Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008...

Event: New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008
Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 18 May 2008
Time: 7.00am
Distance: 15KM (14.98KM by Polar RS800G3 GPS sensor)
Shoe: adidas Response Control 7
By Frank

It's my second New Balance Pacesetters 15KM run ever since I started running last year. Being a high profile event, I have great expectations and set a target time of 01:20:00, although I'm pressurized to do a 01:15:00 by Ronnie. I did a 01:33:26 last year so if I can achieve my target time, I will be satisfied. However, there was a change of route this year. Instead of doing the famous double hills for 2 times, this year was only once. So how to cover the 15KM? Read on...

I came into this race with two strategies in mind. To attack the hills and to make full use of my plyometrics training! And also, to pace with Lai FS as I know through pacing with him, we will be able to help each other. And so, I arrived at the Bukit Aman carpark at 6.00am, and it was already almost filled up. Luckily I found a sweet parking spot although I prefered to have my usual parking spot next to Choi. Met up with Andy, Choi, Jamie, Loke and Wan. Chatted till 6.30am before we went to Padang Merbuk, the starting area. I met up with even more people there inlcuding Ben, Yee Hua, Geraldine, Kenny, Krishnan, Raymond and Ronnie who was rushing off to the toilet for his big business. Hahaha... And also to my suprise, I met Wenisa, my fitness training manager when I was back working at Fitness First. It was certainly nice to see her again although I got to admit that I was suprised as she did mentioned that she hates running! I proceeded to the starting line, this time at the road heading to the area at the back of Padang Merbuk heading towards the National Monument. I panicked at the starting line as I could not locate the person giving out the ribbon band that proves that we reported in. After searching high and low, I then heard that they ran out of it and we can proceed with the run without it. Duh... And so, I met with Lai FS and started side by side with him at the third row, pretty front. But the start was just shocking. No indicator or anything, just like the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM 2008. They just started the run without any announcement. I do appreciate if the organisers are able to give a signal like" Runners, are you ready?", before blowing the air horn to indicate the start.

As usual, my start is always slow. Lai FS managed to get a clean start but I managed to stick with him. It was a small hill climb before the more demanding hill as we approach the National Monument. I overtook Lai FS around the 1.5KM mark but managed to control my pace to stick with him. Soon later, Ben overtook me and gave me some encouragement! For the third time, he overtook me at the early stages of a race. This guy is just fast! Around 2.5KM, I found myself back at Padang Merbuk. It's mentally challenging as it's so near to the finish line but yet I still got another around 12.5KM to go. And so, my journey continues as I head towards the hill behind Bank Negara. After completing this area, I look back and to my suprise, Lai FS is no where to be seen. I felt sad and guilty that he couldn't keep up. I slowed down a bit hoping that he could catch up but upon reaching the middle part of Kenny Hill, I still can't see him. With that, I decided to carry on myself and increased my pace. It was also here that I bump into Tey ET who is returning after his long run, carrying his DSLR! Greeted him and away both of us went, in the opposite direction of course.

Shortly, came the challenging double hills. Kee Fong who volunteered was there to give out the ribbon band. I lost some time here as I didn't manage to grab it at the first attempt as it was pretty small. After strapping up the ribbon band on my wrist, I started to attack the hills. I decreased my stride but increase my speed. This helps me attack the hills more effectively and I managed to overtake many runners. I reached the top without any difficulties and from there on, it's smooth sailing all the way down. At the 10KM mark, Ija was there too volunteering and she managed to snap a picture of me. Thank you, although I was too into running that time to say hi to her. The reason, I looked at my time and I'm on course for a 01:15:00 time! Got back at the hill heading towards National Monument and soon back at Padang Merbuk. It's very near now although there's another 2KM or so to go.And so it was here that I started to empty my tank. I ran with all my heart out as I head to the area behind Bank Negara for the second time. As I climb that area for the second time, I spotted Tay Poh Chye just a few meters in front. I decided to overtake him and I managed to do it, encouraging him on the way. And so, Padang Merbuk finally came into my sight for the third time and Ben was there around 300M from the finish line cheering. Thanks Ben as it really boosted me for my final sprint. And so, I sprinted all the way to the finish line crossing it at position 109 for the men's category, clocking 01:15:23! A new personal best for me, 00:18:03 shaved off my last year's attempt although off Ronnie's time set for me by 23 second! I was so darn happy. I really have to thank him for the pressure he gave me as he believe in me more than I believe in myself.
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In action. Thanks Ija for the great shot...

Proud of our achievements...

It was not the end yet as I stayed near the finish line cheering for other runners yet to finish the run. And when everyone is back, well at least the gang, we gathered for a quick group photo before proceeding to the sponsor area for some post run meal. It was in this run that I met up with Eugene for the first time. Good run! Before leaving, I had a very quality and long chat with Wenisa. She did great herself in this race and I hope to see her more in future races. And so, the event came to an end with a sudden downpour when I was back at the carpark with Choi promoting Saucony shoes. Hehe... Overall, a good event except for the hiccup at the start. And not forgetting the unique medal shaped as a New Balance shoe. Next up, the RMAF Half Marathon 2008 in a week time.

Front view of the medal. So unique...

Rear view of the medal...

2 comments:

CapArnabBrand said...

Nice run Frank... improving all the time... BIG confidence now in tackling the Sundown eh??

And nice meeting you... and all the other runners..

Runnerz said...

Thanks. It was nice meeting you too. Sundown... Keeping my fingers and toes cross.