Monday, September 24, 2012

Be A Runner, Be A Charity Giver Run 2012 – 6.4km

Date: 23 September 2012
Venue: Malaysia Tourism Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distance: 6.4km (Garmin: 6.06km)
Timing: 34:00 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:36 min/km (Garmin) (5:15 min/km if adjusted to someone’s footpod)
Result: results from Moey’s blog here

This Arsenal Football Club event was originally scheduled for July but was postponed to this past weekend. There was quite a bit of publicity for it leading to the day. This was a loop course starting and finishing at Malaysia Tourism Center at Jalan Ampang (MATIC) with the first flag off for the men (open, vets and international) beginning at 7:30am; with the women (open) about 3 minutes late and finally the women international, celebrity, media and whatever else that didn’t fit into the previous category and the school kids categories.

The course took us through Jalan Ampang with a left turn to Jalan Sultan Ismail and then Jalan P Ramlee before joining into Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Tun Razak and finally back at MATIC through Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Note: This is written from the perspective of running the Women’s Open which in 2 words sums it up: farked up. Pardon the French. I gathered the men’s events were better organized etc. With the iffy feet and late start (yes, I was getting agitated as we went past 8am), I probably would not have shown up if I did not sign up. In case you’re wondering, I’m not being a sour puss.

With Mich and Carol before the start - notice the was still early

Km1: Started from the compound at Lanai and everyone had to squeeze through the opening of the gates (think there were 2) before getting onto Jalan Ampang. Since I put myself right in the middle of the crowd, there was a lot of weaving – not successful, mind you – but I didn’t mind too much since I was baby-ing the feet. The breather only came once we got onto Jalan Sultan Ismail – this was where the lead runners from the international category whizzed past us (African descents). Past Joline in front of Shangri-La (flat) and Agnes at Menara Hap Seng (uphill climb).

Km2: Onto Jalan Raja Chulan with The Weld, Affin Bank and Boustead buildings and finally Pavillion. First hydration station somewhere before Pavillion.

Km3: Jalan Raja Chulan and overtook Indra and hanging on to the coattails (or at least some feeble attempt) of Yook Ching.

Km4: Jalan Tun Razak. Friggin crazy traffic whizzing past you. Since we started late (see Cons below), traffic was heavy and Tun Razak is a MAJOR ARTERY of KL. Kudos to the race director for designing this route.

Km5: Oh yeah…tunnel between the US Embassy and DoubleTree by Hilton. The Garmin lost its signal hence the wonky distances clocked by those with Garmins – from 6km to 6.7km etc. Man, my Garmin clocked something like 7:40min pace! Oh the tunnel…another nightmare: zero traffic cones + dimmer lighting + traffic. The uphill slope is the least of your problems with this equation. Add a second hydration station to that equation. So what does this add up to? “Magical" answer: the ugly Malaysian motorists rear their heads – blaring of their horns because the traffic police {momentarily} cordoned off the route along Jalan Tun Razak towards IJN and Istana Budaya in order for us to get onto Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Km6: After the nightmare of the previous sections, I was glad to be back on a “quieter” street. This was basically a straight through to Jalan Ampang and back at MATIC.

On the whole, there are lots of room for improvement.


a) Ease of collection of race bib and event tee. Plus parking either in their compound (limited) or across the street.

b) 2 hydration stations along the route and with 100Plus at the finishing. On the water bit…see below.

c) Clean and functional toilets since we could use the restaurant’s washrooms.

d) Great way to promote the center and Saloma.

e) Post-race management – run thru the mini chute aka triangle cones for the various categories, collect the finisher’s medal, certificate and don’t forget the tiny piece of paper to redeem your swag.


a) Late start, even at 7:30am, the sun would have been up and this would have been a problem for slower runners. Now if only we had started on the dot. Yup, thanks to the late arrival of the guest of honour (GOH), we were still waiting on the sidelines at 7:45 am. When the GOH arrived, he was taking his sweet time waving, shaking hands, chatting etc with the runners, “macam la” we’ll not be seeing him again tomorrow. The women categories were eventually flagged off around 8:10-8:15am?

b) Messed up categories. As they weren’t able to round up enough participants in the Women Vets category, they combined these with either the Open or International, Celebrity & Media. Yeah, the Celebrity & Media were also bundled up with the International. So how did they decide who went where? Beats me too as they fitted the jigsaw because I saw some vets in the Open and some in the other. Gathered from a few runners that the organizers called them up and asked them for their preference. Now, this is a “no no” and definitely not in the spirit of fair play – changing the rules mid-game to your fancy and not informing the rest after everyone had signed up. From what I heard, many would not have shown up and would have opted for other events if they knew it would be such a mess or competitive. BTW, Raymond likens the event (even for the men categories) as: time trial selection for nationals! Love this quote!

c) Unlike the flag-off for the men, there was no air horn for the start of the women’s open and I was still chatting with Carol before we realized that the run had started. Another phail!

d) Instructions were not clear or inaudible as some of the ladies started with the men – that was reminiscent of the Singapore by the Bay Run a couple of months back. also found the race official rather rude when he started “herding” everyone behind the banner – look, if we could have move any further to the side or back, we would have. Which comes to the next sore point: the compound was narrow and had cars, motorcycles etc parked at the sides.

e) Starting from the compound of MATIC. While it would be symbolic, a much better start would be just outside the perimeter of MATIC on Jalan Ampang. Start points should be not be choke points when everyone is rushing out to get ahead; once the field is spread out when everyone gets into their pace, single lane would be do-able. If the goal was symbolic, finishing at MATIC as was done, would have met the objective.

f) Running on MAJOR ARTERIES of KL roads and partial road closure or none at all, even on a Sunday morning. Enough said. Oh wait, I forgot to throw in some unmanned junctions. Not for the faint heart.

g) As given, no distance markers.

h) Post-race management – no specific queues for water (in fact, we had to help ourselves to open the boxes) and swag (if you managed to grab hold of that piece of paper).

Sorry for the rant! This was probably not as farked up as Taiping but definitely, a lot more should have been done.

Photo log:
(credits to Dannie, Moey and Raymond)


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