Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adidas King of the Road 2012 - Kuala Lumpur edition – 10km

Date: 9 September 2012
Venue: New Pantai Expressway, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.25km)
Timing: 52:39 (Gun); 52:33 (Chip); 52:34 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:07 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 7th (Closed) (check your result here) (all results here)

Previous year’s recap here.

One of the major running events in Kuala Lumpur and it was highly anticipated by the running community, especially after last year’s hit run. Same venue, same categories as the previous although the route was modified slightly. Instead of 2 out-and-backs (with a switchback), this was just an out-and-back starting on the opposite of Sunway Pyramid. Flag off was by the Minister of Works at 6:45 am (16.8km) and 7:00 am (10km) – simple gun off without the not-missed-and-totally-unnecessary-speeches etc. Also loved the emcees on hand – they were clear and loud.

Route map and Event schedule as spotted at the Expo


Km1-2
This has never been the “event” for me – twice (last year and this) - I seem to be nursing a foot injury (pulled muscle and PF)! Perhaps I shouldn’t tempt fate by signing up next year. And can I begin the recap with “fark”?!?! Some gal who was playing around with her friends/camera etc at the starting pen STEPPED on the injured foot. Why, thank you very much!


Photo credits to Raymond Wong

Yes, crowded at the pen and for the first km. Even Casey was standing about 2-3 rows back. On this note, can I suggest runners be more responsible and put themselves in the appropriate place in the pen? There are plenty of photo ops after the event.

Spotted Chia Ee on the right hand side of the road about 200-300m and ran past Carol after that. Crowded. Crowded. Crowded. Hit the toll booth around km2 and saw Michelle up ahead – she’s a faster runner and I wasn’t planning on blowing up by catching up to her; perhaps KIV?

Km3-5+++ / Turnaround
Whoa! Running smack into the backend of the 16.8km runners – those walking, strolling hand-in-hand on a Sunday morning date along the NPE. This was where the bridge climbs start (I lost count after the first 2) and all you see upfront was the sea of runners. Lots of weaving (and some cusses – can’t help it! For both the congestion and climbs). First hydration station along km3.

Km5+++ to 8
Could hear the claps on the earlier climbs when those around me applauding the race leaders on the road below – around km5? Spotted Pei Leng and then Michelle just before the turnaround cone (Michelle finished ahead of Pei Leng eventually); again, at the risk of not blowing up, kept the pace (plus the PF was starting to nag). So so so glad to be on the other side of the road. From this point onwards, you could have the road to yourself, running tangents, on the left, on the right, in the middle – your choice. This was a relatively flat section though I do remember a climb around km7-8.

Km8-Finishing
And then I had the race leader from the 16.8km coming up and PASSING me. Ego busting moment for sure! They still had the “800m to go” sign at the foot of the last climb. Le sigh.

Photo credits to Adidas KOTR


The final distance on everyone’s GPS device was pretty varied ranging from 10.25km (mine) to 10.5km to 10.8km.

Pros:

a) Hats off to the Adidas team for pulling off another successful event. A welcome change from the week’s fiasco over the Nike We Run KL 2012 registration. Nope, I didn’t have any intention to sign up for the latter to begin with.

b) Can we say ease of registration and speedy collection of race bibs? 3 days allotted for this and there were multiple lanes.

c) Plentiful of hydration stations – every 3km and at the finishing point (didn’t spot any on the side of the road where the start point was; can anyone comment?) and all stocked with water and 100Plus.

d) Crowd support/cheers along the route – not many but kudos to the volunteers and to top it off, there were claps and shoutouts of “good job”, “well done” by those manning the hydration, banana and finishing medal stations at the end. Believe there was also a band along the route.

e) Distance markers at every km and in the final km, they had “800m to go”, “400m to go” and “200m to go”. The distances may vary slightly from the GPS devices since the route was wide and depending on how you run the tangents and weave in between the crowds.

f) Full road closure along NPE! Certainly one event of the few numbers you can count on one hand.

g) Well organized post race management: separate chutes to collect your water bottle, bananas and finishing medal for the separate category. Thereafter the Milo and Nestle trucks.


h) Lovely race vests in multitude of colours; no, you don’t get to pick your “desired” colour – colours and sizes were handed out on a first come first serve basis before moving on to the next. Definitely a fair system. Also the medal design.

i) Fantastic job by the emcees – loud and clear.

j) Results within 12 hours.

Cons:

a) Choke points between km3-5/turnaround when the 10km ran smacked into the 16.8km. This added some time to the faster runners and those gunning for podium finishes as they weave their way around the slower crowd (think: walkers, those out for a date stroll along the NPE). They definitely need to add to the 15 min interval start or modify the route slightly next year.

b) Someone in the group mentioned that the cooling spray at the finishing point should be further ahead, perhaps after the finisher’s medal station instead of in between the 100Plus and the hydration/banana/finisher’s medal stations because the fumes from the aerosol can was a bit overwhelming. Yes, they were great and the volunteers were trying to be helpful. I didn’t find this too much a bother – probably because I got in early and not many runners who had came in opted for this.

c) Some traffic management system post-run. While there were advisories of a road closure until 11am, there were alternatives to leave/get to the Federal Highway through the roads at the back of the mall. Gathered that traffic was non-moving and many eventually came back to the mall to sit it out. Not too sure how much can be done to disperse the traffic since it’s a 2-lane or single lane road compared to the 4-6 lane carriageway of NPE.

d) Corralled starting point with expected finishing times to ease the congestion?

e) Pacers for future editions taking cue from some of the races in Singapore this year? Yes, there were pacers for shorter distances eg 10km.They can kill 2 birds with 1 stone i.e. (d) above and this point.

Photo log:

Race Expo/Bib Collection





Swag



Finishing point







From the various photographers on site: Runner Footprints, Chan Chooi Lee, Chan WK, Victor Chong, Chan Sai Chun, ***


More photos here


2 comments:

EYKL_Fun.Runners said...

This is a nice post! I hv a gud time reading it.

Redhead Running said...

Great recap and whoa nelly do you have the serious "Imma do this!" face in the race pics!!!! Keep it up girl!