Wednesday, October 02, 2013

SCKLM 2013 Race Report

I am sure some of you are still smiling from the weekend's race. The months of training, then the postponement, the race jitter, the self-doubt, running it, feeling the pain, seeing the finish line and calling yourself a finisher in the race you chosen to take part in - joyous. This is my 15th Marathon and not running any this year sort of put me at a disadvantage experience wise. Noted that some friends that only started running a couple of years ago has went to achieve so much more personally. But here is one thing about these races - it is never about doing better than the next person. It is about coming to realisation and accepting your own ability, improve on it and beat yourself in the next race. 
Preparation Before The Race
The race was to take place in June and was postponed due to the haze. Deemed too dangerous and with the advice from the minister and agreed by everyone, it was postponed and push to September 29, 2013. Many were not happy - stating that they had prepared for the race. But many too, did not see the opportunity to use the lapse to further improve themselves and clock even better timing. Excuse as I believe, is the easy part. Putting on the training shoes on was the hard part. For myself, I been training for the "one big kahuna race" and the training regime has not slowed down except the past two weeks before the race due to work and also tapering. I had my own plan for the race day and it was to pace with wifey and perhaps throw in some speed work and interval into the run. I plan to make SCKLM my "A" Training outing. 

As with all races, one must always bear in mind that preparation is essential. Training is just a part of it. Nutrition plays a large part. For this event, I went full Hammer Nutrition again. It has worked for me on many occasions and this will not be an exception. For wifey too, I've set her up similarly for the race. She has grown to like Hammer and there is no reason not to continue. For the record (and future learning), this was the setup:

Pre-Race : 4 Endurolytes tab+1Gel or 1x Perpetuem Solid

Race: 2 Endurolytes tab/hour +1gel or 1x Perpetuem Solid

Water : Sips every 2km. 600ml max/hour. Electrolyte balance is essential. Many will overdrink. Takes calculated discipline not to do so. To avoid : too much of "isotonic" drinks that are sugar laden or risk bonking.

Wifey's Arsenal.
For myself, I armed myself with only two Hammer gels, Endurolytes (and enough for sharing with others), Anti-fatigue pills (to verify it's effectiveness, again). I been training on empty and tuned my body to utilise fat storage as fuel. More over, banana stations along the run will keep the fuel level topped up. 

Marathon preparation continues with the selection of garment to be worn. The Kraftfit tights I received and the team T was a no-brainer choice. And last was to ensure that I have both (mine and wifey's) Garmin charged. 

I was at two end about the shoe (Runners' problem). Should I go with GoRun2 (Cushioned) or GoMeb (Racer)? Both has not been used for more than 20km of run at one time. Both equally comfy with exception that the GoRun2 has more cushioning to it and GoMeb lacks the cushioning. I almost went into a 3-cornered fight when I thought "Hey, why not GoBionic Ride?" Luckily, common sense (and a bit of risk taking) helped me decide on GoMeb. Afterall, if it is good for Meb, it is good for me - right?

