What? KL International Marathon - 21.1k half marathon category
Where? Dataran Merdeka
When? Sunday, 5th March 2006, 6:30am
How? By hook or by crook, just ran until I finished!
~ Prologue ~
As I've mentioned in previous post, my training hasn't been anything but ready-made for the race. But I have trained enough to run fairly comfortably through the race, but not enough to really achieve some sort of good race potential. So, my only hope in this race that I do good enough to beat my half marathon record of 2 hours 47 minutes at Desaru. If I get to do that, I'm gonna buy myself a new shoe.. or maybe something else. Self-reward! AHaha..
I slept pretty early (for my standard!) at about 11.30pm (my previous races, I only managed to put in more or less THREE hours of sleep, so this is an achievement by itself, LOL!), and even managed to wake up about three minutes before my first alarm rang, at 4am! But then, I lied down again half-awake waiting for my second alarm at 4.15am! At least I was feeling rather good when I wake up, quite fresh. I did the usual routine of freshening up and getting race ready with my race kit, shoes laced with the race chip, water drinks, clothes change, toiletries and the usual checklist items. Downed half a choc peanut butter PowerBar (the other half I had the day before), and then headed out the door to pick up KT.
We reached the Bukit Aman parking lot at about 5.40am, with loads of time to spare before the race starts. Instead of jogging a warm-up to the race site, we took our time and walked there instead (we got 10km to warm up!), chatting. At the race site, we met some of the usual running faces, Ronsee and Rachsee, Albert from New Balance (that bugger lost so much weight, he runs pretty good now!), Rock Crab and Becholi (both of which I haven't seen for a long time!), KNN-man, and KT's friend Alexis, and then some. As we waited in non-trepidation (I pity the same lady MC that was trying so hard to work up a storm with the runners), we just stood around, chat and checked out some leng luis around.
~ Flag-off.. the race begins! ~
Right on the dot at 6:30am when Abang Ben (the clock tower lah!) rang - although my watch says 6:32 - we all started WALKING to the start line and then only toed off, as we had to step on the chip sensor mat. The three of us - me, KT, and Alexis - kept the same pace for about 2km or so, before KT picked up the pace, and I slowly overtook Alexis. On my side, I was running at a fairly comfortable pace, averaging around 7:10 min/km at about 82% of max HR.
The route started from Dataran Merdeka up to Jalan Istana and then down into Jalan Syed Putra via Jalan Sg. Attap.
~ The first signs of incompetence ~
The first water station - at 5km on Jalan Syed Putra nearing Mid Valley - we arrived in turned out to be just pathetic: They ran out of water!! Although I brought my water bottle with me, I had intended to save it for the later part of the race when I think I really needed it. It's absolutely pathetic, it's sad, and it sort of pissed me off during the race! The route then took us out of Syed Putra on to the Salak South stretch and into the North-South highway heading into KL town. We reached another water stop and sponging station, and AGAIN, they ran out of water! Man, talk about DIS-organization... totally disfunctional! Disses people off! Oh yeah, there was a PowerBar stop where those guys were giving out PowerGels... cool cats... but without water, it was definitely hard to swallow those gels! And chocolate isn't the best flavor to have on the run... maybe the strawberry or rasperry ones would've been better, or Tropical Fruit.
On the North-South Highway past the old airport, I met Wendy when she spotted me. It's her first half-marathon. Good to see ya running with us on tar, Wendy! At around this point, I think I started to slow down a little bit, but I was quite amazed I could maintain a running pace, i.e. not stopping to walk!
The route then took us back into Jalan Lapangan Terbang and then up into Jalan Dewan Bahasa Pustaka (and another empty water station.. useless excuse for a race organizer!), and into Jalan Hang Tuah, and all the way to Jalan Imbi and back out into Jalan Bukit Bintang. This time around, there was enough water at the water stops, and I finally stopped to walk for about less than a minute to recover and resumed running.
~ Running out of gas ~
The Jalan Sultan Ismail stretch was definitely a tough one for me. It felt like I was running out of gas. I wasn't sure if stopping to walk to recover was such a good idea. I had quite a runner's high for the first 15km. I run-walked several times in this stretch, and I almost felt de-motivated. I was practically playing music in my head and psyching myself to continue and not give up. However, seeing the "Nike Stretch" brought back some inspiration - the "Nike Stretch" is that short stretch where they put up inspiring signs and also a water cooler tunnel!
At that point in time, traffic police were stopping traffic and naturally there was a heavy traffic buildup. Lots of horns blaring. and everytime I pass a traffic light with traffic police and some prick blaring their horns continuously, I had this thought in my mind: F**K YOU MUTHAF**KERS, I'M GOIN' SLOW... HOW'D YOU LIKE THAT?? NAHHH!! UP YOURS!! Hahhahah!!!
The route then takes us into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and heading back into Dataran Merdeka... but wait... no... we had to reverse back into Jalan Raja Laut and do one loop back into Jalan TAR from Sogo... oh man!!! It's like a so near yet so far situation! At this point I had to summon all I had left in me and run and make it to the finish line!
I checked my watch - 2:43:54 (chip time)! Yippieee...!!!!
~ Post-race ~
After finish line, my legs were starting a cramp up a little, so I had to take it easy and stretch my calves and tibia. Suffering, man!!! As usual, post race is always lining up for Milo and 100Plus, and catching up briefly with other running kaki's - saw Jamie, Kenneth, Chen, Ronnie, Zailan, Karen, Albert, and a few others. Pek Fui and her friend JC also were there after the race, we chatted and parted ways.
Note: Thanks PF for registering for us... and please remember to pass me the pins next time! HEHEHE!
In fact, I was feeling rather upset about how badly organized the race was (okay, maybe I am over-reacting, but sometimes these mistakes and disorganization can make a difference in how a person would perform in the race). But something made my day - I saw Terence aka Penguin-6! He ran the half, and he was looking rather good, too! I went up to him and said hi, and told him I was glad to see him looking good up and about! That in itself had already brighten up my day and made me change the way I think and that all the feelings I had during the race were just trivial.
After all that, me and KT walked back to our cars in Bukit Aman (with our deadlogged feet dragging all the way there), showered and went for a nice meal at Kanna's Curry House at Section 17, PJ!
~ Epilogue: Race Analysis ~
Distance - 21.1km (or so we think)
Time to finish - 2:43:54 (chip and HRM time), 2:45:13 (official gun time)
Max HR - 188 bpm
Ave HR - 167 bpm (possibly my lactate threshold, too)
Check out the official results http://www.klmarathon.gov.my/results06.php
5k - 36:15 > 10k - 34:47 (1:11:02) > 21k - 1:32:50
1. The running pace for the first 15km was very controlled and even, so much so that I didn't get fatigued or tired until the later part of the race. In effect, I was happy that my physical form wasn't at a low point, but neither was it at a high performance point. At that point, I was just adamant on finishing it strong, and hopefully with a PR. I'm generally happy with my performance, I just hope to do better.
2. Chip timing was a good thing, and not so expensive this time around.
1, 2, 3, and 4. Race organization was absolute CRAP! To FTAAA and DBKL... shame on you!! Don't organize a race if you STILL don't know how to! That's typical of Malaysian standard... NEVER LEARN, NEVER LISTEN! You've got the Pacesetters to give you a run for your money. And for the price to pay for your stupid race, we get shit.
5. As always could've run better if I trained better.
That's all folks!! Can't believe I took more than 2 hours to finish this report.
Pics on the way, once I get some!
~ Addendum ~
Looks like the Malakoff Duathlon races are back! I'm tempted to join, but with only one month to train.. see how!! Check it out - www.duathlonseries.com.my.