Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 10KM (10.27KM by Choi's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3
I's been a while since I ran a race around the Klang Valley, the last being the Shape & Men's Health Run 2008 back in August 2008. I have been running my LSDs throughout the weekend in preparation for my last 2 marathons at year end. Not forgetting too that I was hit by fatigue a week ago which left me almost "training-less" for the whole week. But I guess that the almost "training-less" was a good choice as it allowed me to recover well from mainly all the recent back to back LSDs which took a toll on me. Anyhow, I took the Mizuno Wave Run 2008 as a form of speed training, which will certainly help as part of my marathon training. And I handed my Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3 its long awaited race debut, a shoe that I can't help resist going fast with it. And to make things even more interesting, this year's event is ran on the reverse double hills route, which I personally think it's much easier.
Feeling the need for speed with the Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3...
I came into the Mizuno Wave Run 2008 with wounds on both my Achilles due to wrong selection of socks the day before running on my Nike Lunar Trainer+. The shoe is so baptised in blood that it was painful to even think about it now. But anyway, I bandaged both my Achilles up pretty thick with cotton and micropore tape hoping that no further chaffing will occur. Besides that, I also gave my Oakley Flak Jacket a second try hoping to get more used to it, but it was a costly decision as I had problems getting rid of the sweat that flowed into my eyes thoughout the run.
I arrived at Bukit Aman carpark at around 5.00am listening to inspirational and motivational songs throughout my journey there. Was just in time to catch up with Jamie, Lawrence, Luc and Geraldine who was about to start their LSDs. Shortly, I found company in Choi, Lionel and Loke when they arrived. The car park was filled up at about 6.30am when we were about to leave for the race venue.
The Fantasic Four before the start...
The usual group photos, emptying the bladder and warm up session took place before we all group up like sardines at the starting point. A total of 2,800 runners participated in this run and the starting point spanned at least 200M long. I was in the middle pack with Adam, Chin, Choi, Loke, Keat Seong and Kevin chatting away till we heard the air horn went off.
The adventure started and it was really difficult to navigate through the sea of runners. And quickly enough, I felt the irritation on my right Achilles. Too late to adjust the bandage and so I had no choice but to run with it. Slightly more than 500M into the race, Jessica Tang overtook me and I decided to follow her as she was navigating pretty well. Then Chin Chin came from behind and this time, I followed her instead till the flyover above the Mahameru highway. I broke free from the crowd here I think my warm up was just enough as I got into my race pace.
Conquering the double hills route was rather swift but I took it the safe way coming down from it as I didn't want to hurt my knees. Refreshment station was the reward for the successfully tackling double hills but I skip it continuing on the straight road ahead till the steep climb at Tijani's. Into Kenny Hill I went and being one of my favourite place to run, I zoomed pass it with ease.
Arriving back near to the starting point and soon the route into the Palace and National Monument, Michael Gan (editor for Pacesetters Malaysia Footloose newsletter) was there to direct runners up the hill. He mentioned that there is still 2.3KM to go. At that time, I checked on my watch and notice that I have 11 minutes to run this distance if I were to dip below 50 minutes. Really wanting to do it, I went into burst mode and started running like I was chase like a bull! My Achilles wound though wasn't really kind to me especially the right side as it began to hurt. I was hoping it didn't open up causing blood to ooze out again as I was in my new pair of shoes!
Surprisingly, I saw Lionel just in front. In my mind, he was suppose to be way ahead by now, maybe even completing the race already. But I guess, his side stitch problem occurred to him again. I overtook him as a motivation gesture as I didn't want to call his name out to add pressure to him. That lighted a flame within him as he came from behind shortly and went for it.
Back to Jalan Parlimen, Jamie and Lawrence who had completed their LSD was cheering for runners at the traffic intersection leading to Lake Gardens. Jamie called out to me to cheer me on and I gave both of them a thumbs up. Jamie's cheer was really precious that time as I had less than 3 minutes left to reach the finish line. Just like how Lionel found the flame in him, I found mine too and sprinted like no tomorrow making my turns around Padang Merbuk's carpark till I hit the finish line crossing it at position 130 overall clocking 00:49:28!
On the podium but somehow, most of us are standing "crooked"...
Front view of the finisher's medal...
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
Though not my personal best, I was really happy with my results. To come back from fatigue, to run it with 2 Achilles wound and considering the hilly route, there is nothing more I can ask for. Congratulations to all my friends too for running a solid run. And a deep felt gratitude to Choi for organising a simulation run the day before which really help in understanding the route even more especially to those new to running. THANK YOU!