Sunday, March 01, 2009

KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge 2009...

Event: KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge 2009
Venue: KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 1 March 2009
Time: 8am
Distance: 1KM uphill run, 1.02KM (2,058 stairs climb)
Shoe: adidas Response Control 7
By Frank

I remember chatting with Geraldine and Lynn about this year's KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge event while driving home after Geraldine's farewell dinner. At that time, it wasn't yet confirm and I was anxiously looking forward to it. And so when it was announced to the public, I was thinking hard whether to run it as I was already down with my knee injury. In the end, I decided to risk it for the sake of running this unique vertical race since I was told I'm recovering well. With no training and only managing 24.19KM prior to this race after laying off with my injury, I'm seriously looking for trouble. But since it's more like a training run to regain my fitness and not wanting to stress my just recovered knee, I took it easy. And I told almost no one about it, hence it was a suprise for some who saw me at race venue. Haha...

My stomach was acting up in the morning. Somehow, it was bloated and was slightly purging even after arriving at the venue. But I was lucky that there was a spanking clean toilet at the nearby hotel that even comes with music. Another problem that I had to tackle was the selection of shoes. Stair climbing isn't an easy job especially when one has to climb 2,058 steps and it may be slippery due to the cement pavement. Not wanting to wear my racers, I opt for my only choice left, the adidas Response Control 7 which somehow, I didn't really like the choice I made. But I had no choice as this is the only shoe with the most tread left which will allow better traction compared to my other shoes.


The 421 meter high KL Tower...

The usual meeting up with friends like Choi, Kevin, Lionel, Pueh Tian, Victor and many others was a good sight for me as it's been a while since I ran with them. Though we didn't start at the same time due to the staggered start, we did managed to catch up well.

I was in the first start which officially started at 8am. As with last year, the starting area wasn't improve at all and it was still uneven with plenty of rocks. No matter, I cautiously navigated through it and was soon starting my uphill run up to the tower's entrance. Experience counts here as I made a big mistake last year of going out too early and was soon punished by the lack of oxygen in the tower shaft. Only halfway up the hill, some were already seen walking.

I arrived at the shaft entrance in a time of 00:05:20. The start of the climb was quite a problem as many were fighting for positions at that time, thus not allowing me to pass. I carried climbing on the left side managing two steps at a time but sometimes being slowed down to single step pace by those who were already out of breath but yet blocking the whole stair way. By one quarter through, as the crowd disperse, I had more space and thus carried on.

Halfway through, I was gasping for air. Decided to slow down by mixing one and two steps climb and breathing deeply. It really help with the much improve ventilation this year. Soon, I pass Kenny and Guna. Further up, I spotted Naresh who was already on his hands crawling all the way up. Asked if he needed help and all I got was a shake. Continuing on passing a few refreshment station, I was greeted by water on the steps. Not wanting to slip, I took it with caution and even threw a bottle to the marshall in charge to prevent others from slipping on it.

Soon at level TH01, a security officer told me that there are 2 floors remaining. Somehow, I just don't understand how is the floors structured as I was only greeted by a medical aid station. Maybe I was wrong in counting the floors but shortly later, I was greeted by the Mega View Banquet Deck as I cross the finish line with a time of 00:20:17!

Gulp down 2 bottles of water before descending the tower with TS Chin to collect our finisher's medal and goodie bag. After taking some snacks, I quickly ran back to my car to grab my camera to snap some photos of other runners while catching up with the others. Soon, the sun was up and it was nearing 11am before I decided to make a move.

The men senior veteran runners bursting out from the starting point...


A rather ridiculous photo shot with Victor...
Notice Paula Radcliffe on the board. Didn't know she ran the KL Towerthon...

We conquered KL Tower...

Overall, this year's edition was much improved compared to last year's, the ventilation being the main thing. It was a wonderful event and I was glad I signed up for it as I experience no discomfort on my knee. Probably I just got to work on my fitness now as I hereby announce my come back!

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

The goodie bag...

2 comments:

Carboman said...

Yes Paula set the WR for the climb! Hahaha! Good that you're back.

Kenny said...

Well done ! You are back on track ! Good timing too and better than last year !