Venue: National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Selangor
Date: 13 March 2011
Distance: 21KM (20.2KM by Map My Run)
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ruuz
Almost didn't make it to my first race of the year. Was down with fever 2 days prior to it. Emergency counter measure was taken yesterday to make sure I'm able to make it and so I did. Was thinking of giving it a go to try to outrun my half marathon personal best which has been standing since more than 2 years now. I know the chances are slim as my training is based on distance now, and not speed. But I left it to the last minute to decide on whether to whack it, or simply just to complete it based on how I felt.
And so I woke up at 12.30am. Yeap folks. When you are getting ready to go to bed, I'm climbing out of it. Still feverish but it' s better now. Tried to bring it down with a wet cool towel while having a pleasant breakfast before leaving home at 2.30am. By 3am, I arrived at the venue and quickly hooked up with James at his The Marathon Shop sales booth. Had to resupply him with some stuff and wanted a good parking spot for fear of car break-ins which happened at last year's edition. That's the whole reason for arriving 2.5 hours prior to the race. Hahaha...
Nose started running first but my body felt ok. Just a slight fever, I decided to run it. I even choose to run in my tri top and shorts as this will allow me to pour water over myself to cool myself down without having moisture retention. Jamie arrived at 4am and soon was Yim who was holding my race bib. The starting point was 300M away from the race village and we jog there as part of our warming up. At 5.30am sharp, runners were let off.
Had a little problem passing runners at the start but once out on the open roads, things were fine. I tried to keep pace with Jamie which I managed too till completing the Sungai Besi Highway which was rather enjoyable to run on. The climb into the Bukit Jalil bus terminal was horrible due to the heavy traffic and the narrow single lane.
Then, it's into Sri Petaling area where I choke on my GU Brew which I brought along. Didn't help at all with my running nose and I slowed down to catch my breathe. Shortly, I arrived at the 10KM mark, which I think that area is call Happy Gardens. The first major climb and boy it was tough. But I managed to excel here with some hill running methods I've been implementing. The second climb wasn't too bad as I still managed to chat with Alex. *Blargh... Conquering the climbs, I finally caught up with Jamie and shared a few moments chatting together. He even showed me his old house!
Pace was building and so are the others. At 14KM, James and John was there to give out the energy gels but I opt not to take it. Soon later, Ah Ming caught up and we ran together. At the last 4KM or so, Jamie slowed down a little and asked me to go ahead. But a Malay chap came beside me and started pacing with me. I found it really irritating as he came very close to me and was forcing me out of the running lane. I tried to shake him off but every time I slowed down, he waited for me. ARGHH...
"Ironwar" came into my mind that time and so I played some mind games with him reserving one single gear for myself. Stride for stride, we traded till the last kilometer where I just pump into my extra gear and managed to shook him off for good.
Entering the finishing area, Raymond was there to cheer and what I can only offer is a smile. Already breathless while zooming in and nearly fell due to the cobble stone surface. At the end of it, I completed my first race of the year with a time of 01:51:41 which I'm really happy with. Oh yeah, the Malay chap who earlier paced me came to thank me which in the end, was courtesy after all.
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
Despite not running a personal best, I truly enjoyed this run a lot for the weather was kind and the organisation was good. At least I was not feeling wasted. Besides, I had a good deal of time meeting and catching up with friends like Andrew, Michael, Raymond, Yim, Victor, James Wong, James Fong, Lynn, Michelle, Sunny and so many more. And before signing off, here's a big THANK to Fui Cheng, Rao, Yim and Jamie for helping me with the collection of my race pack. Till the biggie the next 2 weeks...
* Oh and yeah. If you are wondering what are the counter measures I took to tackle my fever, besides the wet towel, it was just green tea! Flavonoid goodness!