Sunday, October 20, 2013

King Of The Road 2013...

Event: King Of The Road 2013
Venue: New Pantai Expressway, Sunway Pyramid
Date: 20 October 2013
Time: 6.45am
Distance: 16.8KM (16.58KM by Suunto Ambit)
Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 4
By Frank

My last King Of The Road (KOTR) was back in the year 2009. Ever since that, I've boycotted the event due to some personal grudge I have with them. 4 years later, I registered the event as I saw Jason registering for it too. I though of just joining friends to have fun together. However, things took a turn as the event approach and I decided to use it as part of my speed training, hoping to run a 1:20 hour race. And this will also play a key role in my soon review of the Saucony Kinvara 4 as this is one aspect I've not tested yet.

There were some who ran the Putrajaya Night Marathon the night before running KOTR. Don't worry, I wasn't one of them. I am still very focused on my Comrades training and I shall not do anything that may jeopardized it. Jason pulled out of KOTR as he ran the full marathon the night before and I though it was a absolutely wise decision from him.

Anyway, let's start from the moment I woke up with barely 2 hours of sleep. Oddly again, I felt good. 2 buns and a cup of coffee was all I had. As I arrived at Kewajipan Roundabout, Subang at about 4.15am, the road was already blocked as expected. However as per the race guide, it can be access by runners so that we can park inside Sunway Pyramid. This wasn't the case and the traffic police diverted us away and in the process, I witness some high speed Mat Rempit and police chase. Upon arriving just next to Sunway Pyramid, we were again diverted away. Seriously, what is the point of setting traffic guidelines if organisers and traffic police are not following it. Lack of communication? I am not interested to know and it isn't our runners problem. To no avail, I gave up and tried my luck to park at the open-air carpark opposite the police beat base. I was lucky there was a spot there and with the beat base just in front, I am pretty sure it's safe. Immediately after parking my car, I went into the shopping mall to relieve myself as I was circling Bandar Sunway with agony earlier. AHH... The relieve afterwards.

After gearing up, I bumped into Pueh Tian and we linger at Starbucks Coffee for some gossiping. Soon enough, it was 6am and I made my way across to the starting site. Did my warm up and stretching before finding a spot to start somewhere just slightly from the middle of the pack. I was with Yim who just ran a full marathon the night before. And sharp at 6.45am, runners from the 16.8KM were flagged off.

I started well navigating through the crowd as we head towards the u-turn point at Kuchai Lama toll plaza. I managed to break myself free from the crowd as we near the underpass and that was where I started to increase my pace. Spotted Azrul whom I finished KL Marathon with and we ran together for a fair bit. We had the entire expressway to us and what makes things interesting at least for me, is that it isn't flat at all. There were multiple flyovers that runners need to tackle and this will work into favour for me.

As the sun began to rise, I put on my sunglasses. However, sweat flowing into my eyes isn't helping at all. However, that did not slow me down and was glad that it dried up a while later. Passed Raymond and Michelle who was pacing the 1.20 hour group. I did not pace them though as I wanted to try to achieve my target on my own capabilities. After all, it was my training.

Fast forwarding to the u-turn point at the Kuchai Lama toll plaza which is around 9KM, my time was good. And on the return, I spotted many familiar faces on the opposite side. I may have missed some calling me and I apologise for it. At 10KM, I was at about 50 minutes into the race. It was certainly a good time, something which I have not achieve for a very long time already. Now the problem was to sustain my pace. But that is something I failed to do. I felt my right piriformis irritated and my energy level was running low. I bear the the discomfort and took a GU Energy Gel hoping for some energy boost. Sadly, it did not come as I push on.

Next came a very irritating 10KM runner who kept cutting ahead of me and slowing down whenever I tried to shake him off. I was like, if he wants to play mind games, he pick the wrong guy (some battle roar to myself). Then came a reasonably steep climb at about 14KM and knowing my strength, I attacked the climb and finally managed to let him eat my dust (pun intended with the dust thingy). What an irritating guy indeed and he should be lucky I did not get his bib number and name else it will be posted here.

Managed to find a bit of strength back and hasten my pace a little. I felt sweat flowing down my legs and I know I was loosing much electrolytes due to the surprisingly high humidity this morning. Cramps should not come as I've just replenished with an energy gel, unless my right piriformis decides to give way. Lucky it did not as I entered the underpass and approach the finish line located just in front of the Sunway Pyramid's lion head. I crossed the finish line in 1:24:31 hours, which is off my target. I was disappointed that I could not sustain my pace but overall, it was still a satisfying and fruitful run. I will take my result happily.

Conquered New Pantai Expressway with my Kinvara 4. 
Anyone can spot what is wrong with this photo? *grin...

I tried to locate Zijill who ran a full marathon the night before and 10KM this morning but to no avail. I later linger around with CP, Wei Min and some other friends before leaving the site and back to work. Overall, the race was well organised with important elements like sufficient refreshments, distance markers, medics and lots of volunteers being well executed. However, here are some key points I would like to highlight out:

1) Road closure and traffic guidelines I mentioned earlier in this entry. Please execute as what was printed on the runners guide and not bringing us to some merry go round in the morning.

2) Emcee who likes to "Syiok" ownself and not able to get the attention of the participants. 

3) Cheerleaders along the route who were screaming their lungs out and behaving like hoooligans or rempits. Kindly cheer runners in a proper manner.

4) The drama behind the running vest where the size was extremely large. Not that I care of as the vest is going to some under privilege people but it affected lots of others.

Will I return next year should the event be still on? Sadly to say, I'm all OUT hence I don't think so unless like this year, it's for training purposes. It may be well organised this year, but after all, it's still 3 Stripes.

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