Event: Energizer Night Race 2011
Venue: Sepang International Circuit
Date: 16 April 2011
Distance: 42KM (39.4KM by Jamie's Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS)
Shoe: K-Swiss Blade-Light Run
Let's start with a little more cheerful stuff before going into the worse ever running event I participated. Pre-race dinner was an early one with Jamie and Yim at Subway, Carrefour Puchong. Had a good time hanging out there till 5pm and that's about the cheerful stuff we had before we started making our way to Sepang International Circuit. Took me about 70KM plus to get there from my place and I was soon greeted by a RM10 car park fees! CRAZINESS!
After gearing up, we made our way on foot to the paddock which was a long walk. Walking in will be fine, but out will be a problem after the race. The chaos started in the underpass which will lead to the race track. As runners from the quarter and half categories was queueing up to receive their headlamps, it created a queue at least 200m in the underpass which was stuffy! After finding out that we do not need to queue, we just rush up to get some fresh air.
Hung around and met friends like Sim, Lynn, Shih Ming, Saya and more. I was in a little stress trying to spot Alex and Karen as I need to pass them their GU Chomps. I couldn't spot both of them till the later stages.
Fast forward to 7.30pm and we are on the starting line. Line up with Jamie, Karen, Kelvin and some others. At 7.45pm sharp, we were let off and I nearly trip at the start due to the pushing from the back. Started fine with Jamie and our pace was consider pretty fast. Out from the circuit on to the main road, we were greeted by fumes from the vehicles. Darkness is all I can describe and I tried to run on the road's white line to ensure I don't step into a hole, or even a poor frog. And I suppose to do this for 5 loops. Geeezzz...
I think each outer loop is around 6KM plus or so only, so immediately I knew that this race will be under distance for sure, which was similar to last year's edition. Good in a way though. I lost Karen at the start and I felt bad about it. I paced with Jamie till the second loop when my left ankle's problem began to surface. He went ahead hammering the run while I slowed to readjust myself.
At the beginning of my third loop, I spotted Chris who was running his first ever marathon distance. Gave him a tap to check on him and was glad he was still doing fine, both physically and mentally. Proud of him. Shortly in front, I spotted Yim who was reduced to walking. It seems his century distance a couple of weeks back is taking its toll on him. But I know it won't be my last time seeing him on the road this night. He will for sure pop right out behind of me in the later stages which he did at the end of my fourth loop. Way to go! Oh and yeah, I had to remove my socks at the end of my third loop to ease the pain on my left ankle which did help. I ran sock less from then on.
From the fifth loop, I had Yim and Pui San for company which I was really grateful of. And just after the start on the road, someone shouted to me from the car. It was Lynn and I was surprised that she is able to spot me in the darkness. Hahaha... Thanks! Continued on and soon after, I spotted Mohan and called out to Pui San as she is awaiting her Naughty G! I continued with Yim till we entered the circuit. The journey in was filled with other runners cheering for us including Ashe. Thanks everyone!
After the first corner on the circuit, I told Yim to go ahead as my left ankle was hurting. I had to walk which I think I did for almost 70% of the track. Daniel, Saya, Ian all passed me and I was dry on the track and the refreshment station only appeared at the last 1.5KM! But towards the end, I made friends with a Perakian named Yee and we run together side by side crossing the finish line together. I clocked 04:29:28 but it was only 39.4KM! Way much lower compared to last year.
Crossing the finish line was a sad affair. It was plainly quiet and there was no marshalls to assist runners or to even give out at least a bottle of water. And where's the finisher's medal and t-shirt? Apparently, there was a riot after the first wave was let off due to insufficient goodie bags or some sort. Therefore, the other runners turned their attention on taking the medals and t-shirt. Event the police was called in. I didn't bother much then and just want to get back home. I couldn't find Jamie and therefore headed back to the car hoping he was there. He came by shortly and after clearing ourselves up, we began our journey home. And that was the end of one horrible event.
Before signing off from this entry, here's my 2 cents of this event:
- Why can't organisers give out the goodie bags during the race pack collection day? Why wait till event day? Why perform double logistics when all can be done at one shot? The riot could have been avoided if this has been looken into.
- Boasting and praising way before the event started and being over confident. Together with another friend, we offered our services and advices free of charge but was rudely refused. Therefore, by all means, serves you guys right for not listening to runners and instead trusting your own instinct as a battery manufacturer.
- Why bother marketing so much when the good welfare of runners alone are not taken off? There wasn't even any instructions on baggage, car park, etc... handed out in the race pack or even website. When the participants are being well taken off, automatically its marketing for the brand. Again, no double work.
- Where's the promised entertainment and sponging station along the race route? It was pure darkness. Yes, I know headlamps were given but forcing us to wear is another issue all together. Distance markers were there, but can they be seen? Even ribbons to indicate the number of loops ran were not enough. I only received 2. Traffic police did a good job I think, but where were the marshalls? And were they polite if you meet any of them?
- RM10 for car park in the darkness? Be glad that nothing happen to my and Yim's car!
Seriously, indeed a nightmare event to be forgotten. If I have continued my above, it won't be known as 2 cents. Instead maybe in as an encyclopedia. And seriously, I don't pity the organisers. They are not learning from last year's mistake and even better, they made it so much worse this year. And since I've no photos to share, here's a little dedication.