Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pacemakers Network Run 2009...

Event: Pacemakers Network Run 2009
Venue: Tapak A, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 1 January 2009
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 13.8KM for Men, 9.2KM for Women
Shoes: adidas adizero Tempo
By Frank

New hopes and resolutions as the new year came knocking at the Pacemakers Network Run 2009 which attracted more than 100 runners on a gloomy turned sunny morning at Lake Gardens. As most people were still in the party mood, most of us were seen pretty stoned. One of them will be yours truly, who didn't sleep a wink, arrived early at 6am with a bloated stomach, heavy eye bags and a very pale face. I seriously needed some sleep.

Arrived together with Chin TS and with an hour plus to go, we hung at the organisers tent and chatted away, while sending new year greetings to friends we met. As the sun began to brighten the rather darken area, all runners soon arrived and I met up with Chin Chin and Lynn. Not forgetting that it was my first time that I met Victor too. The race was delayed a few minutes due to the "disappearance" of a few runners and also due to the launch ceremony of a running group call "Chap Ayam" which literally translates to Chicken Brand. Hmm... I wonder if they are related to the food industry?

At roughly 7.45am, the air horn was blew and away we all went. It's a 2.3KM loop and the men are required to complete 6 of them while the women just 4. At sleepy times like this, I wish I was doing 4 instead. And for the first time in a Pacemakers event, a timing chip is used. My first loop was rather comfortable. It was then at the second which I began to struggle. My head was rather heavy and am short of breath. In other words, my body just felt like shutting down. I was slowing down but I kept telling myself to complete this run for new year's sake. Just get it done!

Although a few runners passed me, I was rather all by myself till midway into the third loop. Somehow, I felt Lynn was just behind me and with a quick glance over my shoulder, it proves that I was right. How did I know? Hmm... Somehow I just knew. Ran together till we got back to the starting point and with just one more lap for her, I gave out a sign for her to push as I made myself out of her way. However, she slowed down at the Boat House (waterfall) area which allowed me to regain my lead over her. Heard her breathing which was just as deep as mine. Not wanting to break away which may demotivate her should I do so, I kept myself a short distance in front of her trying to guide her to the finish line as quickly as possible.

And as we arrived at the refreshment station which was something like 300M to the finish line, I slowed and swayed to the side to allow Lynn to pass me as I did not want to spoil her finishing photo which should be taken by the photographers. And as she crossed the finish line, I applauded her while I continued on. However, something amusing happened here as Kelvin being the funny man and also the emcee of the event, announced loudly that I was overtaken by Lynn. If I can remember what he said, it was something like "Frank the hot dog was sayur by Lynn". (For international readers - sayur means being overtaken, a Malaysian running slang). Hahaha... I actually laughed my way through the start gantry.

Halfway through my fifth loop, I bumped into Victor who was struggling. Pace with him hoping that we will be able to help each other as we are really both really tired. However, he lost it when he stopped at the refreshment station with 1 more loop to go. I told him to carry on saying that I will wait for him but somehow, although he started running again, he has slowed down a lot. I passed Chin Chin and Lynn who was walking back to the car after completing their run and that served me as the sign for my final push.

I was already hallucinating at my final loop. I just want to get it over with as soon as possible, to end the new year's day with a successful run. And that I did as I cross the finish line at position 13 clocking 01:06:26. What a way to start the year!

Relive the experience with RunWitMe...

As we waited for the all the runners to return, I was joined by Chin Chin and Lynn again. Lynn scored a second placing while Chin Chin fifth despite her knee discomfort. CONGRATULATIONS to the both of them as they were awarded not only a finisher's medal but a trophy too. Now, that's really a great way to start the year with. As we chatted around with Jeff, Lionel, Loke and Victor, time quickly passes by and after a group photo taken, we were soon on our way home.

Volunteers and runners together...
.Overall, though really tiring, it was a great event and a meaningful one especially for runners to start the year with. The event was well organised but however, I was kind of disappointed with the lack of isotonic drinks and mineral water at the finishing point. Only canned Milo were served and being a dairy product, not every runner can take it after a run. Other food like bananas, watermelons and nasi lemaks were sufficient though to replenish all the tired runners. Anyhow, well done to the organisers especially to Kei Ming who undertook successfully the role of a race director for the first time. Kudos to him. And not forgetting, Happy New Year to everyone!

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

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