Sunday, June 28. Finally… Run Day is here! After weeks of anticipation, THIS IS IT!
A sell-out crowd of 12,500 runners… from over 30 countries. All converging this day to Dataran Merdeka to run a good race, be it the full marathon at 42km, the half- at 21km, the quarter at 10km (which is what I’m taking part in) or the fun run at 5km (which turned into the “amazing race”, but more of that later hehe).
Woke up as early as 4.30am, quick breakfast of banana, oats, milk/soy and after checking to take sure we’ve all the necessary items – bib number, GoGear, ID docs, running shoes, some cash – off we left for Menara Olympia. Laiwah’s following us along as “official” photographer with her 450D. Her first time shooting marathon/running event. 😛
Reached Menara Olympia (where my office is located) just shy of 6am. No road block along the way to detour us. Intention was to park here and then walk to Dataran Merdeka as I do not suppose we’ll be able to get any parking near the Dataran area since the full- and half-marathon runs flag off at 5am and 6am respectively, while our 10km starts at 7am.
Met up with the Datacomers – Ron, SuE, Daren, Wong, Patrick (and his two frens Yeoh and Chin). Two FFKed last minute – Aaron and Nicole. :S A quick change of clothes/shoes, bib numbers and off we strolled towards Dataran Merdeka.
We did not reach Dataran as early as I’d wanted and we ended up at the back of the block. This means we’ll be slow off the block. Started with some warm-ups and stretching while waiyan seemed more busier catching up with many of her “long-lost” frens whom were taking part in the run. Anyway her category (5km) only starts at 8am.
We were flagged off at 7am sharp… but from where we were standing/waiting.. we were still stationary. Duh! The front block took a rather long time to disperse up the route.
We did finally make it to the Starting Line (which is where our bib registered itself with the timing device to indicate our net start time). I glanced up to the digital timer and close to 4 min has elapsed since gun time. I knew it’ll be slow to get off the block if we stayed at the back but I didn’t realized it’s THIS slow… aiyoh.
Anyway once I was past the Starting Line, slowly got into jogging pace. There were ppl everywhere!! Last I heard, the 10km category has about 4,000+ runners. It can be really difficult navigating your way past the sea of runners, each running at their own pace (some just walking along, aiks at just 500m off the starting line?)
I quickly picked a “pacer” ie someone who’s running at a pace slightly faster than me whom I can follow and pace myself until I’m ready to move up a gear. I did not get this man’s bib number but I would like to appreciate him for pacing me during the early part of the run.
The first water station was at 3km. I saw a huge crowd jostling for water so didn’t bother to stop. I did see SuE going into the crowd to join the water-jostling. So she was keeping up with me then. 🙂
I continued to follow my pacer till close to the 5km point when I thought the pacer might be going at a pace that’s too slow for me. After getting some water at the 5km water station I started to break away and picked up pace for the last 5km. Later SuE told me she saw me overtaking her at the 5km mark. Hmm.. so she was even ahead of me till the 5km point – not bad wor!! 😛
Continued at a brisk pace till we reached Bank Negara. That’s when we were approaching the last 3km of the 10km run. It was about 5 min to 8am then and I knew I was not doing fast enough splits to finish this race in my target 60 mins.
Picked up a faster pace hoping to finish strongly. Towards the last stretch along Jln TAR, I found I was even able to sprint towards the finish line! If I can “sprint” at the end, it’s definitely poor pacing by me. 😦
Here’s how I did for SCKLM run:
Category: 10k Run 10km (Men)
Net Start: 07:01:40
Net Time: 01:08:53
Finish Timing: 01:12:28.03
Here’s a quick snapshot of the other members from the Datacom team. Happy to report all of them completed the race, yeah!
Datacom Team (from top): Daren, Ron, SuE, Patrick and Wong
The Datacom team with our 10km finishers medals. Missing in the group pic here is Wong. I did meet him at the finishing line and asked him to join us at the rendezvous point… but didn’t see him around.
THE AMAZING 5K RACE
waiyan signed up for the 5k Run together with a few of her frens. She has been training and pacing for a 40+ min finish and imagine her surprise when in the actual run today, she ended up back to the finishing line in just 20 min!!
Turned out there was some miscommunication and the runners were misdirected to a shorter 2km route!! What a downer!! Imagine signing up and paying for a 5km experience and getting shortchanged becoz someone didn’t do their job properly (I’m blaming the organizer Octagon, and not the volunteers).
You bet there’s plenty of talk about this “Amazing 5k Race” at the SCKLM Facebook page. Is it too much to expect the organizer to put up proper signages at each turning point in the route to direct the runners properly?
And when she approached the Race Director wanting to find out why they had such a “short run” – well, he was wearing the t-shirt with the word “Race Director” boldly printed on it – the answer she got from him was downright rude and shocking… that I chose not to print here.
A BADLY ORGANIZED RUN
While my 10km run was relatively without incident, it was not so for the full- and half-marathons. In addition to the Amazing 5k Race (above), the marathons were plagued with water station problems, traffic control, dangerously placed mobile toilets (imagine placing the mobile toilet on the opposite side of Mahameru highway such that when runners need to pee, they have to play “Why did the chicken cross the busy highway” game), marred the experience for many of the runners.
All of these have been widely cerita in the SCKLM Facebook page so I won’t want to repeat them here. Go to the Facebook site if you wish to read about the hoo-has. 🙂
They even made a boo-boo about giving the first prize to the second placed runner during the prize giving ceremony. Aiyoh!
RUNNING FOR A CAUSE – Nature, Our Heritage, Ours to Protect
Part of our involvement in this run is taking part in their Run for a Cause event where we use this event to create awareness and raise funds for one of five selected charity organizations. I picked Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) http://www.mns.my/ as I wish to help create more awareness for MNS in their effort to preserve our natural heritage.
The result is a total of RM1,200 raised from my personal contacts and Datacom. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have generously donated to the MNS cause. And a note of appreciation to all the Datacom runners who took part in this charity run. 🙂
Group photo of both 10km and 5km runners. Congrats to all of you… you’ve successfully Ran Your Race!
Special thanks to my sis laiwah for coming along to take all the nice photos you see here.. The problem being the photographer is that your face doesn’t end up in the album! So I searched for other marathon blog & photo sites, hoping someone would have taken a photo of laiwah in action.
Lo.. I found it at Winnie Wong‘s photo site. Thanks again, laiwah 🙂