Man, I couldn't sleep laa.. it's 2:30am and I can't sleep! First, got lotsa mosquitoes, secondly, my head is ringing of the Biophonics gig for the last two nights! How like that?? I could just close my eyes, but I think it's only a half-sleep kinda thing. Next thing I know, my watch and my PDA alarm already beeping... 4:45am. Aiyah... shittee.. just bangun only la.
Hmmm.. one of my friends who I registered for couldn't make it, and another one.. well, I dunno what happened to him la. Called his handphone few times only got Voicemail, later I malas to call already. At least one of my friends Pek Fui will be going for the race.
Packed my stuff, all in order, and I left my house to pick up Pek Fui.
Reached Dataran Merdeka around 6:25am, and I was worried that I might not get a parking space. When I reached the church next to Selangor Club, I actually found a parking space (well, technically it's on a yellow line, but who's counting?). Wah... lucky. Then wore my shoes and packed my Nike Hydration Pack, and went to report in. Met up with Kenneth (pm20) and the Mrs. Then met up with Jamie, Bernice (Becholi) and Andrew (KetamBatu). Chatted up a bit, then ran around the field to warm up muscles. Bad thing was, I felt some slight tug on my right shin. My first case of shin splints? It's not painful, but definitely feel some slight discomfort on and off. But generally still okay to run.
Looked around for Greg and wife, couldn't see them. I think they didn't make it.
Like all races that I've generally been to, there's always some boo-boos with the race management people. They had a tent designated (with a sign as well) "Reporting Station". But then we were told that we were only to submit our report slips when we enter the "kandang lembu" (cow herds, if I'm not mistaken!). Hehehe.. they set up fences to separate the 10km categories with the 7km and the 5km. So it's like a cow herd.
Flag off gunshot was at 7:30am (more or less), and off we went! Like usual me, I just took it easy and ran on a fairly easy pace to start off with. My friend Pek Fui, and the others were already way ahead of me by the 3rd minute. So I just took my time, and didn't want to start out too fast. I told myself this time, that I will challenge myself in this race to not stop to walk at all (as I've done in previous races). So as a strategy to not tire myself out too quickly I ran an easy pace. (Shit.. I wanted to take a piss, but didn't get to before the race. So I pretty much held it there for the whole race.. argh. But I think after a while it didn't feel that urgent).
The first hurdle was the hill going up Bank Negara. I'm not a veteran (yet) of running this route, so it was quite a challenge for me. Took it easy and did the most feasible thing: short but fairly paced strides (as compared to long strides up the hill..which is tougher). Found that at the at the current pace, I could still maintain the run without getting tired. Somewhere up in Bukit Tunku, the route incline slowly became more flat, then it was a downward slope. Picked up the pace from there and let gravity do its job... hence, "potong sayur" from quite a number of runners.
Somewhere in Kenny Hills, I reached the water station somewhere past the 4km mark, and grabbed two cups of 100Plus and drank them while running (albeit at a slightly relaxed pace). Good tip from Runners' World and other running tips: When you grab your drinks at the water station, and if you're drinking while running, squeeze the cup at the top to form a spout like a kettle spout. That way, the water won't spill and drinking it thru a spout is much easier.
Shortly past the water station, the route then broke out to Jalan Duta. This was a challenge, as it was a 1km steady incline then downhill heading towards Jalan Parlimen. By this stage most of them were already walking up the hill. I was thinking to myself, "Oh my god, can I hold up this hill?". I promised myself that I wouldn't walk, and so I didn't, I slowly thread the incline (my heart rate was somewhere 92% of max). Let's just say I was thinking a lot about the Olympics Men's Marathon, seeing the likes of Stefano Baldini, and Vanderlei De Lima threading the uphills. If anything, it's really inspiring. When the hill passed, and the downhill road towards leading to Jalan Parlimen lay ahead, I felt relieved. I maintained a slower pace to regain my breath from the hill, and once I felt comfortable, I increased my pace.
Thru out the race, I was pacing with this lady from the Women's Open category no. B0096. She looks like a marathoner with skinny upper body, long legs. She was also holding up pretty well, and she sort of increased my inspiration to keep on running. Thanks, lady...
Now it was all the way to Jalan Parlimen, past Lake Gardens and then to the finish line at Dataran Merdeka. I could remember that at the slightly steep incline at the Jalan Parlimen flyover, I felt my pace slowing down a bit. Decided to run slightly easier again, and this time the sun was already up quite high. Regretted not bringing my shades. Over here, I could see the numerous kids and some runners from the 7km and 5km category. You could just tell (they were wearing the Adidas race shirts in the race.. and most serious runners I know, don't.. ahaha). I somehow think, that a lot of people who got into running later in age are really proud to be runners, and running past the younger kids and still feeling strong, gives us a sense of... pride (like..HAH! I'm older but still faster and stronger than you all.. muahahahha... LOSERSSS!!).. eh hem.. if you know what I mean.
Around the last km, I increased my pace quite a bit as some of the other runners did as well. And the last couple of hundred metres, I caught up with Kenneth's wife (Kenneth back-tracked and looked for her), and decided to sprint my life out from there, after Kenneth places a realization to me: It's almost near the 80 minutes finisher time for 10K. Passing the clock tower, I saw Jamie, Bernice, Andrew, Azwar and a few others sitting there chilling waiting for us (wah, these people are super-fast). Here's a shot Andrew took of me running towards the finish.
At the finish line, I managed to clock 1:19:23... 5 minutes faster from MPAJ time! WOOHOO!!! The exhiliration of the finishing sprint! Another race done.. YES! And beat my previous PR too! Yay!!
The photo session at the clock tower.. met up with rest of the group plus Mei Jyn, livetorun (Justin), Cheong Shih Heng, Haris (from Penang, I think), and some others:
Adidas KOTR post-race pic 1
Adidas KOTR post-race pic 2
Man, it's amazing.. running, like jazz music, can bring different people together and create a kind of camaraderie like no other, even though we don't know each other that well. But we are connected to each other thru a singular love for running (and jazz music for me!)!
Anyway, had a good big breakfast (one roti telur, one thosai, and two half boiled eggs) with my teacher Greg and wife (found out later Greg's wife was taken ill - stomach flu I think, so they couldn't make the race), and went home and slept kau kau..
What a day.. woo hoo!