Venue: Taman Rimba Kiara, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 21 December 2008
Distance: 12KM (11.19KM by Lynn's Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: adidas adizero Tempo
This event was supposed to be a 25KM run at Johor Bharu but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was moved back to Kuala Lumpur with a distance of 12KM. And what was a supposed to be a run on the Sprint Highway was changed at the very eleventh hour to running a 2 round loops around the Jalan Bukit Kiara area. Oh well... Sad to say, but that's how things went. And this being my last competitive event for year 2008, although my running chapter of the year has come to a close at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008, I decided to take it as an easy run. But due to the tough hilly route, an easy run can turn into a tough one too. And it did for me.
Pre-race dinner was exceptionally well as Cheang organised a Christmas party the night before the race. Most of the food served was rich in carbohydrates like pasta and pizza which will prove beneficial for the race. And not forgetting, it was a great Christmas get together with the others like Jamie, Choi and some new found friends.
Making a return to my running life is my adidas adizero Tempo which I kept in the box since it's last action from Sundown Marathon 2008. Cleaned it up yesterday from the "ashes" of my first ever night marathon, it was looking good as new although it has served me with 3 marathons and 2 half marathons.
With only a 3 hours of sleep on the couch, I arrived at the race venue looking pretty stone. As I arrived early with 90 minutes till race time, I was glad I bump into Pueh Tian and Amelia and we hung out at nearby eatery before making our way to the start venue at a later time. We soon later hooked up with the rest like Jamie, Kit, Lawrence, Loke and Geraldine. Choi who did not run, came too to support us and also as a photographer on his cute mini foldable bike. Appreciate him for finding his time to come.
Into the starting pen we went and grouped ourselves at the back to avoid being knock or probably stampeded by the faster runners as the area was rather narrow. Soon, Chin Chin and Lynn arrived too although they started just a bit in front of us.
As we chatted, soon the air horn was blew and off we went still chatting. It took us a while to cross the starting gantry with the timing mat laid on the floor. The start was already an uphill climb and being so limited in space, all of us were running at an "Hit the wall pace", meaning very slow. As we exit the park, we ran into the Jalan Bukit Kiara area which is the start of another hill climb, this time a even steeper one. But the space soon open up and I managed to regain my pace and started my overtaking moves and soon bump into Chin Chin. Not sure where Lynn were though as I carried on.
Lynn attacking the hill and Choi cycling up in the distance...
Arriving at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Choi was there snapping photos away. From there, it was a very steep climb up to the u-turn point. It's been a while since I ran hills, and this is the point that I started to feel the first signs of exhaustion. Too early into the race, but yeah, it happens. Eugene who was too running up slowly is starting to feel the strain I guess as I passed him. As a good gestures to my faster friends who I can spot making their return, I tried to wave to each of them. And as I made my u-turn, I finally spotted Lynn and waved to her.
The return route was much tougher with steeper climbs. I slowed down due to my earlier mentioned exhaustion while running up the hills but managed to regain a steady but slower than normal pace on flats. I was glad I was back at the park where another u-turn was needed to repeat the loop. I was glad because the route to the convention centre is much easier. Jeff and Lionel who were sitting at the road side cheered me on but as I was too tired to even utter a word, I just gave them a thumb up.
Stitch soon hit me but I was glad it isn't a painful one and thankfully, I manage to get rid of it before it got worst using deep breathing and exhaling with every left foot strike. Something rather hillarious happened here as an African runner who was already making his return to the finish point, ran into my lane. I got stun for a moment not knowing to go left or right but eventually he made pass me successfully when I moved to the right to avoid colliding into him. Besides that, nothing much happen except that the sun was up and it was glaring at certain parts with no trees. To make matters worst, sweat was flowing into my eyes which extremely irritating.
Arriving back at the u-turn point at the convention centre, I passed Anil who was too struggling with the climb. With 3KM to go and still struggling, things didn't get any better with the tougher route back. My "Ryan Hall" running posture of a straight back with "thumbs up fist" soon became a "Hunchback of Notre Dame" posture. But as I enter the park again towards the finish line, I lifted my back and tried to shake off any exhausted look on my face, at least to show a strong finishing as I crossed the finish line clocking 00:55:20.
A quick check with Lynn who finish shortly later revealed that the distance was actually just 11.19KM, 810M short of 12KM. Nevertheless, it was a good run and I certainly enjoyed the tough hilly route. It will certainly pay off in future races if traning is done here.
With 2 tough girls and a very supportive friend...