Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HOPE Awareness Run 2013 – 8km

Date: 12 May 2013
Venue: Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: 8km (Garmin: 7.87km)
Timing: 41:50 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:18 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 1st (WO – public)

This was an event organized by AIESEC UPM to raise awareness for Aids and HIV causes and the run is a small portion of the overall programme which included exhibitions and talks from organizations such as planned parenthood, Pink Triangle etc.

One distance on offer – 8km loop course starting and finishing at Dewan Besar and within each gender category – open (public) and closed (UPM students). This course is a combination of the Run 4 Life and Mizuno Wave Run.

It was a small event – runners numbering less than 150 perhaps (?) and comprised mostly of students of the university and colleges (eg Taylors). Registered very late (yeah, notice the pattern these days?!?!?!) and was planning on using this as a warm up to my strength training later on in the day.

Route map from their FB page

Positioned myself right on the second last row in a sea of “youngsters” who as usual take off like a rocket on flag off only to peter out before the first km. Flattish out of the start point, looping around the field, past the astaka heading towards Kolej Kedua – a bit of a reverse from Run 4 Life. First hydration station just at the corner before the college.

The climb at Kolej Kedua. Just after the climb, the distance marker “5km to go”. Yep, still a long way to go.

Heading into the park, pretty steep downslope at the gate with loose rocks and potholes before flattening out. This section was also the first sign of “trouble”. As the field was small (a nicer way of saying “I’m slow”!), there were no runners within sight. Two of the guys running alongside turned and asked if we were on the right track. I shrugged…I’ve no friggin clue too!!! So the blind leading the blind on the jogging track until we saw the marshal at the end of the path.

Km5 - 6
The tiny path with fields on the sides and the climb up to the Time Live Earth Satellite Station (don’t ask…this is my best guess translation of Malay). Then onto the road parallel to the stadium. This was the same route as the Mizuno Wave.

The OMFG long steep and never-ending path snaking the park and it was faster to power walk than attempt to run.

And we’re out! Came through Kolej Kedua and boosted by “Jia You, Jia You, first gal” from the marshal at the junction. Flat to the finish.


a) Commendable effort put up by the students? Lots of areas for improvement.

b) The Aids and HIV causes are good enough reason to support this event.

c) Distance markers (on the countdown) from 5 to 3 to 2 etc.

d) Hydration station every 1.5-2km and at the end, you get a bottle of water, energy bar and bun. Also in the swag handed out post run: can of tea, juice.

e) Some of the talks and speakers were good – I found Raymond (PT) and the 2 Chinese speakers were engaging.


a) Super duper late start – nearly an hour behind schedule (8:15-8:20 am) when the sun was beating down on us; so I received the cursory sunburn on my face. Why the delay you ask? First there was the race bib pick up and then I-have-absolutely-no-friggin-clue why the organizers were milling about. So eventually we set out in the open space in front of the hall (Dewan Besar) around 8:05 am and started with the usual warm up and stretching. Fine. Let’s get it done. Nope, we weren’t done because this was followed by at least 3 (?) songs and dance moves and more yakking by the emcee. My cut off was 8:30 am (after moving it from 8 am) i.e. head to the gym. Some of the runners were there since 6 am and were getting agitated. From their FB page...the "chicken or square whatever" dance

b) This event’s theme should be “delay, delay, delay” because the prize presentation was moved from 11 am to I-don’t-know-what-time-it-eventually-took-place-coz-I-left-at-noon. The talks and presentations were good and informative but it just got a bit too draggy…so “liven” things up, they had Pink Tan (no clue either but apparently she’s a minor celeb among college students) to sing… Now, this was close to noon and most of us were done with the run by around 10 am (finished earlier around 9am). There you’re sitting in the air-conditioned hall in your wet running tees and shorts etc for close to 2-3 hours. Not sure about you…I was getting cold (despite putting on a tee after the sweat dried). What gives?!?! The hall

c) Draggy, the event was way too long – nearly 3 hours and you know it’s draggy when the audience is reduced to 15-20%. Nope, they didn’t get the cue and the emcee went on and on.

d) Insufficient marshals at checkpoints. 

Photo log:


Race cert

Indocafe and Nestle Fitnesse vans

Mini expo

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