Monday, March 19, 2007

KL International Marathon 2007 - Report

My Power Song : Dani California - RHCP

I ran a slow marathon yesterday. But i have Doc for pulling me to finish for this one. Thank you Doc!

The race started right at 4.30am and caught everyone by surprise. Many runners were seen automaticlaly starting their watches as the gun went off. The Nike+ Team was seen at the back of the pack with specific instruction to finish the race in 6 hours. That would be painful for some of the seasoned runners, especially one of the ex national walker/runner which finished it in 5:46. It was painful for him to be running that slow!

Forgot to set to night mode!

11 of us were armed with the Nike+ products. I was fortunate to get to try the Air Structure and not the Moire as planned because of my big fat feet. As the products are not due to be launched until 1st April, sizes were limited, so i get the newer more canggih Bowerman Series shoes.

Nike+ Air Structure Triax 10+ and Nike Socks

Doc trying our his Nike+

Azhar IronMan JB started the race 12 minutes late and caught up with the rest of the guys. Well done!

The first 10km were easy as most of us maintained about 7:00 pace. That is about a speed of 8.0km/h. Calculation has shown that in order to finish the race within 6 Hours, no more, no less, we are supposed to be doing a 8:00 pace, that is a slow 7km/h pace, which is equivalent to a moderate speed powerwalk. So, technically, you can walk and finish the marathon, provided you work those legs!

The first 10km was covered in 1:20.23. Pretty slow by my 10km standard, but it's ok for marathon pace. The 10km mark was at the end of the Sg. Besi air strip. Previously, before the SMART tunnel causes the road diversion, the 10km mark was somewhere in the middle of the air strip. So, the whole SMART tunnel thingy brought the distance a bit further, technically.

By then, i realised that my reluctance to calibrate the iPod the day before was a mistake. The disparity in the distance reading was almost 2km. Meaning, at the 10km mark, the iPod tells me that i've ran 12km! Making a mental mark that i will be pretty off the mark where the distance are concerned, i picked up the pace slightly.

At Jalan Bukit Petaling - seasoned runners leading the way

The group passed Dewan Bahasa interchange without any problem and Maria went to toilet at the petrol station. Going on slowly, we waited for Maria to catch up with us and she finially did as we were passing the UE3 mall along Jalan Loke Yew.

By then, the sky was still dark compared to last year. We ran passed Jalan Peel and soon we were at the Kampun Pandan roundabout. Most of us touches the 21km mark with a time of about 2Hours 44 minutes. The feet still feel great and we were making good progress, at this speed, doing a sub 5 hours marathon seems possible. And if that happens, it would be my Personal Best timing!

Excited, me, Doc, Maria ran togehter towards Jalan Bukit Bintang where we will be joining the the 21km and 10km runners until their finishing line.

The other Nike runners were waiting for us near Menara Dion. I sort of slowed everyone down. My calf was starting to ache after 25km and if i recalled correctly, last year, i was already hurting along Jalan Peel, when i was running with Adilah.

With me shrugging the pain away, the Nike+ Group ran towards Shangri-la and we saw the competitor brand's banner. We all ran OUTSIDE of the banner, well, for obvious reason!

That was also where i saw Weng Aun which was running a fast 10km race.

Zabil came up shortly and slapped my butt as i crossed the junction near HardRock Cafe. He is doing a 21km run and he is in good pacing and speed!

We came to the end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman where the runners which were finishing their races headed towards Dataran. Stephanie Chok was one of them fast runner!

The marathoners had to make a U-Turn and head towards Jalan Raja Laut. From there, we ran towards Batu Road, passing by Chow Kit area. By then, i have both my calf tightening up and i could feel blisters forming on both my heels, at the exact same place on both feet!

We were given the shoe a day before the race, hardly any chance to season the shoe for the race. But in all fairness, i think it was the socks, which were not as thick as i wanted it to be, which makes the blisters to form. The shoe works great if i may say. Compared to last year where i was wearing my Brooks Targa, i was already starting to walk like a crab at KM28.

As we headed to KM30, passing by the old UKM medical faculty, me and doc made friend with 2 guys which were doing the marathon as well. They are Ganesh, which is doing his 6th Marathon and Zack, which is doing his first marathon!

While we were running, me and Doc let both of them know what Nike+ is all about and let them hear the iPod, which tells us the distance and the pace we are in. By then, the distance between the real and the iPod reported distance has pulled to almost 3km error! It was reported i ran the 33rd KM when i'm actually at the 30th KM mark.

Ah Thiam, Misbah and Dino were there with the Powerbar guys distributing PowerGel to the runners. Dino broke his arm a while ago when he crashed into a Satria. Get well soon brader!

