Monday, October 31, 2011

PJ Half 2011 Race Report

The dilemma of yesterday's race was whether to wear my Nike Triax or my Nike Pegasus, as the Lunarglide has been donated to someone in Kinabalu. I chose the Pegasus and i just found out it is already 3 years old!
The next dilemma was trying to find all my racing stuff since we just shifted back home. With all the items everywhere and in every other bag, it was pretty stressful. To put it mildly, wifey woke up race morning telling me she forgot to pin the bib number - of which, i already dug out the race belt to fix it late night before.
The last dilemma was Wifey having to nurse an injured right ankle that she sustained last Sunday on our way back from Kinabalu Climbathon. We were lining up for Taxi at LCCT and i asked her to walk up to ask the man if this is the line for the "budget" (my ass, RM100 for taxi to Damansara Utama pass midnight!) taxi. She walked on uneven surface and twisted her ankle. I should had went and ask her to be in the queue instead.
I assured her it is ok if she wants to stop and turn back. But knowing her, she don't take NO for an answer.
We were near Kelana Jaya at about 6am yesterday and as usual, bumped into many friends before race start.
I ran the race in good pace. After Kinabalu Climbathon, i know the Sciatica has improved by leaps and bounce. In fact, my recovery from Kinabalu was good as i was able to ride on Wednesday up Peras with not much problem (only slower).
The usual corny smile.
I was pacing with wifey for the first 8km before she left me wondering where she went. I was on constant 6:30 - 7:00 pace pushing pretty alright the first 5km (to the hanging bridge). I was also constantly running up and down to take photos.
The weather was good with slight breeze helping to keep the humidity off a little bit. I recalled sweating bucket before the first drink station and the new found joy with the HALO band sort of managed to keep those eye-stinging sweat off. Perhaps i should consider making a review of this HALO band - i was thinking about this as i was running.
I must commend the organiser for a well stocked up water and sponging station along the way. Per IAAF, water station was provided at every 4km mark. Sponging station about 1km after the water station. 100Plus being one of the sponsors really did well - perhaps because this is also a local municipal driven event?
The theme for the run was "Running For A Greener PJ". I was told that they will plant a tree for every registered participants. So, i supposed yesterday, there should be about 4,500 trees being planted somewhere in PJ?
But where?
PJ Half was like a complete circle for me actually. I remember taking part in my first official 10km race many moons ago and it was during the PJ Half. I recal seeing the Kenyans blazing past opposite side of the road when i was still struggling as a newcomer in official races. I recalled running along SS3 and the industrial area before ending the race in the stadium. I recalled i clocked a 1:10 for my first 10km. Subsequently, i stopped taking part in PJ Half as the then small four lane to the old Subang Airport underwent extensive upgrading work to link up Ara Damansara and the surrounding area, including the starting of the project to build Guthrie Highway. With super dusty condition and crazy traffic, i don't feel like putting myself at risk.
The race went into a hiatus for many years and surfaced again this year. From RM20/entry to now RM50/entry, that was how much inflation has creep into simple sporting activities in our country.
But the T-shirts got better from cotton "i wear to sleep" to quick drying material you can wear for light sporting or walk in the park.
Yesterday's race was pretty well organised. Sufficient water and medical (seen at every water station), good waste management (thank you to these men and women that cleaned up the street after the runners threw those paper cups and sponges away) and perhaps the only thing to improve vastly is traffic control.
Traffic control was available but seriously need some sort of looking into. On the road were many officers from PDRM manning the streets. While they performed their job flawlessly, we must remember that Malaysian traffic are not used to seeing human in anything less than a motorbike sharing a road with them.
This meant cyclists and runners are greatly being taken for granted when they use the public road.
It is no fun when you are running in the middle of the road and wonder if the car behind you will come and hit you like a bowling pin.
It was a lazy Sunday morning definitely
Safety aside, I was running at a pretty comfortable pace for up to 15km (before the U-turn) when the Sciatica pain comes back. In just 200m, i felt the my right legs starting to get numb and i had to stop running as the whole right leg got numb. It was like a major needles and pin sensation where every landing steps i take send jolt of electricity that became increasingly uncomfortable to maintain the pace. That was also the last i saw wifey as she ran past me after the U-turn. She was about 1km away from me at that moment or about 10minutes away.

