Sunday, March 28, 2010

Energizer Night Race 2010...

Event: Energizer Night Race 2010
Venue: Kelab Komuniti Taman Tasik Cyberjaya
Date: 27 March 2010
Time: 6pm
Distance: 42.195KM (41.01KM by Eugene's Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 14
By Frank

The Energizer Night Race 2010 will be my eleventh marathon. I foresee that it wouldn't be an easy run for me, but it seems, there was a twist to it.

As the event is held at Cyberjaya, it's the usual stop at Bandar Puteri Puchong with Jeff, Jordan and their partners for an early dinner at the noodle shop there. We then departed and arrived shortly at 4.30pm. I followed Jeff as he had GPS with him and we were parked some 2KM for the starting point. No worries though as there were free shuttle bus service to ferry runners.

With Jordan and Jeff at the baggage counter...

And so by 5pm, we arrived at the race venue. Geared up, check our baggage in and off we went to socialise with our friends. Then I found my running partner for this race, Keat Seong. Jennifer who decided not to run as she just completed her maiden Ironman 70.3 at Singapore last weekend came to support us by cycling around the route which was really nice of her. At 5.30pm, together with Keat Seong and Kel Vin, we jog to the starting point and soon met up with Ben, Yee Hua, Denis, Mohan and Richard in which we started the race together.

The race started sharp at 6pm with a little accident as the horn's nozzle fell off as it was blown by the Energizer representative. But it was quickly rectified by Rustam, Pacesetters Malaysia's president. And we were off. It was a hot and humid evening as the weren't any clouds blocking the sun ray. But it did got better as the sun starts to set half an hour later which came some light breeze. I only managed to run with Keat Seong for about 500M before we lost each other.

There was a short climb ahead but I was what really amazed me was the first water station that was marked as 2KM into the race. I did a quick check on my watch and it was only 5 minutes plus. Immediately, I know that this run will be under distance with evidence showing at each distance markers. Not sure where I was running to but it kind of reminded me of the first 8KM during my Macau Marathon 2009, construction site and empty land all over.

At about 5KM, Jennifer cycled passed me and told me that I was seperated from Keat Seong by quite a distance. Whether he was ahead or behind me, I did not hear it properly. But as as I ran, I spotted him ahead and quickly caught up with him at the 7KM mark.

He was running with Kel Vin and I joined in. I believe we were running on Persiaran Apec at that time which I really like due to the mixture of gradients. However, Kel Vin dropped off after the water station at the 9KM mark which left me and Keat Seong running together.

2 familiar faces appeared shortly after 10KM which I arrived in 00:57:49. Andrew and Wai Lam who came to support were seen here with the big guns (dSLR cameras) and were shooting away.

With Keat Seong just after the 10KM mark...

Next, we proceeded to the Perdana Lake where I had my cycling session 2 weeks ago. Khoo Yit Kiat was cheering for us here. Familiar stretch but then it took me into the unknown Persiaran Rimba Permai where the Dell office is located. Was still running good here till about the 15KM mark where fire fighters where seen spraying water from the hydrant to cool runners know. I really welcome this and just ran through it. However, shortly in front, I had to take out my running vest and I felt a burning sensation on my left chest. Immediately I know it was chaffing (I poured water over my head to cool myself) and so I had to run topless, indecent exposure again but luckily it was in the night. Hahaha…

Next, it was Persiaran Multimedia where the Multimedia University is. And we spotted Roger making his return trip. He was really far ahead of us, plus he just did Ironman Malaysia plus Ironman 70.3 Singapore in the last 1 month.

Turned into Persiaran Bestari and into the dark at the u-turn point which was the 20KM mark. Time was 01:58:37. Making my return trip, I spotted Yee Hua, Choi, Loke and Jeff at the opposite side and exchange waves.

I was still with Keat Seong but he was slowing down. Returning back at Multimedia University, I looked back and I failed to spot him. I slowed down and even took a few opportunities to walk while waiting for him to catch up. He did not and I was forced to resume running although at a slower pace.

At about the 25KM mark, I spotted Jennifer by the road side and informed her what had happen. She cycled back to check on Keat Seong before returning to me. A shocking news was delivered. Keat Seong decided to call it night. He was just not himself as he fell sick a couple of weeks ago and was on antibiotics. With no running partner, I carried on and started my race pace. I was doing some fartleks along the way back but soon I got tired.

