Monday, December 17, 2012

Malakoff Run 2012 Race Report

It was an accidental race. The last I ran Malakoff run was way back in 2007 if i am not mistaken. It was so long ago that all i remembered was running up Bukit Kiara (those days before it got evolved to Sperm Loop). The race was sold out fast and thanks to a lucky star alerting me about "Media Entry", i tried my luck using my Blog to see if I would be considered to run as "Media". As it turned out, my blog was legit and I was allowed entry. Thank you - to both the Lucky Star and the PR group handling Malakoff run.
Race Morning
I set my alarm clock at 5.15am and it was breakfast immediately after I took a shower and brushed my teeth. The cold shower helped to jolt me up. As usual, it was the good old proven rolled oats and raisins/nut mixes that I have for breakfast. Provides enough energy for a 5km run. As I have trained my body to run on empty and rely on body fat to sustain the system. There was no carbo-loading or fancy "sports food" the morning before and this run should not be any different from my usual early Sunday run. It was supposed to be my Hill Circuit day as well, so everything falls in nicely. I drove to the starting point which was about 15minutes from my home. I was tempted to just park my car about 5km away and run there - but I had plans to push myself hard and do not want to risk anything. Arriving at Bukit Kiara Equestrians Park, I started to bump into many familiar faces. Thanks to all photographers that has captured the moments. I ran without my usual camera yesterday.
With Nazrul and Puzi. Thanks Kam for the pic.
As the race got closer to gun-off, more friends came in and the usual laughter and banters were exchanged. I was said to look like Jane Fonda's era with my headband. :) A (bald) man got to have a headband to prevent eye-stinging sweat from getting into it.
With Puzi and Pat. Thanks Mr. Chan WK for the pic!
About 10minutes to the race start, the MC, Adele and Kannan ushered everyone to the starting line. For the very first time in my life, i actually stood right at the front of the starting pack.
The Don't Know Shy Pose. OK. That's too to the FRONT. Move back now Stupe! Thanks Mr. Chan for the photo.
Actually, it was me being lazy not wanting to walk all the way back. Since my intention was to give my best to the "training run", I thought why not? After all, it will be a good experience to gauge my own progress with the country's best athletes.
In case you do not know who A0208 is, that's Ronnie "PM1" See. Next to me is the ever strong Puzi. Thanks Max Lim for the photo!
Some might say I am delusional like the rest of the (amateur) runners standing in front. I felt I was. More so knowing the like of Shahrom, Moey, Ronnie, Puzi were just within arm reach from me. Bear in mind these are all very fast (and super-fit) athletes that hold 9-to-5 job/s and inspired me to work hard towards my goals too. Of course there are many others in the group, and I know the moment the gun goes off, the real-deal will start breaking hearts of the wannabe runners (like me).
Ok, now clap people. Thanks Gus for the photo.
This is also a first race I wore something different from my usual running gear. Being in Team 2ndSkin, naturally, I will wear what was provided to me. Choices was for me to decide what to choose to wear - and it is none other than the newest edition "All Weather Runner". In a way, it does define my recent run training that was done in any weather, much to the annoyance of my wife (for fear of my own safety).
Hell Yeah! Taken from my Instagram. Can be Purchased from
I ran this race using the Skechers GoBionic minimalist shoe. It made it's debut during the Putrajaya Triathlon about last week. This will be the first time I take the shoes for run over 10km distance.
Skechers GoBionic in it's first race
Back to the race. As the VIP (CEO of Malakoff and PACM president) lined up for the gun-off, I have the last visualisation of the race route. Mental visualisation is a very strong thing to do. It allow ourselves to prepare for that will come our way. I posted a guideline/tips a few days before the race and I hope it help some of you that read my blog.
Ready Set...GO!
The air-horn went off sharp at 7am and the runners sprint to the front. I saw two runners, sprinting so fast only to start slowing down at the base of Science Centre. More experienced runners will know to hold back enough to maintain their own race pace. Puzi, that was next to me the last 30minutes were seen at least 50meters ahead. I then saw Moey, Raymond and Ronnie passing me. A quick glance at my Garmin says I am doing my race pace.
4:15min/km. 158bpm. Damn I lost 1-second looking at the watch.
Chasing the main pack. Ah Thiam pirated the race, but gave his all nevertheless. Thanks for the photo Vivien and Foo.
As expected, the first hill took out a lot of the less experienced runners. You see them slowing down and hyperventilating. 
Chasing the main pack up Science Center. Mark Williams (B1553) was the eventual winner for Men Veteran and overall fastest timing. In the photo was the strong Don Khor. Thanks Elaine and Victor for the pic.
Turning right, the pace for everyone started to pick up and I know not to let the pace settle into an over-relaxed recovery pace. Hammering down, I could see about 20people in front of me as we passed the first water station after the Beringin roundabout. I skipped the station and ran down as fast as I could.
Suffering while running on a "flat" route. One loop done. Thanks Team PACat for the photo.
I know immediately after the John Hancock building will be a climb. And just like that, Gavin Bong ran past me. He must had started late and with his sub 4:00min/km pace, he ran up the hill like it was a downhill. Inspiring.
The PACM volunteers set up the ribbon station half way up the climb. 12km runners were to take two ribbons. This second climb was a bit tougher due to the longer distance. I saw myself being very consistent on the climb; overtaking those that blasted past me on the downhill sections. That was when I secretly hope the race finishing is an UPHILL. Would be nice to break some hearts sometimes. At the top of the climb was a water station which I slowed down to take a sip and a timing station. Made a mental note to remember to run past the timing device the second loop around. It was downhill from the top of the hill (SK Bukit Damansara) and the third hill welcomes you. I usually max out at this climb. And indeed it did. I was glad that I covered the first 5km in a decent time. 22:35.5, which was 30 seconds slower than my 5km Personal Best of 22:04. Considering the climbs/slopes, That's pretty encouraging. I know if I continue the pace, I will be able to finish the race within an hour with fatigue factored in.
Second Loop
Running the second loop was pretty much autopilot. Toughest task was to maintain good running form. I then started to run with the 7km and the other 12km runners. The road turned into a sea of pink (or slightly orange/fushia). I passed a few friends i know and they shouted for me. I apologise as all i could manage was a wave of acknowledgement. I skipped the water station after the roundabout and decided to run as fast as I could all the way to John Hancock and decide from there if i want to hold the same pace, or speed up. The fourth slopes up to SK Bukit Damansara was when I realised my pace slowed down by almost 15seconds from my average - not good. 5:02.  
Heel Striking running to Finish line. Damn it!. Thanks Elaine and Victor for this pic that I can use to improve on my running  form.
Knowing the race will end in approximately 4km, I shifted to high gear and push for it.
Those tempo hill runs got to help me. Stay there.
With the last climb in sight and I realised my 10km timing actually improved from my 48:00 (during Putrajaya Night Marathon that i did 21km) to a fast 45:56. I shaved off almost 3minutes off my 10km timing on a hilly course. 
I know my heart rate was at all time high as I speed down the last downhill section to the finish line. As I pass Science Center and running into Bukit Kiara Equestrians Park, I was hyperventilating.
BREATHE! Thanks Tey!
As I sprint towards the finishing line, I felt proud that I managed to hold the pace that I did. I reflected (even before the race finish) that it was my 100% that I gave. And it showed.
Hurry run, the Zombie Horse is coming after you! Thank you Mr. Chan for the amazing capture of my "pia" expression
Seriously, I pushed myself, Vivien (Foo's wife) too this photo close up as I ran past...I looked like a Zombie running away from Zombie Slayer actually!
Girls says Droopy eyes were cute. What do you think?  Thanks Vivien for the photo.
I crossed the line in (my Garmin) 52:06. I was right behind a man that got third placing in the Men Senior Veteran category. These guys are at least 10 years older than me! Inspiring.
For my effort, I got one medal and a timing I can be proud off. I can only hope that I will be able to maintain my training and continue to improve.
A bit more, come on! Thanks Max Lim for the photo.
Yesterday's run opened my eyes to how the top runners ran. I still have much to catch up and come close. I am not sure my official finish timing or position in the Men's Open category. Not that it mattered since I am not in the Top 5.
OK. Managed to run fast enough from the Zombie Slayer. Thanks Max Lim for the photo finish.
However, it was a super nice feeling to finish the race that fast as the goodies bag collection was with no crowds.
Race Stats
The race route on my Garmin 910XT.

