Venue: National Zoo, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 8 March 2009
Distance: 9.25KM (1.85KM X 5 loops)
Shoe: adidas adizero Tempo
"Lets go to the zoo, there's a lot of things to do. Lalala...". OK, don't know how to sing already. But anyway, those who remember this song from the KFC advertisement will probably remember the good old days when KFC has their outlet at Zoo Negara (National Zoo) during the late 80s. Sadly, it's no longer there, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do at the zoo. Besides visiting the wildlife and enjoying the fresh morning breeze from the green surroundings, we can even run! Yes, a run was organised today and I guess it must be the first of its kind in Malaysia, proudly sponsored by Saucony and also an event derived from one of my running mates, Choi. Of course I must support, although just taking it as a fun run.
I arrived at the zoo at about 6.30am welcomed by the "aroma", the first indication of how the air quality is going to be like during the run. Hahaha... It was pitch black at the car park but that didn't stop me from spotting Loke. Geared up and proceeded to the entrance to collect our bibs before meeting up with Lawrence there. My bib number was rather nice numbering at A111. Made our way to the starting point with the guidance of candle lights along the way. Very Balinese style. Hooked up with other friends like Jamie, Kevin, Lionel and Pueh Tian, chatting away till the start time which was 10 minutes late due to the late arrival of the sun.
And so, runners were set loose at 7.40am. I started way at the back with Lawrence and Loke managing a short chat as we took our first left turn shortly after 200M or so. And boy I was surprised with it as I was greeted by a climb as I thought the entire route was flat. But in fact, I welcome it as a mixture of gradient will always be nice. As no warm up was done earlier, I took my first loop as one taking it easy throughout the way enjoying the sights and not to mention smell of the zoo. The descend after the climb was some animal enclosure which I think is the buffalo. And boy this area was filled with the stench of ammonia. It served as wake up call and I tend to run faster at this area. Further down, I ran pass the hippos, giraffes, gibbons and elephants. I can hear the roar of the tigers but did not spot them.
Upon completion of my first loop, I went a little faster at the second till my fourth. Halfway through my fourth loop, the leading runner ran pass me, shortly followed by the second till the fourth. They are really fast, when I'm really slow. My fifth and final loop will be my fastest as I want to get the taste of being breathless again. And after feeling it, I slowed down at the final stretch and eventually crossed the finish line at position 10 clocking 00:43:51. Was given my position number by Lionel before being congratulated by Jamie and off I went for my warming down run and stretch. My right knee twitch a little as spasm took over for a while, but I'm glad it was nothing serious, and at least not as bad as a couple of days ago.
Though not in "race mode" yet, I'm really happy with my progress thus far as I continue to run in shorter races as I enjoy both the race environment while training. The Wild Wild Run 2009 was truly a unique run as it moves away from road running and into a garden area housing various wildlife, an experience many will just love. I will of course be looking forward to it's second edition!
Rear view of my finisher's medal...