Monday, October 22, 2012

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012 Race Report

It was a last minute decision to run the race. I did not registered for it but was handed a bib by my colleague whom had to attend a wedding dinner (thanks Kanthaa). I am fully aware of the implication of doing that and thought to myself that i WILL not come close to podium/winning anything. So, let me declare in advance that i "technically DQ" by running under another person's registration. So, there is no official glory other than self satisfaction of a good run. :)
Thank You Kanthaa!
I ran the race with mixed feeling. The running community lost a friend a day before the race and the route will bring me past the spot where wifey was hit by a motorcycle. I was not feeling too good with lack of rest the past few days due to a combination of factor and not helping that wifey told me i looked "pale".
Pale, really? With Kam doing his 20th Marathon. :) Insight was Zairin at the back.
Putrajaya run at night is notorious for being superhumid. Due to the location of the administrative capital build around wetland, that is expected. With half the Klang Valley experiencing torrential rain from 4pm, the race was bordering of going through a wet experience. But it was like the organiser summoned some bomoh (Shaman) and kept the rain away. Putrajaya was...DRY!
Could it be the Psy Gangam Style song that kept the rain away i.e. the rain also don't like the song!
As safety is important, i geared up with bright yellow vest and used my blinker and headlamp, together with reflective strip to "stay seen" by any vehicles. I noticed a number of runners doing this and that is good in my opinion. Awareness is important!
Stay Bright. Stay Alive.
I reached Putrajaya at about 7:45pm and by then, Anand Orangeman and his MC was announcing to the crowd of runners the passing of Cheah Meei Meei. "Keep Smilling Buddy". That, according to them, was Meei's trademark. She was there with many of us that knows her.
Tribute by Kin Kok. Nice one bro.
On day like that night. I am very very glad for two things. One, wifey is still alive and with me. To some the accident might look petty (as some of us had to go through worse experiences being hit by vehicles when out training). Wifey is recovering, but not as well as we hope. We were told that the injury is now compressing on her spinal cord via the latest x-ray done Saturday morning. More rest were prescribed by the Doctor; and also "upgrade" on pain management drugs. Secondly, we are so glad for friends and families around us. For example, many friends that lend support and visited wifey (too many too name); and friends from Singapore that brought a cake all the way up to cheer wifey up.
Thank You Mohan Marathon. You Are Awesome.
And three friends that came to celebrate me and wifey's wedding anniversary with a cake.
Awesome Phui Tin, Lynn and Pat!
And one that came with a 99% have no idea how something this bitter tasted that sweet.
Doc Azman - Awesome.
And many more of you that personally called, offered help in more than one way, and wished wifey a speedy recovery. The wishes in social media of all forms including this blog. The fruit baskets and flowers, they were all awesome. We are very blessed to have all of you as friends and families. Too many to name, all of you played a pivotal role and acted as an extended support system to help wifey recover faster. We Thank You!
Back To The Race
I know, i have the knack of getting off-tangent. It happened since i was small. It is a shame i am not a politician. Anyway...More photos of awesome friends at PNM2012. Take from Start line till Finish Line!
Tey Gor and Kelvin Ng.
Andrew, Kelvin and me!
With Yum KK. He runs marathon for supper
With Carol, Wilfred and friends!
Gutsy Patsy. She told me she retired from "long distance race". I guess 21km is just...a walk for her.
With NanNoor. A friend i know from Twitter. Funny how we recognise each other!
With Raymond. Hope he recover fully soon. He and Mich was affected with the same thing that took Meei Meei's life.
(R-L)Doc Pui San, Winnie and friend!

And with Awesome Mohan! How come i looked like crying?
With Foo and friends. All in hydration pack - or was it beer since it is still...October?
With Chow, that share the same birthday as me. :)
Hot Mum Vivian. She was taking photo of the bridge. :)
My senior in RMC, Asfani aka Upak. His first 42km. Awesome!
Those of you that knows me and been following my updates on social media will know I have been concentrating on basic fitness regime to get fit again. Things has been working very well with more informed and in-tuned training plans and learning to eat clean and healthier. I was not sure if I should take this race "easy" or "push for it". After saying a small prayer for departed friends (Terence Penguin, OP Zoob, Ngae, TSB and Meei Meei), i started running as i crossed the timing mat. Feeling good, i started to pick up my pace to around 4:30min/km. I have never hold on to this speed more than an hour and I thought it would be interesting to see how fast i could go. Also, inspired by how i was chased during Salomon XTrail by Meei Meei, i wanted to see what and how it is like to be running at my 85% and above. Afterall, I will still have fun per how i took photos with friends above. :) My first KM was done in fairly good speed...then it was no turning back as the engine just kept going.
Supporters drumming away!
 Hard not to run faster when you have bands playing too!
All Girl Percussion Group?
Is it just you? Or you just very happy to see a handsome runner?
Marching Band! Awesome!
You see, i did have fun. But compared to other races, I took less photos this time. Perhaps mainly due to the darkness. At KM5, a glance at my watch told me i almost equal my best 5km short of a few seconds. Feeling good, so i went for it. Would be fun to see how I will perform holding on till 10km. I caught up with Bud, an accidental friend that I knew from I then bumped into Doc Kian Ming, the DAP Chief Strategist. I was supposed to run with him but the starting line crowd made it difficult for me to spot him. I pushed ahead with both right behind me. At KM10, Bud overtook me and a glance on my watch says i did a 48mins for 10km! Awesome. That's faster than my best 10km of 48:44 done eons ago!
Did I run too fast i started seeing Star (wars)???
I maintained the pace and push ahead and the run got stranger...I started bumping into people that looked familiar like the one above. Then, him...
GULP! I am not your son!
Spidey with many loose skin. Is this how Peter Parker looked like as Spiderman at 70?
Ironman met..(ahem)...IronMan.
There was supposed to be a Superman in this pic. But he was faster than a speeding bullet (I kid you not)!

