Venue: National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 6KM (5.39KM by Nike+ SportBand)
Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3
The National Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil is into it's 10th year since it first open for the 1998 Commonwealth Games. And to celebrate this occasion, a run was held. Another training and fun run for me as I have not run since last week's Siemens Run. Therefore, no pressure for me.
I arrived at the National Stadium at 6.20am and it was pitch dark. However, Ronnie was already there as we both wanted to arrive early to secure a good parking spot near the guard house due to the uprising cases of car break-ins. With the run starting at 8am, we got plenty of time so we just hung around and chatted with various people till we hit 7.30am when we began our warming up. The rest like Lai FS, Saiful and Stanley too arrived and we reported into the starting area just inside the National Stadium on the running track. I found myself at around one quarter from the front as was just next to Stanley.
And so at 8am, the run was started. My usual slow start saw runners overtaking me as we exit the stadium via a short climb up a tunnel before running halfway around the stadium. The first stair case appeared shortly later and it brought us down to a park. The path here was very narrow and it was hard to overtake. However Lai FS did a good job and he overtook me. At the end of the park where another stair case going downwards appeared, I managed to pull one back by overtaking Lai FS back. And that's where I think he lost it as we were greeted by a very steep climb next. It sure was tough but I kept my composure. "Just keep running", I told myself. At only around 2KM here, I am already struggling and gasping for air. This has showed a decrease in my running level since starting my break a couple of weeks ago. During the climb here, I bumped in William Chan. He was struggling with the climb too but he managed to overtake me back later on when he paced with Jessica Tang, a really fast female runner.
As I made myself down a slope later, to my horror, a pedestrian bridge appeared! Memories of the Sundown Marathon 2008 return. Climbing it wasn't an easy task, but I managed to conquer it without stopping. *Phew* A water station was there to reward our climb but I skipped it. Heading forward was a few more short stair case climb. I managed to overtake William Chan back when he was reduced to walking. I guess the pacing with Jessica Tang was too much for him. I asked him to continue running at least with me, but he just couldn't. That left me with no choice but to carry on myself. Next, I was into the Commonwealth Park. It was a nice park here with a man-made lake in the middle. It was a time to enjoy before the next horror appeared. A long way up via zig-zag stair case. It was painful to climb it and everytime I have to turn myself around, I lost my momentum to carry on with my climbing speed. At the top, I began my descend down to the stadium. It was a sharp descend and I had to control my footsteps to avoid falling over. It was here also that runners were taken to a "cross-country" run when instead of running on the concrete route, they ran on the grass with tree roots and branches everywhere. It was really dangerous and at one part, I decided to actually use the longer concrete running route to avoid the risk of tripping over. At the end of it, Nazib caught up with me. He cheered me on and I managed to follow him tightly at the back. As we near the National Stadium, he slowed down a little allowing me to overtake him but he eventually overtook me back inside the stadium with around 100M left. At that point, he told me that he was off and I assured him that I would not challenge him and I allowed him to finish the run just ahead of me. I crossed the finish line at position 58, clocking 00:26:43. I was rewarded a finisher's medal and certificate which was just for the top 60 finishers. I was lucky! However, upon closer inspection of the medal, I found 2 spelling errors. Larian which meant run in English was spelled "Jarian" and Ulangtahun which meant anniversary was spelled "Ulantahun"! Major flaw and I do not understand how the organisers can let this happen.
With the Pacemakers and our rewards...
The run was really tough and it certainly proof that the my rest period is certainly starting to show its effect on my running performance as I struggled very early in run. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the run as it brought me around the National Sports Complex beautiful surroundings. Although my Nike+ SportBand showed only a 5.39KM distance, I believed it will be longer if runners followed the actually running route instead of cutting through the "cross-country" short cut.
Front view of the finisher's medal...
Rear view of the finisher's medal. Notice the spelling error...