Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 17 January 2010
Distance: 30KM (29.4KM by James Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: Nike LunaRacer+
The New Balance Pacesetters 30KM was originally known as Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM. With Great Eastern pulling out, the event name was changed accordingly. The original venue for this place was suppose to be at Putrajaya but was changed instead to Padang Merbuk due to authorities issues.
To run or not to? That was the question I was asking myself. My friends who knew my condition had all asked me not to since a couple of weeks ago. However, as this run has a special meaning for me as it's my beloved Sky's death anniversary and it's his second this year, I left till the very last minute to decide on whether to put on my running gear.
I arrived at the Bukit Aman car park as early as 3.30am with no single soul around. Arrived early to park at my usual safe spot as there has been cases of break-ins lately. Better be early and safe rather to suffer the consequences. I did some test of my own to see if my left knee was behaving and it was. Though not as smooth, it was pretty acceptable. Even the test of running up and down at my home's staircase earlier before I left was all right. Therefore at 4.30am, my decision was made. I geared up only to be spotted by Keat Seong who came over for a lecturing session followed by Jennifer. I know they meant well but sometimes, I just have to make my own decision.
The race started sharp at 5.30am and I started from the middle with Choi, Jeff and Loke. Had a little problem navigating through the start gantry as it was very narrow and placed right in the middle of the car park. Knowing I will suffer later, my strategy was to run as fast as I can, for as long as I can.
Out of Padang Merbuk, runners were taken to the National Monument before heading towards Bank Negara followed by the usual Kenny Hills route heading towards the Duta Highway crossover. I was literary on race pace here till I hit the Tijani 2 apartments when pain started to creep in a little. That's just about 7KM in the race. But was lucky that James arrived in time and we paced and chatted together. While doing so, Saya and Shih Ming blazed past me. Choi too past me later at the 8KM mark.
Chatting with James did help a lot and we continued to do so till about the 10KM mark where he left me as I slowed a lot. I was still running but runners are starting to pass me. Besides my left knee hurting, both my upper feet was hurting too. The huge timing chip was a contribution to it but the main course lies with my running shoe. The tongue was shifting around and that left my upper expose to the laces. I had to stop to readjust a few times.
At 12KM, just behind the Petronas station at Sri Hartamas, Keat Seong passed me and ask if I was all right. Told him not to worry as we continued on our own. Soon, Henry and Foo too passed me. At 14KM mark where the Hartamas Taylor's College is, is where I started walking. Legs were already out of shape here and therefore, it's better to walk aiming just to complete the run. Shortly later, Jennifer passed me and asked me to take it easy.
Continued on towards the Matrade Tower. It's here I saw the St. John Ambulance's ambulance and I was really tempted to hop on. I did not. But it tested me again at the Inland Revenue Building when it appeared again. "NO", I told myself and soon found Chin Ann passing me at the Duta Highway crossover.
20KM marks the entrance to double hills. Going up is always a friendly option for the knee and I used the opportunity to run here. However, it was a run walk combination. Jalan Bukit Tungku is a stretch that I have never run before and the PowerBar people was distributing their energy gels here with Raymond Ng marshalling. I walk all the way down to the Tijani area and soon found Michelle passing me.
At 24KM just before the exit to the Mahameru Highway, Terence and Peter stop by for a chat with me. Good to have them but I told them to carry on as time was ticking. At 25KM, Yen Erl caught up with me and too stop running and chatted with me till we arrived at the National Monument exit.
Though I can see the finish line, there was still another 3KM to go as I need to tackle the Bank Negara route again. I was already out of the 3:30 qualifying time by then but that doesn't matter to me. I just continued on and by the time I arrived back at Padang Merbuk, I jog a little and finally completed the run in 03:56:28, my personal worst for a 30KM run and also slower than my marathon personal best. Hahaha...
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
Despite my results, I was actually pretty happy that I actually completed it. Painful for sure, but I'm glad I choose to run. Things will be a lot worse if not for my friends around pushing me as I ran and walk. Not to mention that I met a lot of my blog followers who frankly speaking, I do not know them. But it was great to be introduced. And to my concerned friends, no worries there. I did not push myself over the limit and managed to make it back safely. With 3 weeks till the next run, I promise you all that I will recuperate.
And finally, I dedicate this run to my beloved Sky who passed away on on 20 January 2008 on my first ever Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM run. You are missed dearly.