Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brooks 21km Race Report

This is long overdue and I apologise for the delay. It is unlike me to not write about a race I entered. I have been caught up with a series of assignments that has also reduced my running mileage in the past week by almost 40%. And this week, I am travelling for work which makes it a bit more challenging. With that all said, here is the race report. :)
The Challenge
I've registered for this race back in November 2012 when it first opened for registration. Back then, I have no idea what will happen in March 2013. But one thing i knew for sure was that it will be the determining race for Wifey if she is fit/strong enough to attempt Sabah Adventure Challenge (end of March) after the accident in October 2012. And for myself, it dawned to me that I will be doing two races back to back having completed the Hash Challenge the day hours before waking up again for Brooks21. Tapering and nutrition were done very carefully - infact I would say this was one of the best Tapering+CarboLoading exercise that I did, coupled with knowledgeable nutrition that has ensured me not only completing both events back to back, and back to training again the next day. The Hammer Recoverite was utilised fully. I took a pack after my Hash Challenge and too one more an hour later.
Race Morning
I woke up at about 3.30am preparing to fuel the race. Rolled oats with the usual raisins, cranberries, nuts and such has became a staple diet for me in the morning. We left the house by 4.15am and drove to Bukit Jalil. Traffic was clear short of a few reckless drivers that were likely to be DUI. We reached Bukit Jalil at 4.45am and it was rush to look for a parking. I parked at almost the same area as last year. By then, the whole place was filled with runners. One thing I noticed immediately was that the Stadium lights were not switched on. More confusing was the crowd were standing everywhere and I can't find the starting line. Not helping the bad PA system that crackles next to the Powerbar booth.
Got Race or not?
Wifey suggested that we move to where all the crowds were. And she was right. The starting point was along one of the road...Somehow having Brooks not in the Stadium is just not Ooomph. I guessed many has been spoilt by the race last year.
The two flood lights were where the starting was
We stood pretty much at the back of the line and bumped into a few friends. Here are some photos before the race start.
Andrew, Khoo and Kenny with me 
With Kian Meng and Ee-Leng
And The Way We GO!
While busy taking photos and catching up with friends, the gun went off - and no one knows. I started my Garmin Fenix and it took almost 6 minutes before I finally crossed the line (to start running). The game plan was to stay "in pace" with wifey. We know the route well after running it last year. Only a few slopes that can be cleaned if you run up quickly. We maintained a very decent pace of 7:00 - fast enough to keep moving and slow enough to have a comfortable conversation.
While there was still lights
The pace was maintained really consistently. 7:00 pace and it doesn't seems to slow down for wifey. a 10km in 1:10 is decent and if this continue, a 2:30 finish is in the bag. That timing is very easy pace that takes perhaps 60% effort to maintain and right below her Tempo pace.
OK. Much better!
The race was ran in semi-darkness. Street lights went off at the very start of the race leaving the first 10km running in darkness. There are certain parts that was too dark to safely run without risking any tripping. I am glad nothing happened. As expected, the run around OUG housing area gives a bit of respite with the route mostly downhill. And then, there it was...the 5km timing mat and I won't be surprised if many missed it. The route then went towards a U-turn that was likely setup to cover the 400m around the stadium. The distribution of ribbons could had been done better with less stoppages - or runners taking more than just one ribbons. The remaining distance brought the runner running parallel with MEX highway on both sides near Kuchai Lama before heading back towards Bukit Jalil and into the apartments units. While One would be very happy as they would had thought the race was coming to an end was in for a surprise as the race takes a turn for the last climb towards Astro.
Wifey did really well maintaining the pace and as we enter KL-Seremban highway, wifey told me that I was bleeding. Oh no, I thought to myself. with about 2km to go and the chaffing became so bad that it started bleeding and mixed with my sweat creating a sort of "blood bath". One would had thought i am having menses...but seriously, looking back at the photos (below), it did looked scary. I stopped by the side for a while to access the situation. It was embarrassing and at the same time, painful. I told wifey to go ahead first and I will see her at finish. I sat by the road railing for a while and decided that I would need to finish the run as fast so I can attend to the chaffing soonest. I changed gear and went at 4:00 pace for the last 2km and without me knowing, overtook wifey and a few friends. Yes. I was in pain and I was distracted.
OK, last 1km. I did not know I passed Phui Tin at first. Thank you Tang for the pic!
I realised that I overtook wifey and i decided to stop about 50meter from the finish line to wait for her.
Yeap, some thought I finished the race already, but I still have 50m to go...and 5 minutes to kill. Thanks Tey Gor for the pic!
While I was waiting, wifey was posing for camera. Thanks Tang for the pic!
Once I saw Wifey, we made a dash for the finish line. Holding her hand, perhaps, a bit too tight. Not sure was that to offset the pain I was in...or she was sprinting to the finish. :D
Nice Midfoot landing! Thanks Aniza for the photo
Same moment as above - and see how the blood trickled. Thanks Elaine for the capture
We crossed the line together in the expected 2:30. It was a good recovery run for myself despite the bloody encounter and for wifey, to finish the race with no injuries and in good spirit, it marked her official return to racing again. 
I ran up and down the race route 1.4km more?
It wasn't easy for her the past 6-months fighting (and still is) pain from the incident but she is slowly getting back there again. Her 10km timing is close to her pre-accident pace and with a bit more mileage and structured training, she will be running much faster.
After cleaning up the chaffing.
I linger around for a while as my youngest sister is still out there running. She signed up for the 21km and wing-ed it. So, while waiting for her, a few friends came by and bumped into me.
With Ibrahim. Looking Lean and Mean.
Bossman was around as well and came all decked in the MAS blue livery. :) He was looking for water when he bumped into me. It was good to spend close to 30minutes with him chatting about work.
Making younger man looked slow, he is.
With Jun Shen and Annie. Team 2nd Skin making an appearance. Congrats Annie on the 2nd placing for Women Open. Photo courtesy of Jun Shen.
And finally, after what seems like 4-hours, my sister waltz-ed in...haha. Well done Svun. Next time make sure you train for it. 
Her last race was last year's Brooks...
As for me, it was a good run using the Fenix to track. I did not charge the Fenix after 12hours of using during Hash Challenge and the lifespan of the battery can last 16hours on single charge with normal GPS (once a second tracking), technically, I have 4-hours to go before the unit dies off. Luckily I managed a 2:30.
All decked in Team 2ndSkin livery and collaborator's products. Thank you Skechers, Garmin and Hammer Nutrition. Not forgetting 2ndSkin Asia!
Bring on Sabah Adventure Challenge. The Lims are ready for it!


  1. Congrats to the both of you and especially your wife on her comeback!

    God, that blood trickling down your leg looks outright painful!

    1. Thanks. I was more embarrassed than in pain ;-)

  2. pain makes you stronger and faster

  3. superb timing. macho summore waiting for wife to cross finishing line together.

  4. Replies
    1. See why i have to run? Else i kena beaten!

  5. Saw that bleeding photo of yours earlier at FB and was like... o.O Hardcore man!

    How sweet of you to wait for your wife and finish together. Congrats to both of you! :)

    1. It is one thing we always do together. Finishing ahead is always good, but there are better prize in crossing the line in hand together.

  6. Err... where exactly are you bleeding from? Must be too power until cause chaffing - side effect of running side by side with your wife :P

    Okay okay sorry, let's keep it clean. Well done both Stupe and Aileen. Really sweet for you both to be finishing the run together.

    1. It was the chaffing between the legs. Made worse with the sweat and dilution that gives the impression there was blood bath.


  7. Inspiring! I wish my wife had the same passion for running :/