Venue: Dataran Putrajaya, Putrajaya
Date: 25 July 2009
Distance: 11.5KM (11.42KM by James's Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: Nike LunarGlide+
The Shape & Men's Health Run which made its debut here last year was a successful running event that offers not only a well organised run but also attracted lots of sponsors which in the end benefited the runners with a superbly packed goodie bag. This year's edition was upgraded to a distance of 11.5KM and instead of a morning run at the streets of Kuala Lumpur city, a night run at Putrajaya was held instead.
This was my first ever running event after going down with injury at the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2009. Though I did a couple of short runs being a 2.7KM and 5KM respectively followed by a 160KM bike ride last weekend, I still do not know if my legs especially my left will be able to withstand the pounding of a 11.5KM run, plus the hard surface at Putrajaya. Therefore, I do not have high hopes for this run. Just taking it as a test run and to have fun with my friends. Besides, I will be testing out the Nike LunarGlide+ which I received a couple of weeks ago which I have yet to test them.
I arrived together with Pui San and Shih Ming as I bump into them halfway through the drive to the venue. With close to 2 hours to go, we hung around the race village and soon was united with the rest of the THG group from Lynn, Chin Chin, Michelle, Siok Bee and Raymond. Lynn decided not to run though and she came armed with her camera. Thanks Lynn! I even met up with Henry whom I was chatting through Facebook in the noon while he was waiting for a flight back from Penang. And the big suprise was, I bump into James who came together with Yoke Kuan, both student and ex-colleague respectively from Taylor's Business School. Was realy good to catch up with him again.
The run started sharp at 8pm. The weather was really warm and humid. The first 3KM or so was rather flat as it took us towards the Putrajaya International Convention Center. Though I burst out of the starting pent like a charging bull, I was no match for Choi who overtook me with just 1KM into the run. I suspect it was due to the durians he ate earlier. Haha... On the Seri Gemilang Bridge just before arriving at the convention center, Pui San waved and passed me. As like the previous year when I paced with her, this year I couldn't keep up. She soon disappear into the darkness as I started my climb around the convention center's hill.
As I arrived down from the climb, my left knee started to twitch a little. Little vibrations were felt on the knee cap and it was uncomfortable. I slowed my pace down as I made my return to the Seri Gemilang Bridge. There was a refreshment station here and I was forced to gulp down a cup of water due to the dryness. I can even feel the heat coming up from the tarmac as water were spilled over it. Both my foot was getting really warm too, due to the poor ventilation of the Nike LunarGlide+. Continuing on, I spotted Shih Ming on the opposite side and she was looking good for a podium finish. I did not call out to her though as there were too many runners around. Loke passed me just after the bridge as we ran into Precint 4 passed yet another bridge, the Seri Saujana Bridge which offers some best views of Putrajaya. As my pace was slowing down here, I get to enjoy them. As Choi always said, "Slow is beautiful". Keat Seong passed me here, and though we chatted for a moment, he was off soon.
It was a long stretch here around Precint 7 and to the third bridge I ran, the Seri Wawasan Bridge. Beautiful bridge which I'm sure the newly weds will agree too as they were doing their photo shoot there. Making my way into the last 2KM, more and more runners passed me as I was conserving my energy for the final kilometer. And upon seeing the marker, I went a little faster bearing the discomfort on my left knee. Yee Hua coincidentally passed me at this point. I felt bad having to pass her immediately after that though. I know it felt like a racing gesture but it was of no intention.
A final climb was all it stands towards the final 200M stretch towards the finish line as I took it just like any hill climbs, small steps with fast cadence. As I took the left turn and immediately saw the finish line, I was just glad that I made it and eventually crossed it in a time of 01:01:28. All 75 finisher's medal were snatched up as expected, but I was rewarded with a goodie bag worth RM300 which was just as good. I was also rewarded by a tummy ache which I had to pay a visit to the toilet. Darn...
We hung around the race village sharing our race experiences with each other. Victor was there too who came to support. Pui San and Shih Ming came in 4th and 5th in their own category respectively. Well done! After getting the prizes and cleaning up, we all adjourned to a nearby eatery till almost midnight before we left for home for a good nights' rest.
Overall, the Shape & Men's Health Run 2009 was a runaway success. Though the weather was really hot and humid, this is something which we all can't control. As I said, just suck it up and run. And though I did mentioned that this was a test run earlier, I was a little disappointed for not able to run a sub 1 hour run, but was consoled by Keat Seong saying that I have yet to recover. Maybe that's true. Thanks pal. Therefore, I'm just currently so out of shape that I got to start everything from scratch. Till my next run next week at the adidas King Of The Road. Now left knee, be good OK?