Monday, September 20, 2004

PJ Half Marathon 2004 - 20th Edition

Did my first competitive road run.

I was never any athelete back in college days. Excelling only in sports that utilise more brute force than stamina or endurance.

Because of the proximity of the Perhentian Island Challenge this early October. A few of us OPs decided to see where we stand in our own preparation for the race.

Me (92.93B), OP Noorhisyam(87.91A) and OP Syahrir(86.90D) and another non-OP participant(OP Syahrir's teammate, Muliadi@Blanka) did the 10KM section of the PJ Half Marathon.

We were at the Kelana Jaya Stadium as early as 5am to firstly ensure us of a good parking space (or call us kiasu if you want) and to avoid being sucked into the euphoria at the starting line.

At 6.30am, the 21Km section was flagged off and briefly after that, the 10KM was flagged off.

As everyone jostled for position to be infront (adrenalin rush babe...), me and doc decided to just keep our pace. OP Syahrir has a personal agenda to complete the 10km run in sub-50 minutes and Muliadi wants to get it over with in 60 minutes max.

Me and Doc decided that we should just pace ourselves, and finish teh race in whatever time, as long as we do not hold back the ambulance from going back too late after the race.

Ran we did, and soon after, we were touching the 3km mark at Federal highway, that is also where we first caught the first 21km runner running on the opposite site of the highway, this meant, he already finished running at least 7km at that point.

As we reached the first water station, we saw an old man, circa mid 60s or early 70s, running with jest and spirit. We cheered him on and we found out he was doing the 10km veteran category. Well, 40 years from now, i'll be glad if i could still do that...

Soon after, we reached the 5km mark at the Western Digital turnoff. Still pacing each other, we, by this time, managed to overtake loads of people, problem is, there is 5500 people running in this edition and the numbers that we overtook over and over again, seems to be endless...

Doc was obviously not even exerting himself as he wasn't running his 10km pace actually, but more of my pace. He reckon that if we wanted to do it, we should do it as a team, as it is more important to finish the race together, than to leave the other behind for whatever reason.

We chatted. We talked. We gossiped. We cheered people and ourselves on.

When the clock touched the 1 hour mark, we reached the Kelana Jaya Swimming pool. Great, almost there. We entered the stadium and it was the last 300 meter to the finish line that me and doc decided to quicken our pace. That was when we were overtaken by the runner up for the 21KM men category.

Delirious that the finishing line was 100 meters ahead, i decided to sprint for it, after doc gave me the go ahead. I crossed the finishing line in 1hour 4 minutes and 8 seconds( using my own Heart rate monitor of course) and doc was just right behind me.

It was the first for me. I managed to finish the 10km in less than 70 minutes (before this, i was told that 70minutes is the minimal time for someone that is fairly, it sorta become a benchmark for myself)

Refreshements and cooling down soon after, we all left the stadium, with everyone feeling a sense of acheivement, overcoming our own personal battle inside.

Finishing time:
OP Syahrir - 49minutes
Muliadi - 59 minutes (he was in the top 10 at the first corner, soemthing like F 1 race la, complete with screeching of his adidas as he sapu the corner)
OP Doc Hisyam & me - 64 minutes

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