Event: PJ Half Marathon 2015
Venue: Laman MBPJ Petaling Jaya
Date: 06 September 2015
Distance: 21KM (21.47KM byt Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire)
Shoe: Saucony Type A5
I signed up for the PJ Half Marathon pretty late as it wasn't in my to do list. But after finding out that a few from my usual training group will be running, I decided to give it a go. It's been a while since I ran a half marathon too, the last being at Jedburgh last year and hence needed some motivation for some speedy workout. But after finding out the twisty route which starts from PJ state instead from Kelana Jaya like the previous years, I kind of regretted. But no turning back and hence looking forward to an outing with the guys (and gals).
Had a pretty good sleep and woke up with enough time to prepare myself. However, there was several road closures due to MRT works, the most noticeable was the one at Sprint Highway which caused me many detours along the way. Was supposed to meet up at KFC PJ state at 4AM but I was late for about 20 minutes due to the detours. But luckily, plenty of time was still available as the half marathon will only start at 5AM and 10KM at 5.30AM. A quick pre-run photo and off we walk towards the starting point just outside Civic Hall. Myself, Zijill and Jamie lined up at the back of the crowd waiting for the start while Nick and Nessa for the 10KM.
And at 5AM, off we went, though it took us a while to cross the start gantry. And not only that, all 3 of us found trouble to pass the slower runners as the running path was rather narrow as we headed towards Jalan Gasing. As we near the overhead bridge which bring us into Old Klang Road, all 3 of us were still running together. However, as we made a u-turn back into Jalan Gasing, we lost Zijill. We kept going though at times, we look back to try to spot someone with a yellow cap.
Headed into PJ Old Town next and was still feeling good. But I think Jamie felt better as he founded another gear and went blazing ahead. And when I got to the 10KM mark near Wisma P1 just before the underpass below Federal Highway, my right hip flexor shows sign of discomfort again, just like during Kuching Marathon. Slowed down to "readjust" a little hoping it will ease up. Out of a sudden, Jamie appeared from behind as he stoped for a pee-stop earlier.
The first hill came at the Jalan 222 cemetery and I attacked it. Hills makes me come alive as it is less taxing on the legs for me. Or perhaps it's due to the environment there? Next was SS2 via the Chow Yang side but first we need to tackle the big climb at the Taman SEA school. And even before the climb appeared, Jamie zoomed ahead again and was no where to be seen already as I was still nursing my hip flexor.
Tackled the climb well and it was a straight road heading towards Jalan Universiti. But again, the ugly side of Malaysian drivers came into sight in the SS2 residential areas as some impatient drivers were honking away at junctions despite runners crossing it,
Survived the traffic at SS2 and arrived at Jalan Universiti via the Rothmans Roundabout (or junction now). Straight along here but with some mild but long climbs, the most noticeable will be the one just after Jaya One. Another climb conquered and I headed towards the University Hospital before detouring off into the residential area before joining back at Jalan Utara. But just before exiting, spotted Raymond and Michelle cheering for the runners across from where they are staying.
Arrived at Dataran Petaling Jaya which is the 20KM mark in 1:50 hours and kind of knew that it will be a sub 2 finishing as from what I have programmed into my Suunto. A slight climb to tackle and finally arrived in PJ State with a familiar voice welcoming me. It was Nick as it took me a while to spot him as he was camouflage within the crowd. Then my watch beeped showing that I have arrived at the 21KM mark in 1:57 hours and I still had a few hundred of meters to go. A sub 2 hours finish is hanging on the balance as I tried to find another gear. Found it and managed to complete my run in 2 hours smack on the dot! Phew.... Hahaha...
Lingered around Civic Hall with Kel Vin and Poh Meng before I spotted Zijill completing her run too. Downed a banana and a few cups of water before joining the rest back as we made ourselves back to our cars before a light breakfast and its back home.
Overall, the run is surprisingly not too badly organised. Thumbs up to the marshals and police for the traffic management. The only downside for me was the race pack collection where it took me more than hour queuing up in the humid Kelana Jaya stadium with only 3 to 4 counters opened. But am just glad all is over now and I have my 21KM in my bag for this year.
* no photos. Sob sob...