Monday, March 31, 2008

KLIM 08 Report

I defied the most basic preparation for any race – skipping breakfast; and I almost paid dearly for that.

I’ve also defied the second most basic preparation for any race – training; and oh well, that is another story altogether.

The crowd this time around wasn’t as many as previous years, perhaps it is because my own group of friends seems to be dwindling down in numbers where participant is concerned. Missing were the noise and havoc most of us does before race start. Missing were the words of encouragements.

I went to the starting point only seeing less than 5 person which I know. AJ, Karen, Ashley and Azman. But I did know two more new friends in Isiah and Sam (both Karen’s friend).

Today was also Kam’s birthday. Happy birthday dude. What a way to celebrate your 34th birthday.

On to the race report.

I was at Dataran at 3.30am. Checked in the luggage and identify where the chip return tent is. Once done, I walked to the starting line. Along the way, I saw Karen and friends.

Sam, Isiah, Karen and me

Then came OP AJ cruising by. “Not a good sign”, he says as he struggle a bit with his bib number on his race belt. The race belt refused to snap the bib into place. But just like any seasoned racer that he is, that didn’t bother him at all. He happily bit a hole into the plastic based bib forced-snap the race belt into place. He went on to finish the race in 4:23. Well done tuan; that totally put the “not a good sign” statement to good rest.

I walked into the holding area alone. Slowly convincing myself that the 42km would be fun; something I really need to get my ass off the chair and running again (and prepare for next year’s IM – have to la…I don’t have a finishing picture this year, have to do one more time for that!) Then along came Ashley and Azman. Two more super fit athelete. Azman wants to clock a sub 5 hours. I know Ashley will do really well eventhough she didn’t tell me what she wants. I then saw Yip, the ultra runner which does 7.5 marathon as part of his “must do” item in life. He says that anyone can finish the marathon, it’s just a matter of timing. I can’t agree with him more. Steve walked the whole 42km last year and finish in 6.30. I walked and run most of the years, and I finish below 6hours.

After my painful 20km run 2 weeks ago, I just wanted to finish the race. Yes. It will be embarrassing for me if I can’t finish it. Only 1 month after IronMan 2008 and I should still be having the fitness base, and I should, technically, be able to complete the whole 42.2km with no issue. But deep inside, I know it won’t be as easy as IM08.
My only other consolation is the new Nike Air Pegasus which I was wearing, apart from the other stuff which was given for me to try out. This is not the first time I had to run in new gears. Last year was all new. IM was also new and this time, it was also new. So much so that I am now not a believer of “must wear/worn the gear down before the race to prevent bla bla bla bla…

The gun went off sharp 4.30am. Started my watch and up the volume on the shuffle. The songs I put in was surprisingly disappointing, I find myself playing/searching for uptempo songs. I found an unlikely ally in 2 Live Crews. Those that is around my era would know what 2 live Crews are all about; assuming that you do listen to “broader” genre of music la.

I ran at my own pace and finished the first 10km in 1:05, not bad 10km timing, really. By the time I touched 15km near UE3, I was dead hungry. No breakfast before the run was the biggest mistake. I brought along some cash and started looking for petrol station to refuel. But unfortunately, no petrol station along the way was even opened for business as yet! No 7-11 in sight until Jalan Peel or near the 20km mark!

I crossed the road and went into 7-11.

“Bang, lari ni dapat hadiah ke?”, the attendant asked me if we will get any money from this.

“Takder la, saya lari nak habis jer”, I told him all I wanted to do is to finish.

“Berapa jauh?”, he asked how far.

“42km”, I said.

I left 7-11 and he was still looking in disbelief, if I tell him about IronMan distance, I am afraid he might just think I’m crazy.

I sat on the stairs and ate the 2 bread I bought. Some senior citizens across the road saw me and my antics and started laughing.

One even offered me breakfast as she just got back from market.

I had to politely refuse as I got a race to run.

No one says running a marathon was easy.

I crossed the 21km line in 2:23. Feeling full, to say the least. By then, OP Chief Kutu caught up with me already.

Chief Kutu on his first marathon

I entered Jalan Imbi, passing Pavilion and was surprised that I don’t see any 10km runners. Usually, by this time, the place is filled with the school kids doing the 7km run and people doing the 10km run. I saw a few fast 21km runners, blazing through the road like it was some 200m race. It’s almost insane the speed where they are running.

I joined them until Dataran Merdeka and then the the 42km runners split road with the 21km.

Infront of me was an elderly looking auntie. I felt damn why. But I know it’s not the time to let ego gets in the way. I should be happy and be inspired by how some elderly folks run marathon as if it is nothing to them.

“just another day at work dude” I could almost imagine them says that.

I was closing on the 28km mark when Steve and Karoline blazed past me. At the rate they are going, I’m sure it would be sub 5 hours run for them. I know for a fact that I would be clocking my Personal Best as well. I know it would be better than my IronMan marathon which took 5:45.

I passed the 30km mark at 3:37, pretty decent timing. That means I averaged an 1:10 for every 10km! That is pretty decent and if I keep the pace, I would be doing a 4:50! Wow!

But alas, as luck would have it, I slowed down in the final 12 km. I finally caught up with Chief Kutu and Tey at Kilometer 35 (below Parliament flyover).

I was greatly inspired by this uncle.

Men Senior Veteran – Niida Akira San – 5:13 – he beats me!

He even offered me a sweet but I had to refuse as I thought he would need it more than me. (how wrong was I???)

I sms-ed wifey at KM36 telling her I would be clocking my PB. She was surprised as well due to my non existence training and me complaining about the 20km that almost immobilize me. At 36km, my timing was 4:30. Yes, it took me almost an hour to cover the 6km from 30km mark!

Thanks Tey – The two thumbs up is for you relentlessly taking pics even while doing a marathon!

helping to give out sponges and drinks at KM36

With 6 km to go, I could almost see myself finishing below 5:30 even if I were to just maintain the slow jog as I did over the previous 6km. It was an achievement of sort for myself at least as I’ve never ever ran this well before (in any marathons).

With that newfound energy, I continue to run. OK, more like Jog to finish the last 6km.

3km more

Pretty lonely at last 3km

I was really happy as I ran past Bank Negara and saw the whole bunch of gang. I was even happier as it is now 400meters to the line.

As luck would have it, I crossed the line in 5:16 and now, that is my new bench mark to break in future marathon!

Crossing the line, there wasn’t any friends to cheer me on or take picture of me. So I decided to do the next best thing…take picture of those I know that crosses the line after me and cheer those that I don’t!

Tey – thank you you for all the pics!

Chief Kutu

Birthday Boy Kam


batchmate Akmal doing his 10km run…well done!

What’s left of Light & Easy???

The results where I did a PB, 174/250 marathoners is ok what…

And of course, well done to you Tuan Chief Kutu! I couldn’t do any better than you in my first marathon!

Last pic to wrap the day up

Those others I know that ran on Sunday for other distances – Bandit and Joejo (21km), Chit, Olivia and Akmal (10km)…Well done to all of you, may all of you graduate from the 10/21km to 42km soon!

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