But things turned good with friend like Ija and Chris supporting at the side. Besides, occasionally, I do catch up with Richard at the water station and had a short chat. Arriving at the 29KM mark, the PowerBar team were giving out energy gels and I quickly noticed that I have yet to take a single energy gel, except for the one pack half an hour before the start. I was pretty surprised about this.

At the end of Persiaran Multimedia, I spotted Lionel and called out to him before I turned into Persiaran Apec again. As I attack the climb here, I tried to spot my friends who were running the half marathon distance. I only spotted Lawrence who I think was caught by surprised when I shouted to him. Hehehe… It was along way back but the moment I saw the turning into the earlier mentioned Macau lookalike place, I hasten up. Caught up with Keven here and just before I passed him, he stop running and walk. Immediately tried to motivate him by asking him to jog before I left him.

Just before the 35KM mark, I suddenly felt a sharp jab on my chest. I know what was going on here as it isn’t the first time. I did not want my heart rate to plunge and therefore slowed my pace down gradually before stopping for a drink at the next available water station. Friendly people at the 35KM mark water station but when I thought it was the 37KM mark there, I was kind of shock when they told me it was only 35KM. Argh…

Just before re-entering Persiaran Multimedia, Jennifer came along and updated me on Keat Seong. Was shocked that he went on drip and was ferried back to the race village via ambulance. It was dehydration. Was worried about him and I just want to compete the run as soon as possible to join him.

Keep running Frank! 4KM to go is what the volunteers at the 38KM water station was telling me. He wanted to splash ice cold water on me but I decline for I did not want my blood pressure to shoot up all out of a sudden.

3KM and then 2KM to go. I know I was near as the last water station appeared at the 40KM mark. A short climb before down all the way to the flat course along Persiaran Sepang. 1KM to go, I put back my running vest as I hasten things up as I was worried about my friend.

And finally, into the final stretch with about 300M to go. It was narrow, with runners from all categories running together here. Not to mention ambulance were busy making their trip in and out of the venue. As I saw the finish gantry, I did not know where to go. Left or right? No signage and the volunteers was just waving around that they didn’t even answer me. Instead, the one that answered me was people cheering from the side. Thanks a lot. As I cross the finish line in 04:15:29, I held both of my index fingers up to indicate an eleventh marathon successfully completed.

Caught up with Lee Fong and CG from HiVelocity who were manning the timing system before I was joined by Pueh Tian. I then made myself to collect my finisher’s medal, shirt and goodie bag and was glad I had Lawrence to accompany me. I saw Keat Seong here and was really glad he was taking it real well here. Got my stuff, caught up with some friends which include the inspirational Singapore Blade Runner who is running on 1 prosthetic leg.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

I joined Keat Seong and Jennifer back at the medic tent while waiting for friends to return. After an hour or so, it was time to head back home. Although I would like to stay to support my other fellow friends who have yet to return, my bed was calling out for me. I needed to rest for it is a long drive home.

I was pretty happy with my timing here although I know that there is still much work to be done in the cardiovascular and running gait department. There are some signs of a comeback but most importantly, I completed this marathon without any injuries and actually had fun coupled with a few tense moment.

- Keat Seong, for running together with me till about the 22KM mark. Proud of you in making the brave decision to quit. Certainly setting a very good example for other athletes to follow.
- Jennifer, for the support and company on the bike during my run.
- Andrew and Wai Lam, for coming all the way for photography.
- Friends like Ben, Yee Hua, Chris Kumar, Denis, Jeff, Jordan, Mohan, Pueh Tian, Richard and many more others for your presence did make a difference.
- And to others whose name isn’t mention here, you know who you are. THANK YOU!


Henry Wong said...

Congratulation Frank, am happy with your great performance. I can feel the joy you have when hitting the finishing line. Keep it up and would like to run beside you next time...Perhaps during Bidor Half...

Frank@Runnerz said...

It was mix feelings when I hit the finish line. Happy that I completed the run, sad because of the finish conditions and also the urge to check out my friend. I won't be running Bidor Half again this year. Opting for a cheaper option, either the Subang 10K or BHP Orange Run.

dannie chOOng said...

congrat !!! stay strong and keep it up for the next full marathon :))

Yimster said...

Congrats on your 11th Frank! And many many more to come :)