910XT and Fenix
A race like this will not be complete without some photo taking. What more now I am armed with a small video camera and I just had to take the JVC Adixxion out for this run. Though the battery life will not last the whole 6 (planned) hours, I intend to take 5-10seconds clip of things I passed and compile them into a montage of some sort. This is one way to bring you readers to the race without you racing it - or if you did raced it, a good way to let you see the day's event unfold. Wait up for it in my Youtube channel.
Adixxion XA1
With all this done, there was only one thing to do - sleep. Was in bed by 10pm and alarm were set at 2am in the morning. Need to prepare, breakfast and drive down to town before they close the road at 3.30am. *lights off.
Race Day
Honestly, I slept rather well during the 4-hours before the alarm rang. It was like an extended power nap. Took a quick shower, woke wifey up (she wanted the extra 15mins), dressed/geared up. Had a piece of bread with Nutella (no one can resist this), put things in car and make sure everything I need was there. As I was driver designate, we went to pick Phui Tin up and headed straight to Dataran Merdeka. We left the home by 3am. The drive to Dataran was uneventful except when we intercepted the Ambulance convoy - that was our "license" to get through to Dataran via Jalan Parlimen. Notably, a few cars were lucky enough too to get through. We arrived right before DBKL stopped all traffic from entering Dataran area at 3.30am.
Back from clubbing - theme was "running party"
Dataran slowly come alive from 3.30am onwards with the largest party being at the Pacers' tent. Most of them pacing this time were friends and known to be good/fast and appropriate for the duty. Great job on them volunteering as being a pacer is a tough job. Pace must be consistent and one MUST make sure they can deliver. 
Lini Kazim warming up
The Pacers
Of course, races won't be complete without Yum KK making an appearance. :) This time, he was there for a Carnival!
Approaching 4am, the race ground came alive and most already more awaken than the past 30mins. Smiles were seen all around and friends started to trickle in. It is a big gathering for running/triathlon friends for me. More than that, it was a good opportunity for me to say Hi to people i know online (Facebook and Twitter). A face to a name(or nickname) is good!
No strangers to me, especially the lady second from right
An improvement from last year is a big huge tent set up in the middle of the Dataran that can easily accommodate two thousand runners post-run. It is a great idea with water station in the middle dispensing water out before and after run. 
With fans too!
As we move to the holding pen 15mins before gun-off, it was more photo opportunities with friends. This time, with a group of FMV or First Marathon Virgin. Kak June, as usual, drove up from JB to set up a "stall" at KM36 to support runners. I heard in the morning that TPRC (Terence Poon Running Club) and LYN Runners were also setting up stalls at KM36. The more the merrier!
Mawar and friend came dressed in School Uniform. Last year was wedding gown!
Another must have is Mohan Marathon. Here seen with chics all around him - like a boss!
He may had lost count how many he ran. 103 now Mohan?
There were easily 3,000 people running the full marathons. Shy from those days when the numbers were perhaps 500people for a full marathon under all the previous organisers. SCKLM with Dirigo manning the show has grown the race really well. One friend even asked if one day SCKLM will reach the standard where entry will be "Ballot based" aka lucky draw! This happen for popular races. One day, perhaps!
Big, Small, Young, Old, Fast, Slow. 42km - you will do it.
Another surprise was my colleague (the only one for that matter in the same division/department) found me in the sea of people. Running his second FM and armed with Hammer Nutrition products (and sporting a Camelbak hydration), he planned to finish it no matter what. He just bought a Garmin Fenix and it was the watch's maiden marathon too.
Hello Nazrul!
The race was gun off a minute before 4:30. With almost 300m to walk past the start gantry, me and wifey took one last chance to take a picture before the race. :) 
Hello and Good Luck!
We started the run and my plan was to keep up with wifey and if I plan to do interval/speedwork of some sort. With two cameras (the JVC Adixxion and the Panasonic FT4), I intend to make full use of them and take as many photos and videos as possible. Afterall, 42km is pretty far even just driving.
SCKLM Pacer for 6:00 hours in yellow was Uncle Sonny (left) and Choi CC. 
This runner sported the best placard in my opinion, which ties back to my running bib "For Malaysia". 
Thank you sir. We got hope.
The run took us from Dataran passing the KTM building, passing Majestic Hotel and Muzium Negara. However this portion is undergoing massive construction and nothing much could be seen. We then turn left into Brickfields and the ever familiar curry smell emanates into the air. Hungry? Nah. It was also there I bumped into my friend Aizat where he sported a pair of bunny ears and bunny tail. :)
Playmate alert!
Nice work Aizat!
As the run progress, it seems that the 3000 odd people is still running together in one long group. Unlike in previous years, you will see more walkers as early as KM6. This is great improvement. Many came prepared this time.
Passing the old PDRM HQ at Brickfields