My time split for the 11.3km
4:24.8 (5km : 22:35.5) 
4:44.6 (10km : 45:56.6) 
1:15.2 (314m : race course under-distanced)
After Race Celebrations
Soon after collecting my goodies bag, I went to my car, took a shower and returned back to race site to complete the reason why I was there in the first part of the MEDIA. :)
The Malakoff CEO and his team
The Top5 winners of all categories in Kannan's hand
Buddy Dicky with fellow PACM Volunteers ensuring everyone is hydrated
Whole group of fast runners
Michelle was second in her category while Raymond made it looked too easy with a sub-50mins finishing
All ready for Christmas!
With Nannoor and Ib. Power running couple in the making.
Men Veteran winner. Mark Williams (second from right) was overall winner (though there is no prizes for that). 12km in about 42minutes! Congrats to Gavin Bong for coming in third (pink shirt in middle)
The Women Open winners. Congrats Jesicca (second from right), Michelle (third from right) and Lynn Guan (in black). 
Men Open winners. Congrats Shahrom (in dark blue, second placing).
And that was me, as captured by Max Lim, whoring for the winners' photos. :)
Race Pros
1. Superb route. I train here at least once a week.
2. Superb organisation. PACM and Quickrelease make a lethal combination of race organisers!
3. Superb host - as usual Malakoff has set the precedent to how corporate companies should contribute to the development of local talents and races. Their involvement in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program are well known.
4. Superb Volunteers tirelessly ensuring sufficient water and Gatorades for all runners.
5. Superb race. Will make this a yearly affair from now onwards.
Race Cons
1. Race distance short of 700m. Perhaps getting the runners to run through the main entrance of Bukit Kiara Equatrian park to finish might solve this problem
2. Runners need to be more responsible to throw the paper cups into the bins provided. For every rubbish that was thrown, there is a person picking them up.
All Weather Runner - Yes I am.
With that, my "race calendar" for 2012 officially ends. With many good timing clocked in 2012, it is time for a reflection before year end. I will save that for the next posting. I would like to thanks:
- Malakoff for being the title sponsors;
- Co-sponsors such as Athlete Circle, Powerbar, Gatorade, Chief's Boot Camp, Nestle Fitnesse , World of Sports and Quick Release Adventure for their huge involvement in this;
- Not forgeting the PR agency ( that granted me this run (and opportunity for write up);
- That Good Man (which shall not be named) that has linked me/alerted me about Media entry; and
Special appreciation to my sponsors 2ndSkin Asia and Skechers (Performance Shoes) Malaysia.
Thank You!
See you all in 2013!
Update December 17, 2012 10.30pm
Official results is out Here. Yours truly scored a 17th Position (out of 1232) Men Open. Timing was 52:07.74 (my Garmin 52:06.5). 4.3km took me 19:06.06, 8.8km took me 40:16.08. Looked like my target of being able to run 9km in 40minutes is just about 30seconds away. Time to put in more effort during training!


