Monday, April 29, 2013

Bidor Half Marathon 2013...

Event: Bidor Half Marathon 2013
Venue: Bidor, Perak
Date: 28 April 2013
Time: 7.00am
Distance: 21KM
Shoe: Saucony Virrata
By Frank

The one and only time I ran the Bidor Half Marathon was back in 2008. That was also my very first time I step into this very small town. From then on, I did not have the chance to participate in it due to clash of other events. When the chance came to run it again this year, I quickly sign up for it together with Roy and Jamie.

Fast forwarding to travel day on Saturday, the plan was to meet up at Plaza Damas and leave there by 10am. We were late by 10 minutes but quickly made ground thanks to Cham driving her new Lexus hyrbid. We met up with Hong Lan Renee at the Rawang rest area before travelling together convoy style. And in close to 2 hours time, we arrived at Bidor.

First stop was at Dewan Muhibbah to collect our race pack. Collection wasn't very smooth though as I would say that it was much better back in year 2008. Nevertheless, everything was settled without much issues and lunch was on the menu next. We were late for the famous "chee cheong fun" (rice cake) as the stall was already packed up. With no other choice, we settled down at the rather famous Pun Chun coffeeshop which specialised in the famous herbal duck noodle. But instead, the guys ordered mix rice while the ladies wan tan noodles as we all agreed that the herbal duck noodle was over rated.

After filling up, it was to Grand Kampar Hotel at Kampar town, some 30KM drive north. We booked the family suite which was more than enough to house 4 of us. Francis arrived in the evening and joined us for dinner at the Kampar famous claypot chicken rice. Frankly speaking, I have tasted better. However, this was rather healthy as not much soya sauce was used, with the exception of generous amount of salted fish and preserved Chinese sausage. A short walk at the nearby night market before heading back to the hotel to rest.

Race morning, I had adequate sleep thanks to the very comfy mattress. However, I felt bloated probably due to over eating especially on black sesame cookies the day before. Arriving at the race site, it was a visit to the potty loo while Roy and Jamie tried to locate the others to distributes the race pack.

At 7am, the race started for the half marathon. My initial plan was to better my half marathon time set many years back. But I had to cancel the plan as my body was still sore from the recent treadmill challenge with Devan. Therefore, a sub 2 hours half marathon will be more realistic. I started somewhere mid pack with Roy and had trouble making ground due to the crowd. It was until about 500M into the run at the main road where I found space to navigate through. 

Was pacing with Roy till 3KM or so when my diaphragm starting to show signs of discomfort. Had to slow my pace to nurse it. Roy flew ahead. Arriving at the first u-turn point, I took a cup of water to wet my throat.  My hydration plan was not to drink till the second u-turn point which should be at 15KM. Yeah, I am following the Tim Noakes plan.

I felt better after the u-turn and managed to run just a little faster and managed to conquer the first half in below an hour. Spotted Lai Ling and managed to keep her in sight. Into the second half of the course, beside  having the sun up on shining on us, the rolling hills also began to welcome us. Being a hill person, I believe this is where my advantage lies and with the Saucony Virrata, it really helped a lot on the ascend.

A cup of water to wet my throat.

The "aroma" of cow dung welcomed the runners at about 12KM and I nearly ran into a pile of it! Phew...And from here, I spotted Kian Seng and we ran together, teasing each other with jokes. A very "chill-lax" run. Stride after stride, hills after hills, we edge nearer to the second u-turn point. And as planned, I took a very small sip of isotonic drink here before continuing.

And it's here, that I felt strong with no longer discomfort on my diaphragm anymore and went for it. Kilometer after kilometers, negative splits was achieved till the final 3KM when I spotted Roy and Jamie. Navigated the last few winding turns at the country side road before entering the neighbourhood.

Exiting the countryside.

With 500M or so more to go, I look back to look for Roy. I started to walk but resume running when Roy caught up. And from here on, we ran together till we cross the finish line in 1:57:58 hours. Am really satisfied with my effort here as it will go down as a quality run for my Comrades Marathon training.

All the way to the finish line.

A long wait for prize presentation as Francis, Lai Ling and Yen Erl all went back with something. And after the wait, to our disappointment again, the "chee cheong fun" stall was already close yet again. Settle for a simple breakfast and back to the hotel to clean ourselves up before checking out. And before leaving, we had Kampar's very famous "lou shee fun" (mouse noodles - shape like mouse tail). This did not disappointment as it was really good especially the fish ball as it was packed with fish meat. And from here, we left for home with a very satisfied tummy.

With Francis, Foo, Jamie and Roy.

Many thanks to Cham for taking the initiative to drive all of us up. The guys should just dig a hole in the ground and bury our head in! 

* Photo posted in this entry credits to Cham, Vivien and Jason.

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