the playground, a bit of weaving through the cars that were illegally parked by the side of the road.
Km2: The crowd had more or less petered out during or after the climb and we were back on the running path. Yup, feels familiar – the ground that is. Headline red alert on heart rate! Caught up with the ever amazing and beautiful Karen. Passed the bridge and public toilet.
Km3: Voila…opening Pandora box. Hold on to the rails and walk up every 2 steps. Like I said, I don’t do stairs. Plus I’ve a nerve problem which affects my balance (hence the rails). Finally, the top. Then it was just a matter of letting go on the downhill at Deer Park. Yup, the pace here was sucky. Like I said, I don’t do stairs. Or relays.
a) Well organized event and I’m not saying it because I run with the group. There’s really something about event organized by runners for runners (e.g. Pacesetters).
b) Love the family-like carnival and atmosphere.
c) Plenty of post race grub: watermelons, bananas, nasi lemak, varieties of buns, bean curd.
d) Since it was a short run, just one hydration station at the start/finish with water and 100Plus (the kind that comes out of a bottle and not mixed from powder that are typically offered in larger events).
e) The ever amicable and funny Kelvin Ng for emcee with Julie to keep him and the rest of us on our toes.
f) Sufficient volunteers and marshals at key points. And may I add, probably the entire contingent of KL photographers. Lots of pics, so much that I'm not even going to attempt to put them out here - it'll take you days just to go through them. See linkie below.
g) Great medal design (here).
a) I’m still trying to get my head around the idea of using a timing chip on a baton (great idea) but having to bend down close to the timing mat every time for every exchange. It’s a technological problem naturally and we’re still so far back that the receiver has be within 1 foot of the mat?!?!?! This is less of a problem for the 2nd, 3rd and final runner since the field is spread out by then but to have the first runner bend down and “tap” the mat at the start just spells congestion and a bottleneck and possibly having people trip over etc. 2 suggestions of the top of my head: (1) gun time for the first runner or (2) have every runner fixed with a timing chip (e.g. RFID). The latter is preferable but I’m guessing from Malaysian mentality, runners will kick up a big hoo haa if the cost is increased.
b) Paying for the use of the public toilet although it was stated that runners with bibs are allowed free access. Miscomm between DBKL and the toilet attendant? Message was not filtered down?
c) Ok, this is probably not within the organizers’ control: having to weave in between cars parked illegally near the playground. Run in between the cars on the road to join back to the running path or weave through the crowd on path alongside the playground. Not much of an option. My peeve is directed towards drivers’ irresponsibility.