Doc walking backwards near IJN

Me walking backwards near GH

As we started running along Jalan Tun Razak, the morning sun came burning down on us. At every water station, i can't help but to sponge myself with ice cold water to douse the heat.

Ganesh and Zack at KM33 - Mahameru highway

Me, Doc, Ganesh and Zack pretty much just race and motivate each other at that point. My blisters were getting worse as i could feel the bum getting bigger on the side of the inner heels. My calf were pulling and the Phiten stickers doesn't work as well as i hope it does. Only bonus was i am still speed walking and not in any other pain than muscular. Last year, my knee gave problem and i had to walk like a duck to ease the pain. Comparatively, my 30km timing was much better than last year! It looked like with 8 more KM to go, i might just finish the race in 5:30!

Ganesh and Zack at KM34 water station

That was also when cramps started happening on both my calf. Painful pulls of the muscle and the blisters not helping. I run-walk with Doc, which Doc kept encouraging me to carry on. I did not hit any wall, it was just the pain, which i had to put aside no matter what.

We ran towards Jalan Damansara, with 5KM more to go, we saw on the other side of the road, the other Nike Runners. They should be able to finish the race within 5Hours 45mins, adhering to the instruction to finish within 6 hours. The whole reason why it was such was that we were wanted to stay within the 5 to 6 hours running crowd where the majority of the runner wil finish the race. No doubt most of them could do a sub 5 hours race, but to ask one or two to do a slow run was almost killing them. The longer you are out there, the more painful you are. Doc has a personal best timing of 4hours 30 minutes in marathon, that's a good average speed of 9km/h throughout!

"Takper tuan, i accompany you", doc says.

It was also then when one of our teacher back in RMC caught up with us...

Cikgu Adnan!!!

Most boys that went into RMC in the late 80's and early 90's would know who he is. Unfortunately i wasn't privy enough to cross path with him in RMC as he retires soon after i went in. He is 65 now and still going strong. Check out that physique!

He has more defined delts and traps than Doc or me!

Heck, we even stop for a proper picture at KM 37!

We always enjoy any run no matter how far or painful it causes us

We saw Ming, which passes us on the opposite side of the road, obviously going to finish the race much faster than me or doc. Well done!

With 3.5km more to go, the iPod tells me that i've completed my run...the margin of error was 3.5km if i do not calibrate it properly. So, knowing that i have 3.5km to go, i set the iPod to run anohter 3.5km. By then, the information says that i spent a total of 7350 calories.

The final 2km was painful as it involve runners climbing the hill near Wisma Pertanian towards JKR.

Doc told me later that he pitied me as my face clearly showed i was in pain.

And if i do recall it. Yeah, i was in pain. With zero training prior to the marathon, i deserves to be in pain.

With just 10 minutes to go before the qualifying time is over, i had no choice but to speed it up after JKR. JKR to Dataran was less than 1.5km away.

Dissapointed as i know i might not make the cut, Doc cheered me on and jokingly say he feel good that because of me, he get to see so many girls running. It was because if he run any faster, he wont' get to see any girls!

Dataran came into sight soon after as i used whatever i had and ran towards the line.

As i crossed it, i was 44 seconds behind the qualifying time of 6 hours. Zack crossed the line much earlier. Well done for a first timer!

Cikgu Adnan also beat the hell out of me by finishing it 10 minutes infront of me.

The rest of the Nike Runners were already at the finishing line, cheering me on. Most of them finished the race in 5:40's till 5:50's, achieving whatever target being set out for us.

Also, the race yesterday saw the Record being rewritten by a foreign runner which clocked a fast 2hours 17 minutes to grab the USD10,000.00 prize for the record breaking effort alone.

As for me, finishing the race is already an achievement, as it marked the very first thing i should do in preparation for IronMan 2008.

Congrats to Azmar, Bacin, Bean, Ming, Karoline, Karoline's dad and Steve for all finishing the race. Azmar rocked the scene by coming in 5:01. This is his first KL Marathon and this chap went from someone that has not run a 10km to a marathon finisher!

Steve choosed to walked all the way, as he wants to prove than even with walking, you will finish the 42km! Well done!

And to all that i come across along the route, congrats for finishing the race! See you next year!

My official Stats:
Category Ranking: 301/320 (top 20 from behind)
Overall Ranking: 699
Gun Time: 6:01:49
Chip time: 6:00:44
10km time: 1:20:23
21km time:
30km time: 4:06:47
Average Heartbeat: 150
Calorie spent: 8000++

Updated 20th March 2007
Pics from Jaja's blog

Me, Jaja, Mary and Bacin

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