  1. Excellent review. Just the kind of race to end the year. Now I feel envy for missing the race :)

    1. Lets hope I improve from here onwards now that I know what to improve on!. :) Thanks buddy!

  2. Well done, Stupe! You're turning into a lean mean running machine! See you at Newton Run?

    1. I am not doing Newton. Did not sign up. Maybe will Pirate (and bring my own water).

    2. Kevin, hope to see you at Newton..

  3. Congratulation and well done Tristupe.

    The run was fantastic and well organised. But it was a disaster to me. Beside enduring sharp pain on sole of my left foot during the race, I also ended up 3 loops (instead of 2 loops). I ended up running 15.98km (my Garmin FR10)

    Looking forward to do better next year.

    1. ouch - 3 loops? They should give you prize for running the most.

    2. Yep,that's right. The reason was I got one yellow ribbon short at the end of 2nd loop, and I was asked by marshal to get another ribbon or else I will be disqualified.

  4. Inspiring stuff! Just what I need to motivate me to go and run tomorrow morning!

  5. Very inspiring Ee Van! Hope to run with you around Beringin during one of your trainings.

    1. It's 500m from your office and 3km from mine. One of the day when your office has a training day?

  6. great race recap.
    I can visualize running the route while reading your post. :D
    And thank you so much for being an inspiration to my husband and i.
    p/s: we have started scouting for bicycle. hehe

    1. So i heard Nannoor. :) I have spies everywhere ;-)

    2. my goodness!!!
      im sure my husband already ask you which brand/model should we considering. he he

    3. Belum. :) Dia tengah fikir lagi tu.. ;-)

  7. Congrats Ee Van,

    I didn't start late but decided to take it easy since
    I just recovered from an illness.
    I enjoyed the hills on this route.

    1. Gavin - get well soon (as in 100% ok). And you running/just recovered is inspirational. and ended up with 3rd placing. :)