Monday, July 15, 2013

Sekolah Sri Bestari Rise N Run 2013 – 5km

Date: 7 July 2013
Venue: Sekolah Sri Bestari, Bandar Sri Damansara, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: 5km (Garmin: 5.6km – I ran extra!; GSW’s Garmin: 5.5km)
Timing: 29:26 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:15 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 1st WO (results here)

Small neighbourhood run that was probably overshadowed by the bigger boys but nonetheless, it was great being out there – new route, new sights. Apparently this was the second edition although none of us (being Chris, GSW, James etc) knew about it last year.
This was a loop course starting and finishing at the school and on offer were 3 categories: 7km; 5km and 3km, with the first two being competitive runs. Within each category, they had “Open”, “Schools”, “Colleges/Universities” and “Senior” sub divisions.

Flag off was at 7:30am after the usual warm up and “senamrobik”; the 7km-ers were off first followed by the 5km-ers and 3km-ers in intervals of 5min.

Route map from their webbie

Started from the field adjoining the basketball court and you can either run up the 7 steps or the slope heading out of the school. I chose the former coz I was lazy and wanted a walk break (yes, that early! At less than 50m! LOL!). Uphill climb passing the school onto the main road. Trucking along and that’s when the nightmare started (ok, motorists whizzing past you at breakneck speed is now relegated to a common denominator in Malaysian runs). Nightmare here being the choice of running ahead (and uphill, mind you, thank you very much) or u-turn on a MAJOR road to the other side of the road. Yes, there was one MISERLY marshal there with 2 coloured flags (red, green). No sign to indicate which category was to go ahead or u-turn and I swear that feeble instruction coming out was “7km straight ahead”.

I took the turn…BIGGEST. MISTAKE. OF. MY. LIFE. I wasn’t the only one. Looked around and saw most of the runners were wearing bibs indicating “7***” and at the junction, asked the marshal. This was the point I gave up. Doubled back, running uphill and the hills at Bandar Sri Damansara are long!

So the previous section were the long hills, this was the rollers. No, in fact, I’ll rephrase, the entire route had climbs at every km. Trucked along because I was in the middle of nowhere and the only way I could get out of the run was heading back to the school. Whoever knew! LOL! Finishing at the field where we were flagged off earlier. Goody bag collection and water and post run grub (sandwich) was in the school building.

a) Pretty enthusiastic and helpful volunteers at the school at the goody bag collection station and especially at the water and breakfast stand.

b) Eco-theme expo. See TrEES (Treat Every Environment Special)

c) Plenty of space at the open space hall to hang out.

d) Wrapping things up fairly quickly – some performance, lucky draw, cheque presentation and prize giving all done and dusted by 10-ish.

e) More than sufficient hydration stations – at the start/finish and 2 stations (plenty enough!) along the route (5km).

a) Lack of directional signages for the turnoff – it’s really a very simple solution. Put a board indicating “5km” with an arrow ahead and “7km” with a u-turn instead of having someone shout out. After a while, even people get confused. Even better, have a radio stereo blasting out the instruction – no, this is no innovative – done in one of the Singapore runs I did.

b) No road closure and time and again, I’ve said that nothing other than a full road closure is “safety precaution”. Traffic cones or in this none at all, do not constitute “safety precaution”. Ok, maybe the railings are the middle ground. Guess what, and unfortunately, we were starkly reminded of this during the NtV7 run.

c) U-turn on a major road that was not closed???!!! Boils down to route planning. So if you do not want to apply to the local authorities or police to close the road, plan the route along less traffic heavy roads, secondary roads, neighbourhood roads.
Photo log:


Finisher’s Medal and a potted plant (Chris was the recipient of mine – look I already had 1 fish died on me within 2 weeks of babysitting; I cannot imagine having to babysit a plant for another 6 weeks!)

With the gang (photo credits to Chris)

Some of the winners

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