Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 18 March 2007
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 7
Nope... There is nothing wrong with this entry although the year stated here is 2007. It's a bit of a recap you see, as I have never posted my first ever road race report, being some more a marathon distance here. Many people will agree that the first marathon will be the most memorable and probably the most painful. So here it is, in conjunction with my 3rd year running anniversary (I started running on 18 March 2007), here's a look back on the race that started it all. Here's the story...
I arrived as early as 3am at Dataran Merdeka with Wai Lam hoping to get a parking near to the Start/Finish line. And yes I did. The whole place was light up pretty brightly. Although still another 90 minutes to the start of the marathon, many runners has arrived and started with their warm up. I too warm myself up and with 20 minutes to go, I took my first PowerBar Gel for the needed energy. After the arrival of all the guest of honour, KLIM 2007 started punctually at 4.30am. I do not know how many people were there, but all I know is that everyone is trying to run pass the ChampionChip mat to get their ChampionChip activated. I was somewhere at the front of the crowd and as I made my way through, my ChampionChip sounded "BEEP". And off I went. I started with a steady pace and everybody was overtaking me. I didn't mind as this isn't a race. I just want to complete it. Shortly after starting, Wai Lam was already way behind me. I didn't look back from there and just kept running. At 5KM, came the first refreshment station. Took 2 cups of 100+ and carried on. And as early as here, runners are seen relieving themselves at the roadside. Hahaha... And at 7.5KM is where the first sponging station appeared. Took a soaking cold sponge and wet myself on the head. It was so refreshing! I reached 10KM at the time of 1 hour 9 minutes 13 seconds. Pretty good compared to my 10KM Subang Run time. And the best part is, I am still going strong without any problems. Took another PowerBar Gel here and ran all the way to the 20KM mark. During my run there, I encountered 2 weird runners. Both of them are breathing so heavily that they produce some weird and irritating sound. It's like they are going to have a asthma attack or something. But I guess that's just their breathing rhythm.
I reached the 20KM mark at 2 hours 26 minutes 37 seconds, and took another PowerBar Gel. Still on time but this is where I started to show signs of breaking down. Energy level is still going strong, but my legs are beginning to hurt especially my knees and ankle. While still on time, I decided that I will mix running with fast pace walking. And to make thing even worse, traffic started to appear and its a major problem for my breathing. The emitted carbon monoxide from each vehicles didn't do any good to my breathing. I was suffocating! *cough* This is also where some prostitutes or transvestites appeared out of no where and cheered for the runners. When I passed them, I just looked down ignoring them, and they didn't cheer for me. Hahaha... Shortly later, the sun began to rise and quickly enough, it was already bright. Good Morning!
When I re-entered the city, there were plenty of people cheering for each of us. Even some foreigners waiting for buses with their kids cheered for me. And the Adidas sponsor was there to boost our mentality with their motto banner "Impossible Is Nothing". Some runners who overtook me was also kind enough to cheer for me. There was a middle aged Chinese man asking me to keep going, or at least walk at a faster pace. And there was this kind Indian lady who asked me whether am I still all right. Told her that I was and kept going. But shortly later, I found her sitting by the roadside with people assisting her to stretch. This time I slowed my pace down to ask on her and we each replied with a thumbs up. Throughout the whole route from here, we both are basically pacing each other, until the final 500M where she overtook me. Impressive!
Here comes the 30KM mark. I reached it at 3 hours 53 minutes 55 seconds. This is where the limit of the human marathon threshold is reached. I started to go "crazy", but still focusing on my pace. Here is also where my leg breaks down even more. I hardly can run anymore so therefore, I walk at a very fast pace. Even at walking, my legs especially my ankle still hurts a lot. But, I defy the pain and went on. PowerBar sponsors was there this time giving out free PowerBar Gel. With no hesitation, I took 1 and gulp it down on the spot. Started to exit the city from here and it's way much better. Less vehicles, more trees. With 9KM to go, countdown markers started to appear. From here, I have come to know this guy known as Mr. Tan. He's a member of the Pacesetters Club and it was also his first attempt at the full marathon. When I told him of my story, he was surprised that I jumped from 10KM to 42KM without first trying the 21KM. Hehehe... We chatted for a while, while we were walking as both our legs are beyond any imagination already. As my legs got a bit better, I left him. With the countdown marker getting lesser and lesser especially at 5KM more onwards, my heart was beating faster and I told myself, "Just a little bit more!". I pushed and pushed and at 3KM, I can see the sponsor's balloon floating high up in the sky. The finish line is near. At the last 2KM, Mr. Tan finally caught up with me and ran straight till the finish line. Good for him! And at the last 1KM, I have thought to run all the way to the finish line. Before that, I stretch my hamstrings a little only to feel a cramp sensation. With that I stopped stretching and went on as usual, not risking any damage at the closing stages of my run.
500M to go, I saw it. The finish line. Many people especially those who had already completed cheered for me. I did not want to disappoint them and started to run at full till my ChampionChip goes "BEEEEEEEEEP". I DID IT! I COMPLETED KLIM 2007! The feeling - INDESCRIBABLE, as I fulfilled yet another of my 2007 resolutions. I managed to complete the run within the given time frame of 6 hours and was placed 290 in my category and 668 overall. I completed it in 5 hours 50 minutes 10 seconds. Pretty close but I timed it all to perfection. From here, my emotions started to take over, and I shed some tears of joy as the marshals congratulated me while handing me my marathon finisher's medal and shirt.
With less than 10 minutes to go and no Wai Lam in sight, I felt the worse for him. Shortly after changing my sweaty vest into something dry, I finally met him. As expected he did not complete the marathon and quited at the 32KM mark. He reached there at 6 hours and it has already passed the qualifying time. Besides, his leg can't take it anymore, so he took an ambulance back. Nevertheless, it was still a great achievement for him.
As I successfully conquered this 42KM marathon, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to to all my encouraging friends, THANKS. To my gym instructors Lilian, Ben, Brian, Eugene, Joe and Shane, thanks for all the guidance. To Dr. Tc Quah from SNUH, thanks for everything in what might have been The End for me at that time. And not forgetting my parents whom actually didn't actually encourage my participation in this event.
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
So here it is. The KL International Marathon 2007. All I can sum up here is "The determination! The satisfaction! The pain! The agony!". Till next year then, KL International Marathon 2008.