Date: 26 September 2010
Distance: 25KM (25.9KM by Jamie's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ona C
Why am I doing this? This is the question I asked myself when I arrived at Bandar Kinrara, the start venue for the Newton 25KM Challenge at 4am when the race only starts at 6.30am. I could have enjoyed an extra 2 hours of sleep. But I know that this had to be done for The North Face Challenge is 2 weeks away. And this will be the peak of training, well in away if you consider the longest mileage in a single run. Actually, this will be the only mileage this week for me. Hahaha...
Joined by Jamie, Yim and Au Yong Pui San, we decided to run a distance of 17KM first on the first part of the almost flat race course. This at least will allow us to save our legs for the actual race. And before the 4 crazy runners started, Tey arrived to snap photos for us. So you have it, 4 crazy runners plus 1 crazy photographer. Hehehe... Thanks Tey for the effort.
Started at 4.10am comfortably but upon reaching the traffic light junction at Jalan Puncak Jalil, Pui San drop off due to some ankle discomfort. Yim was kind enough to accompany her back while myself and Jamie made our way back to the car park to meet up with Loke. A quick sip of drink and we were back on the road. Still 4 of us, but without Pui San but with Loke this time. Ran comfortable but upon reaching the junction, I'm already feeling my legs began to tire. Besides, the weather was really humid and a hot hot race is expected. Clear sky with stars can be seen. On the way back to the car park, we were arranging the cones as they were somehow being kicked down by "Mat Rempits" we guess.
Got back to the car in 01:52:01, changed into my race shoe, put on my race bib and a quick check on the gear before we made a rolling start from our car. Yim was probably the show this morning where he changed into traditional Malay clothing plus a songkok. But he look weird with his Vibram Five Finger though. Hahaha... By the time we got to the start gantry, the timer already started 2 minutes.
Started comfortably and we were slowly making ground while chatting with friends that we know and some we don't. It's weird and embarrassing when others know you but you don't know them. I paced together with Jamie though I know I will slowly dropped off as he is physically fitter than me. I tried to stick to him for as long as I can. When both of us got back to the junction for the third time together, the game starts. The first part of the climb and I was already struggling. But at certain stages, I did attack as I just want to get it over with and I had the vision of the new McDonald's Triple Cheeseburger powering me here. But as I grew tired, the burger sight slowly became a wall. DANG!
Arriving at the long stretch heading towards the first u-turn point, we were trying to spot our friends at the opposite side making their return. Spotted many including Ben, Raymond, Eugene, Chin Chin and Yann Kai. The u-turn was smack right at the end of this road, which I did not do during our earlier simulation run. So with this, the distance will be made up. Left calves started twitching at this part, felt like a mouse moving in it. A water station appeared but was poorly managed as I had to pour my own drink. Regretted though as the isotonic drink I took was gassy and I felt uncomfortable later.
Bumped into the 12KM runners at their u-turn point and 1 of them is Lynn. Waved at her while sipping form my hydration bag. I just couldn't smile anymore. On the way back to the junction, Jamie took his first walk which I gladly welcome. Accompanied him till he restarted his run.
Next the main course, approaching Bandar Putra Permai. At about 13KM or so, I began to lost it. Legs were locking and pace was slowing down. Was still able to stick with Jamie but eventually lost him at Lestari Perdana when I had to stop due to sudden chest pain. Had to release my hydration bag sternum buckle to relax it. Took a while before it went away but damaged done here as legs started to lock up and Jamie was gone.
Started to mix walk and run. Weird for others I guess, but I ran up the hill, but walk down it. Reason, I want to save my legs from getting injured. At 20KM near the traffic light junction again, my left shin started to ache. But I told myself, another 5KM more! Let's go, Let's go!
About 3KM to go, I spotted Yen Erl closing on me. We ran together for a while before I had to rest again. With 1KM to go, I spotted Sham from Key Power International and had a short chat with him before pushing all my way to the finish completing the 25KM distance in 03:00:16. And to my suprise, I received a finisher's medal which honestly speaking, I wasn't expecting one as they cap it to 50%.
Total distance covered, 42.9KM in a time of 04:52:17. Tough run even tougher than KL Marathon due to the hilly course but I'm glad to have finish it. A marathon distance completed, satisfaction guarenteed. And my rewards, junk protein for lunch, McDonald's Triple Cheeseburger. Hahaha...
A note on this race though. I felt the water station to be poorly managed. Not sure of the front runners but the slower ones only had plain water to drink. Ran out of isotonic and we had to pour ourselves. Besides that, traffic control was poor too. The marshalls just can't decide which lane runners should run in. One came in yelling left side, while another right side. Make up your mind will you! Other than that, it was reasonably all right though there were some complains about the medal as the 12KM and 25KM share the same. And pretty plain looking too except for Sir Isaac Newton's face on it.
And finally, thanks to everyone especially Jamie, Yim, Tey, Loke and Pui San who come early to run. Rest well for now. Till The North Face Challenge...