I slowly made my way back the final 6km in the fastest way i could. Hobbled and walked like how i did in my last Ironman. I know it is possible to walk a marathon (42km) in about 7hours as long as i don't stop moving. I noticed that my walk actually overtakes more people that was "running" or "jogging". Clearly, many at the back has ran thin of any energy. Not helping the hot sun has finally showed itself burning down mercilessly across the clear blue sky.
I ran past the last sponge station and was delighted to see a sight that reminds me of my Ironman in 2010. With colorful sponges strewn on the road, it is sure a nice reminder of those "days".
It's also ironic that i reminiscence about those old days when i was fit and fighting to be at racing weight when now i am at my racing weight (of 73kg) and fighting to be fit. I guess life is such. We never know how long we will live anyway.
As i hobbled into the Stadium, there were insufficient signage on where to go. I went in through the wrong door (right behind the finish line) and had to run an extra 100m for the official "victory run" around the stadium. Wifey waited for me at the 300m mark and we ran together to the finish.
Thanks Tey for the pic!
Wifey finished her race in 2:40, a vast improvement from her PB of 3:00 in last years's SCKLM 21km. She finished the race despite the swelling on her right ankle. She did said that it was painful. But being her, she set aside the pain and went on to run the race her way. One week after climbathon, i believe she is now fully recovered (muscle ache wise) and has completed the first LSD towards Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in December. She told me she won't want to run another 42km, but guess the running bug has bitten her, hard. There is no stopping this woman now.
I crossed the line in 3:05. I was told that the medal ran out after 2hours. They have limited 200 finisher medals that was made from pewter. I am glad that i finished the race despite the timing. With about a month to go for SCSM, i guess i have to really start clocking in the mileage.
To those of you that ran yesterday's race. Congrats for finishing it. Some of you might had clocked better timing, big clap for that. Some of you had placing, major clap for that!
Until the next race, stay healthy, keep drinking those water and clock in the mileage to respect the distance!


  1. Hey stupe! Nice account of the PJ Half. Only grouse is the traffic management at intersections that was a bit dangerous at times. Doesn't help with impatient motorists on a Sunday!

    I used the Halo band before, works but made me looked like a member of the group Village People belting out YMCA :D. I just use the head buff nowadays as I scream with sweat from front to back and all sides!

    Congrats to the running couple and for the fact, there's just no giving up until you've crossed that skinny finishing line :)

  2. Yimster - right on. No giving up until the line is crossed. Finishing medal or t-shirt aside, most important is not to give up within our own health limits!

  3. Sir, under austere Pakatan's rule, medals are only for top 200 finishers, also see how they sponsors have shrunken in size, even the chocolate drinks packed their stuff quite early. Anyway we are there for the run/walk/jog, all others are secondary. eh how come i you dont see me sitting @ the bus stop near the starting line. Dont worry about the timing, this is my worst 1/2 also, only trained twice a week before and the drinks wasnt helping - Deepavali's spirit mah!

  4. Anon - under pakatan or under BN, sports should be free from politics. Chocolate milk aka Milo Van always finish early. Anyway, stay off that drink lah.

    I did not see you at the bus-stop. Am i supposed to know you? Somemore no name ler brother! :D

    As for the drink - moderation bro! Unless they are Durian Juice!

  5. Thanks for the race report! Sorry to hear about your sciatica but inspired that you finish the race within your own health limits. Sciatica put my hubby out of action for months but at least he got better. Hope you do too!

  6. i need to clock more mileage for SCMS as well. panic mode ON!!

    my timing was miserable, the lack of spped and endurance training really bite me back big time :)

    You will do well in SCMS.

  7. SC -fingers crossed bro. Recovery are usually slow and painful process. Heartbreaking too.

    I see you in SCSM!