Venue: Setia Alam Welcome Centre, Shah Alam, Selangor
Date: 5 June 2010
Distance: 21KM (20.9KM by Keat Seong's Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ona C
I have no plans to participate in this event. However, while walking pass the New Balance store at 1 Utama on one faithful day, I noticed how cute the medal was as there were 2 cartoon characters on it. With no hesitation, I signed up on spot.
I haven't been running in the half marathon distance since last year's adidas King of the Road 2009. Even my personal best was done 2 years back at the RMAF Half Marathon 2008. I do really want to outrun it, but knowing it's just a week after my 84KM adventure at Sundown Marathon 2010, I'm just taking this run easy as last year's injury memory is still pretty fresh in my mind.
I did not sleep a wink since waking up at 9am yesterday. Reason, overdose of caffeine as I was at an exhibition earlier at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Free flow of gourmet coffee was served and I took the opportunity to indulge which was a cup too many.
As this is my first time going to this place call Setia Alam which is located in between Shah Alam and Bukit Raja, I left pretty early at 4.45am. Arrived at about 5.15am and I noticed I was not really early after all as there were already quite a number of runners there. Luckily the car park was huge to accommodate a few hundreds of vehicles.
Keat Seong, Jennifer, Raymond, Michelle, Poh Seng and Kelvin all arrived and after a short photo session, we are off running at 6.30am except for Jennifer who is running the 10KM distance. I started well. Well, at least for the first 2KM before Keat Seong came beside me telling me that my pace was too fast for the start. I drop my pace and that allowed him to take the lead. I managed to follow him but was slowly loosing out. I had problems increasing my pace again as sleepiness started to crawl in after 5KM or so.
Rain clouds was seen. And as I approach the u-turn point at about 7KM, it started raining. It got heavier and heavier and rain is something I dislike. Luckily I had my K-Swiss K-Ona C on and I managed to keep my feet "water free" even going over puddles of it. Though many will think rain will refreshen them up, it wasn't the case for me. Rain water mixed with sweat flowing into my eyes isn't a nice thing to experience. And falling asleep didn't make it better as I tried to evade wet spots and also cow dungs. Yeap, very "country" place indeed. Haha...
Though it was only 7KM into the race, the distance marker was saying it was 10KM. Immediately I know that this is going to be an under distance race and I was relieved as I was hoping to complete it as soon as possible to have a rest. I kept going, pace dropping off till I reached to a jog.My right hip flexors also started to stiffen as I ran. Probably the effects from last weekend's race which is starting to show that I'm not fully recovered yet despite feeling good on normal days.
Into some housing estates before going back to the main road. Roads were pretty straight and long at certain part and I was reminded that the road to the finish will be a u-turn. From a distance, I saw the Setia Alam Welcome Centre. It was a good sight but it was on the other side of the road. And the run to the u-turn point is actually pretty far, at about 500M or so. Told myself to just endure for another 7 minutes and it will be all over.
As I approach the finish line, Keat Seong called out but what I could offer is to show my sleepy face as I completed the race in 02:04:21. A very sleepy race indeed. But, I was surprised that the race was actually 20.9KM in distance which means I ran at a pretty reasonable pace.
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
During the course of the run, there were quite a number of runners who came along side to congratulate me on my recent Sundown Marathon 2010. Some I knew, but there some I do not too. I was really surprised and touched by them as a simple congratulations message from them really meant a lot. Thanks guys!
After hanging out for a while, I return home for a good shower before I had to return to the exhibition, which means I do not have the privilege to rest. More gourmet coffee?