As the race progressed, we merged into Federal Highway and I caught Batman running. Ran with him for a while and "interviewed" Batman. Turned out Robin on MC and the Batmobile in workshop. So he has to run to save the city (but Gotham is on the other side of the world...maybe he meant Pudu)
Black Knight
I was pacing up and down to capture photos while keeping wifey in sight. She has been pestering me to "leave her alone and you (I) go and do a PB". I felt despite having trained hard, I am hardly ready to "run a marathon". I be honest about this.
Running A Marathon - not an easy task
The race continues before turning off into East-West Link running slightly uphill towards Sg Besi Highway. Wifey was still looking strong. She has been improving on her pace after a bit of coaxing during training. While you can finish a marathon at a 8:00 pace, but that would hardly be ideal. The longer you are out there, the more suffering you will have to go through. Efficiency and ensuring the body are properly hydrated and fuelled is important. Many missed this out.
Everyone - BEST FEET forward!
Halfway up the climb, I caught up with AJ. It was a joy seeing him. He has been busy and with very little time for training, he admitted he came into the race under-prepared. But this is him - strong and never giving up. I promised him a training session when he has the time, soon.
With Bossman
The race merged into Jalan Istana towards Belamy and turning up to Stadium/Jalan Cheras road. There was a stray car that came in rather fast thinking he owned the road. A few runners boo-ed at him. He came down and confronted the runners - but he was chased off by a Polis officer that rode in after him. 
Bananaman again this year. The White Radish man missing. Maybe not in season.
Further nearer to the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, a common sight I've been observing in races recently. Muslim runners stopping to pray by the road side. It was 6.30am and sun rise was 7:01 that day. 
As we merged into Jalan Cheras, I am sure many had missed this shop's name. 
The stretch saw lesser traffic compared to years before. Maybe the users has wisen up and decided to leave later for their marketing. Whatever it was, traffic congestion was minimal on Jalan Cheras. 
Remember The Blerch? 
Not heard of The Blerch? Go on, click the link below the photo. We all have it in us at some time, some of us still fighting the Blerch. 
Doc PS and wifey along Jalan Cheras
Coming up to KM15, I bumped into Gus Awesome Ghani. He is a personal trainer that walks the talks. Check out the delts...and he ran barefoot that day. 
Gus The Man
Along the way at selected water station, we get drummers/percussionist belting out some beat to keep us going.
Eh, one of them took a break?
As you can see, I was pacing up and down the 5:00 pacers and the 5:30 pacers. This is KK leading his group.
Yeah baby!
The run then turn into Menara PGRM towards Peel Road. At KM17 was the first Banana station. All ripe. :D
High In Potassium. Superb Electrolytes and energy source.
At about K18, I asked wifey if all is ok. She said - actually no. Blisters. I told her we need to stop and manage it before she throw the race away and suffer. Glad she took my advice and the medic tent at K18 at the end of Jalan Peel before merging into Jalan Tun Razak helped!
Do not be a hero(ine) and think you can "brave" the blisters.
The blisters were on the inner side of the toe and the first small toe. This could be due to thicker than usual compression socks soaking up more moisture and creating a friction point. I noticed the socks were bunched up at the front when she removed it and that could be the reason. Good lessons to be learnt for all of us - if you feel a blister forming - STOP and fix it. 
With Tey gege (brother, as he is older). He snapped a lot more photos than me while running and still finish not too far away from me.
Thanks Tey Gor!
The flyover from Jalan Peel to Jalan Tun Razak has been completed and there was no need for runners to cross the busy street. But that also meant less entertainment value as usually, this is where you get to see some of the "older" working ladies plying their trade till morning.
Yeap. Madame.
We merged into Jalan Tun Razak and the sky brighten up. Bulatan Pandan was at a congestion and we ran past the cars as fast as we could. Hopefully to ease the congestion a little. Me and wifey fell behind to the 5:30 groups due to the blister-fixing.
Lini and Illyana leading the 5:30 group with Agnes having a lot of fun.
Further up the road, I caught up with Sean Chee, the man that brought Xterra back to Malaysia. Thank you sir!
Looking strong!
The next runner has good sense of humor.
That was because you had two metal clip on the tag to weigh you down bro!
We reached Pavilion Shopping Centre and like last year, we went to take some photos. I exhausted the first battery at KM21. Need to reload and shut the GPS function on the FT4 to save battery.
It is like wifey is scolding me..hahaha. Thanks Tey Ger!
RM50 can buy what lerh?
And all these posing/camwhoring was compulsory to take the weary body and mind off running. :) Works for us.
Don't ask what wifey wants to hold...
Along the way, I had the great pleasure to run/pace with a friend from Facebook. Anba Nik. :) We keep taking pictures of each other. Haha.
Hey Anba sir!
As we approached The Weld Shopping Centre, wifey suddenly ran to the right and tell me she wants a photo...with a "handsome polis man". Haha!
Hello Tuan!
And then KL Tower...
Not many times get to come mah...
We ran towards KLCC and upon reaching, Lini and team arrived too. What she then did was simply unbelievable. Stretching, group stretching! That happened like a good 3 minutes!
Now ma'am, that is what I call a kind hearted pacer!
