Sunday, June 28, 2009

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009

By far this is the most suffering marathon that I've ever run. It's not so much of the traffic fume, route terrain, the heat or anything like that. It's because I have to run the second half of my run with a huge blister that developed due to my own carelessness and folly!

Before I start writing the Race Report, I would like to thank Sam Pritchard for pacing with me throughout the Race until 37km where I lost touch with him. Pacing with him really helped in taking some pain off my mind for a while during the run.

The marathon started at 5am sharp with drizzle on top of our heads. It cooled down the weather and I was sure most runners were glad with that.

Not long after the start, I found Sam and I just tagged along with him as his pace suits me well. When we reached Jalan Travers, I was pleasantly surprised to find Tomoko San cheering us on by the roadside. "Gambate!" she said. Thank you Tomoko San for making an effort to wake up early to give support to the runners. How I wish most Malaysian, especially KL-lite share this kind of spirit!

Due to the rain, some potholes were covered with water. I managed to avoid all of them except the one at Cheras water station (@13km). While I was busy sipping a cup of drink, I stepped into that pool of water. My right shoe and sock instantly got wet. As this is a new pair of shoe, it has not been seasoned enough to withstand the wetness. The rubbing sensation began thereafter and my biggest fear came true when at around 20km I could feel a blister developing! What a bad timing as this happened when we were entering into the heart of the city where we were required to make many turnings. With each turn, the pain became more unbearable. I kept telling myself to stay focus and shut down the pain system.

Approaching Istana Negara (@32km), I found that stretch a big killer. The hilly terrain and sharing of a single lane with the fellow runners from 21km and 10km threw my ryhthm up-side-down. I struggled up the dreaded Wisma Tani route at a pace where I think a snail can easily overtake me!

Needless to say, my last 5km was just a matter of surviving - to keep one leg in front of the other. I was a total spent force when I crossed that finishing line to the extent that even to wave to supporters and friends was a big issue!

My watch showed 3:47:51 and I think my official time will be around 3:48:18.

Wai Mun ran back in a relaxing mood in 4:16 and bettered her previous time in Macau. So proud of her!

My hard-earned medal.

Meanwhile, I would like to congratulate those who have completed their maiden marathon this morning ie. Ronnie See, Lynn Toh, Sook Ying, Julie Wong and my fellow office mates, May and Wendy for completing their 1st 10km run.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Klang Pacer Half Marathon 2009

Date : 7 June 2009

Venue : Setia Alam, a new township between Klang and Shah Alam. Having Setia Alam as the race venue for the very first time, some runners have problem locating the place while collecting their running BIB on the eve of Race Day and/or finding the parking space on the morning itself. The plus point is there are not many vehicles plying around this area, hence a conducive environment for running.

Time : The race was supposed to start at 6.30am. But there was a slight delay as the organiser was sorting out the ribbons in the dark before the runners gathered at the cordon off area. I reckoned this could have been done much earlier during the reporting. Luckily the crowd is not huge enough to create major havoc!

Weather : Hazy, hot & humid. I could smell the haze upon stepping out of my car. Fortunately the major sponsor, SP Setia has a cosy and comfortable Welcome Centre, so I stayed indoor most of the time prior and after the Race!

Route & distance : 21.4km where runners have to make a total of 5 U-turns, 15 turns & cross 3 fly-overs at least twice. No wonder I'm still tired while typing this....!

The Organiser : Despite the above minor hiccups, I feel the overall event is well managed and organised. Kudos to the Organiser! Water station is sufficient. What a bonus when I got a Powergel in the middle of the run! And what I like the most is we need not produce any coupons for food and drinks after the Race! We can eat/drink as much as we like! It would be better if distance markers are provided in the future.

My target : Even though it's part of my training for this coming SCKLIM on 28 June, and also my first week of incorporating some speedwork into my programme, I still expect myself to dip below 1:40.

My performance & result : Unlike usual, I started fast just to test out how long I could last at that pace. I think I did reasonably well except for the slope at fly-over which I found it to be quite taxing and challenging! I managed to maintain my form and focus until about 2-3km before the finishing. I totally lost focus towards the last one kilometre. Luckily I managed to gather all the strength I have for the last 100m push. Time: 1:42:24. Position: 12th. Looks like there are still lots of work to be done for the next 2-3 weeks!

Last but not least, wife did around 1:55 for a 7th position. Congrats to her and all the other runners! Many thanks to the Klang Pacers for organising this event, sponsors and especially the volunteers! The designs of medal and trophy are quite impressive too. I also appreciate fellow runners who gave their support and encouragement to me along the way.