Event: PJ Half Marathon 2014
Venue: Stadium Kelana Jaya
Date: 6 December 2014
Distance: 21KM (21.02KM by Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire)
Shoe: Saucony Type A5
After 7 weeks of running weekly back to back races, the PJ Half Marathon 2014 will mark the end of my this adventure. Though I know that this event is not really well organised and won't be again this time judging from my previous experience, I still gave it a go as it's one event that I am able to run on the Federal Highway and also Subang Airport Road. This time, with a slight change to the route, I am even able to run on part of the LDP highway! And talking about not well organised, I spotted the below signage during the race pack collection. What a shame!
Being my last race of the year too, a target was also set, and this time is all about speed and holding on to it. My progress so far has been tracked and analysed by my coach, and this will eventually pave way for my Comrades training next year where my target has been set, not by me but by him judging from my performance since August 2014..
I had a good night sleep. about close to 6 hours. Everything went well and by 4.30AM, I've arrived at the venue securing a very good parking spot just next to the starting point. Soon Chung who was parked opposite me came over and we had a really short chat about the race's registration and bib number. Really short chat as this is where the drama came. I noticed that I forgot my bib number when we chatted about bibs. This was my second time forgetting my bib number after my first in Powerman 2013. Guess I am getting old. With home not too far away and with sufficient time available, I made my way back, full speed ahead. It was a "negative split" back to the race site and eventually found a parking spot just slightly further. With 10 minutes to spare, I quickly gear up and jog as part of my warm up to the starting line.
I was lined up with Zijill somewhere in the middle of the pack. And while doing so, I was very disgusted when this "person" came to me and asked about my workplace's ongoing promotion. I am here to run for GOD's sake, not to work! As time ticks away, we felt something amiss and soon the emcee announce that the start is going to be delayed as the water stations weren't ready yet. To trust them or not, that is the question, as I've heard different stories. Anyway, the whole start was delayed for about 25 minutes and with a countdown of 10, runners were let off.
I started pretty well, managing to break free from the crowd just before the first turning. My strategy will be to hold on to a 5:10 minutes per Kilometer pace. I managed to find the rhythm quickly and soon, I was on my way. On the Subang Airport road, there was a very mild climb out of it before entering Federal Highway. And I was glad that I need not run on the motor lane unlike previous years.
Next was into LDP highway via the ramp at Freescale before making a u-turn below the Western Digital flyover. I was still feeling awesome here and my pace was constant. Another mild climb to the LDP bridge before turning into the Federal Highway again, this time making the return trip to the Subang Airport road. I been giving each water station so far a miss as I've my own bottle of water with me. And while running on the highway, I was disgusted with a few drivers as they were driving at very high speed. Imagine one losing control and smashing into the side where runners are? Totally unimaginable!
Ramp from Federal Highway into Subang Airport road was the steepest of all here, but I manage it well. And after going through it, I was a little surprise that runners were told to run on the right lane of the road unlike the previous editions where we ran on the left instead. It was a scary running below the MRT construction though, as this is where some accident happened a few months ago with "big" things dropping from above.
By 13KM, my tummy started to act up. Feeling bloated and a little pain, it affected my pace where I slowed down. As the temperature was on the rise too, I took a water soaked sponge to cool down my core temperature hoping it will help with the pain too but it did not. It was not until the Citta Mall flyover that things got better when I let "bomb" away. Hope no one fainted behind me.
The pain eased as I arrived at the airport roundabout and instead of heading towards the airport, we turned into another area, the U3 industrial area I think. It was just a short stretch before we made a u-turn for the return trip. And once I've made my turn, I spotted John who was hot on my tail!
Though my pace has dropped since the discomfort, it was all smooth sailing from here onward. And yes, I've not drank from a single cup from the water stations as it was all isotonic! I wanted plain water! Sigh... And at the final sponging station at about 20KM, I took a very soaked sponge and squeeze it over my head only to be drenched from head to toe. Bad move indeed!
Almost to the finish.
Sadly unlike previous editions where the finish is inside the stadium, the finish this time is at the spot where we started. And just before crossing the finish line, John came to my side and give me tap. He caught up with me as we completed together with a time of 1:49:18 hours.
Took a 4 cups of plain water while waiting for Zijill and Soon Chung to finish their run. More and more friends completed and even Dr. Wong ran. Chatted, snap some photos and we all then made each of our own way back.
Erm... Selfie with Dr. Wong.
With Soon Chung.
Overall, I did not hit my target. Everything was going smoothly until the tummy ache hit me and I am putting the blame on the burger I had yesterday evening. Sorry, was too hungry. But I was still satisfied with my run as the weather was rather warm and humid. As for the run itself, it was not too bad. Traffic control was actually good thus well done to the traffic police! Only downside was the choice of isotonic over plain water, delayed in start and also post run food and beverage where is was almost non existent. All in all, I completed safely without any injuries as this sums up everything of my whole weekly back to back adventure which began 8 weeks ago. Now to pamper my legs before my official Comrades training starts.
* All photos here credited to the respective photographers. Thank you!