This Batman forgot to bring a hankie, see his sweat under the nose?
I did have fun running the race. Who won't when you see these people above along the 21km route? I have to stop to take photos with them...and then speed and play catch up with the Virtual Racer. :) (a function on the Garmin that let you pit against a virtual racer that runs at a constant speed. I chose the VR to be 5:30). Not sure if any of you noticed, but the organiser has a good sense of humor and even set up two fake cauldrons and a bubble machine!
For a moment...i thought those were Spirits and Orbs...aiyaiyai...
At KM15, I checked the watch and i could not believe that i managed the distance in a cool 1:14! I continue to go for it! It was also then that Shan overtook me. I then saw Raymond from the opposite side of the road. Said our HELLO and continued running. I was doing mental calculation that I could do a sub2-hours if i can hold on to this pace.
Woot! 1:48 Gun time!
It was an ecstatic moment. Knowing that i will be "cleared" of any podium finishing (as i counted at least 10 person in front of me, so i can't possibly be "top 25"), I speed up and crossed the line in a cool 1:46:51 on my Garmin and 1:48++ on the Gun time.
Who is your daddy?
My PB for 21km, and along the way, scored two more PB for 10km and 15km! What is there NOT to love here? I left as soon as after the race finished and only managed to catch Bud and Shan. They both scored a sub 1:40 and even earned themselves some placing! Awesome and congrats!
15th for Bud. Men Open!
Shan 10th Men Veteran. I wasn't trying to be cute...
I rushed over to Meei Meei's wake soon after and headed home after that. Pay my last respect to this awesome runner/athlete and found out more things that not many knew of her. I will write a separate post on this. 
Meanwhile...there were laundry to wash, shoe to dry and a blog post (this) to write...
Coffee and bottle i used to put water for after race
Here is the race route and race statistic on my Garmin. Enjoy.

This was one of my better run in years. It would be interesting to see if i can hold the pace for 42km. I highly doubt so, maybe in the next 5 years i will be able to run a sub 4:00 marathon at average speed of 5:30min/km. Perhaps. Until then, keep on training. Things can only get better if one stays injury free for the years to come!
Race Pros:
1. Hooha.Asia - I've worked with them in previous races before either as co-organiser or as photographer. All i can say is that they are professional and are one of the better race organisers around in the country. With that, the expected support services such as water stations and such is expected to be high.
2. Superb route that has mix of undulating roads providing equal opportunity for runners with different ability to perform. Some runners love hill work, and they truly shine. 
3. Rela officers spotted at car park - based on previous experiences (of other races) with break-ins, this is certainly a welcomed effort.
4. Good traffic management - including a portion of the route where runners are running against traffic for both vehicle-runner visibility. No one like to have vehicles creeping up from behind you.
5. Great race atmosphere, a lot of cheering groups along the 21km route. Now sure about the 42km.
Race Cons:
1. Playing PSY's "Oppa Gangam Style" at the 21km flag off...
2. OK, more seriously, I did not noticed any. Not for the 21km race anyway.


  1. didnt realize that you were running the 21km run, figured that you would immediately go for the full. :D

    i should have kept a lookout for you while doing the half!

    great read up and all the wishes in the world for your wife's speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you bro! Hope the run was good for you too!

  2. Aww, you're not a fan of the gangnam? Why not?? Haha.

    Congrats and well done on your PB, Stupe. It's always a great feeling.

    1. Hahah! Nothing wrong with the song other than it being overplayed for everything.

      Even the aunties at the park line dance to the is just...wrong.

      Thanks for the congratulatory wishes! Yes, it's good feeling!

  3. I dont know you but good job on achieving your PB and also wishing your wife a speedy recovery!

    1. Dennison - Hello there! THank you for the wishes!!

  4. WELL DONE Ee Van!

    I did my maiden HM with timing of 2:19. Can be better with more tips and advice from your blog!

    1. Johnson - that 2:19 is awesome already for a 1st timer HM. Superbly executed. Looked like you need speed work!

  5. good one. praying for your wife speedy recovery. hang in there.