Sunday, August 17, 2008

Larian Perpaduan Merdeka 2008...

Event: Larian Perpaduan Merdeka 2008
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 17 August 2008
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 10KM (10.24KM by Nike+ SportBand)
Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3
By Frank

The Larian Perpaduan Merdeka 2008 or Merdeka Unity Run 2008 is held in conjunction with Malaysia's 51st independence day. No targets for me again as I did not want to risk any injuries before the Nike+ Human Race 10K. So just like last weekend, I'm going to treat this as a training run.

As usual, I arrived at the venue as early as 5.45am to secure my usual parking spot. Did a few pushups while waiting for time to pass and shortly later at 6.3a0am, Choi arrived and so did the others too like Daniel, Pueh Tian, Ryan and Ronnie. And so before reporting into the starting area, we all did our usual warming up before I went to empty my bladder.

Group photo with the Pacemakers...

At 7.20am, I found myself in the starting area in the middle pack with Choi and Ryan. With 10 minutes to spare, we chatted while waiting for the Prime Minister's arrival, which he eventually arrived on time at 7.30am for the start of the race. After releasing the event baloon, he shortly started the race. Ryan managed to get a clean start and off he went leaving me and Choi behind. Both of us got stuck for a while before eventually finding ourselves some running space.

My first 5KM through Kenny Hill and Bukit Tungku was at an easy pace and I ran comfortably till I hit the exit to Jalan Duta. This is where I normally will suffer. However, suprisingly I did not suffer as much as I expected today. Although the weather wasn't really hot, it was dry. But thanks to my recent training which starts at around 4pm, it had really helped me here. There were plenty of vehicles and the fumes made things worst. I started clearing my throat by spitting whenever I feel it gets clogged up. Not even halfway through yet, I caught up with Ryan who had already started walking up the hill. I encouraged him to do a slow jog instead to get his momentum running which he did later. We paced together till the next climb up to Jalan Parlimen where he was reduced to walking again. Sigh... I continued alone here and was greeted by the runners of the 7KM and 3KM category which turned the streets into a runner's nightmare. All lanes were taken up by them and most of them were walking. I had to run in a zig-zag manner to maneuver myself around them just like an obstacle course. I almost collided with a kid who was running out and in of the safety barriers. Although I tried to avoid him by seeing him do that, but somehow, he just came in front of me. That slowed me down a little. At the traffic junction leading to Lake Gardens, Adam was there as a spectator. He cheered me on by informing me that I was in the top 10 position. Haha... That joker. Further in front, I caught up with Zulazlan and we ran together for a while. Back at the Bank Negara roundabout, I really had to "thank" the traffic police in charge at that time to allow vehicles to pass while runners are coming in. I lost my running momentum here as I had to slow down and eventually stop for a while. This has certainly slowed my finishing.

As I near the finish line, Zulazlan made his move. I told him to go ahead as I won't be challenging him. And while he sprinted to the finish line, I took an easy time to enjoy myself as I suddenly heard Lionel calling my name. He was just at the side snapping photos of runners including mine. Thanks my friend. Shortly later, I crossed the finish line at position 78 clocking 00:53:19.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

Despite not my personal best time on this particular route, I was satisfied as it was an easy run and I did not suffer as much as I used too. And as I mentioned earlier, I have set no target. I participated in this race to train which I did and to have fun, which I did too. The event was well organised and I can't actually blame the organiser for the "human traffic jam" at the Jalan Parlimen stretch. For a RM10 event which I was rewarded a finisher's medal and certificate with a goodie bag filled with food and drinks, there is nothing else I can ask for more. But here's a tip. I mentioned above that I did a few pushups while waiting for the others to arrive. The pushups has really helped me maintain my running posture as the stronger pectoral and deltoid muscles seems to assist my shoulder strength while I run. It really helps and may I suggest that for those who are reading this, try it out before the start of a race as a warmup.

The finisher's certificate...

Now, just a relook on the Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3 which I wore for this race. After running for an approximately 250KM in it, the shoe was still comfortable to wear as it's more "run-in" now. But after falling in love with the Nike Lunar Trainer+, somehow it seems that I now can't get use to the softness of the Vomero+ 3. I felt my toe-off was slower as I need to work a little harder. Another issue is the outsole on the left pair seems to giving out some weird noise since 200KM or so. It sounded like air being pushed out from the outsole at the heel area just like a suspension system. Although it doesn't happen always, it still gets pretty irritating when it does, which it did today. I'm not sure the reason behind it, and I shall try to find out with a few runs in it.

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