Date: 16 March 2014
Venue: Dataran Kemerdekaan, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Had some serious misgivings about the race given the weather patterns in the last 2 weeks but everyone was still hoping for clear skies come . You know…we almost nailed it because all , it was glorious – gorgeous blue skies and clear air; heck, it even rained in the evening for added measure! Ok, was glad to be proven wrong and it was all systems go for when the API reading came in clear.
This was the second edition of the event and after last year’s successful race, there were more sign-ups this year and everyone was looking forward to another fantastic with the gals. This was a loop course flagging off at Dataran Kemerdekaan with 4 categories on offer (something for everyone): 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km.
Unfortunately disaster struck – woke up to the stench of smoke and this was in the house and the smog only got thicker as I drove along Federal Highway towards Shah Alam. Had texted Elvin to get an update of the situation and he mentioned it was smokey (he was playing chaperone to morningCatherine Ndereba) in the hotel. Ok, let’s not jump into conclusions after all the hotel is not the race site! It’s doesn’t portend to be good news when you see the Rela guys and road volunteers in face masks.
The air was heavy and even walking the 200m from the car to the race site was difficult. Not gonna risk it and decided to help Phyllis and Foong Nee with the distribution of the goodie bags for the HM instead. There will always be another day to run; no point stressing your muscular and respiratory systems through that.
About 15-20min before the flag off for the FM, the race director made a call to cancel the race and hence it became a non-competitive ala training run if you do decide to go ahead. The prize money was to be donated to charity. Guess what…surprisingly, a lot of gals (and their “galpals” Pacers) ran! Gathered that the run was cut short midway when the air quality worsened. I respect your decision to run but it’s not something I wanted to do.
Notwithstanding that, it was still great to be out there (relatively!) helping out. Some observations...
a) Overall, a well organized event. Even though I didn’t run, everything from the registration, website, FB page, race expo and race set up was remarkable.
b) Race expo and pre-events – one of the very few that had so much to offer.
c) Extraordinary and inspiring platform to get women and young girls to lead a more active lifestyle.
d) Giving the option to runners to decide if they want to toe the line but in any event, everyone still receives their finishing skirts (FM – both runner and pacer), bracelet or pendant and goodie bag (only HM).
e) Lovely design, insignia, logo. Now tell me you don’t find this charming or inspiring. And a view of the pendant or bracelet (you get the option to choose when registering).
f) Cheerful and merry atmosphere at the race site even when the event was called off. Most continued to be positive and were in good spirits.
a) I didn’t agree with the decision to wait until the very last minute to determine if a run was to be had but if that’s the decision the race director made, so be it. Of course, I’m sure everyone was praying fervently (yup, only divine intervention can help with weather patterns! LOL!) and probably doing the flying carpet and coconut dance in the days leading up to . The weather conditions in the last 2 weeks were just too unpredictable.
b) Cutting short the race midway must have been a logistical nightmare! Sundown went through this 2-3 years back when they sent out sms-es to runners and radioed the various hydration stations along the route – it’s not the best means but what other alternatives are there? I don’t think there were messages relayed to runners at MWM; maybe to the stations coz some of them starting shutting down and race marshals were informed to stand down. Race marshals were to redirect runners. Now amidst of this, there are bound to be confusions etc and maybe some runners are hardheaded enough to run…and then return to point fingers at organizers for lack of marshals or hydration along the route.
c) Quality of race vest could do with some major improvements. The logo and wordings stuck to the plastic bag in came in; it’s didn’t spell good news. HTN told me later that the colour came off on their first washing and suggested that it’ll probably take a few more washes (separately!) before the colour stop staining.
At the flag-off with Catherine Ndereba
With the ever sweet Yuki