The race continue for the FM by gong straight passing Public Bank while the HM turn left towards Jalan Sultan Ismail. Jalan Tun Razak was when the sun came out. It promised to be a hot day. By KM27, I've clocked 29km of running up and down. Not too bad considering if i pace up and down wifey for 5km on normal training run, I will clock about 3km more, so a 2km over-distance seems...OK.
Right at the junction of Tun Razak and Jalan Sentul, I bumped into Elicia Sue and friend on the bike supporting the runners. Nicely done!
Secret training kan?
Jalan Sentul was partially cut off from traffic (from Jalan Pekeliling). So, it was pretty ok for most of us running on the otherwise busy road. 
Traffic warden at all intersections
For some, this long stretch of Jalan Ipoh is mentally exhausting. It is a long distance before emerging near Batu Complex and then it is a 2km distance to K36. No easy task. You can see from the photos below how cramps, lethargic and such sink in for many. This is where your training and the due you put in all these while will be tested. No one say it will be easy.
But wifey always make it fun
A good number still can run/jog
Some helped and attended to friends that has cramps
Some "Never Walk Alone"
Some has Doareamon pocket to keep essentials.
And some spectators put a chair along the way to let you rest (and play with their horns, which I did)
For many others, fuelling is important
And of course Cam-whoring
Jalan Ipoh towards KL was traffic laden. However, it was better than years before. Not many angry drivers spotted and most were cheerful and cheered everyone on. Perhaps the appearance of two white bunny helped to lighten everyone up.
I caught up with Siow again. He was set to do a 5:00 marathon and fall back to 5:30. I had an interview with him. Poor man did not take breakfast. Only had one Gel with him. Otherwise, he looked happy.
Tauke Siow
That 2km along Jalan Ipoh was tough for many - but it's made easier with (what I've mentioned earlier) support stations set up independently. Homemade curry puff from Kak June, anyone?
Been there like forever (the FMV stations)
I look forward to this every time I run a marathon here
The like of TPRC and LYN Runners, also Barefoot Runners set up independent booth to support fellow marathoners. These are selfless act and more often than not, using their own resources and money. What sadden me was how some people say they (especially Kak June) are doing it for "Glamour". Some people really need reality check. 
Thank you Kelvin for the K36 photo!
Another breed of people making life easier for many of us are the independent photographers that spend hours at one spot or two to capture the day's run. The like of Tey, Vivien, Tan Kien Boon, Chan WK, Kelvin Tan, Victor Khor, and many more I forget to name, captures the moments for us all. 
Check the sweat on Tan Kien Boon's face
Thanks Ah Fook! Captured at KM36
Immediately after Km36, I lost sight of wifey. She sped to the front as she saw the opportunity to match her 5:15 PB set in SCKLM2012 last year. So, I ran alone mostly and continued to take photos and videos.
I am set to clock a 5:30 with Kelvin right behind me!
By the time I exit Bank Negara junction, I've already clocked 43.21km in 5:14. I reckon I PB-ed by 42.195km at about 5:07? Give and take average 7mins to run a km, that is. But since the extra distance is my own doing, I will stick to my official timing per organiser's setup. :D My previous record was 5:17. 
Jalan Raja Laut
A twitter friend capture a photo of me running past. I guess being bald and in team 2ndSkin T-shirt helps!
Thank you 
The last final 1km was fun. We ran into the 10km and 21K runners. It was good to be part of the 33,000 runners!
500m more!
And of course, it also meant being caught on camera by friends!
Another "Calling for taxi" pose. Thanks Mr. Chan!
And a nice close up by Vivien! Thank you!
As I approach the finishing line. I know Wifey should already completed her run. Finishing like is nice. It marks the end of the journey and a start (of recovery) for me.
Deo taking pics of friends
As I approach the finishing gantry, i saw Phui Tin waiting. She said she had missed wifey. I told her I kena sayur. Again.
Congrats on PB!
Then I saw both Lini and Agnes. Finishing ahead of the 5:30 timing. Superb!
Just a few meters ahead, a familiar beautiful face gave me the thumbs up. It was wifey!
Ya, Me ok! Yay!
We ran hand-in-hand to the finish. Obviously she has finished ahead of me. Not her PB, but that doesn't matter for her come back marathon. I say it was good effort.
Doc Yap came in right after I did. Good show to you too sir!
Thumbs up!
I bumped into the SCKLM RD, Rainer and he asked me how was it. I said "Fantastic". He asked me again "No, how was the everything". I said...FANTASTIC. I believe many of you would agree with me on this!
Mr. RD was running up an down everywhere to make sure everything was done correctly and adequately
The after race atmosphere was great. Click on the photo below to see it in panoramic view.
Click Me
The official results was also out. Which I snapped on the board. This was as raw as it gets on race day.
42km Results
21km Results

10K Results
If you noticed, my teammate, Annie Yee (Pei Ni) scored a 5th for Malaysian Women Open with time of 3:42. That was fast and she was recovering from shin split.
Congrats Annie!
My other teammate that took part Yip scored a fast 3:08 which I know he took it easy on the first 30km. Yip is preparing for a major race in October. Roy and Eugene both came in at 5:11 and 5:29. For myself, it was a 5:26 effort (on Garmin) which was later officially noted to be a 5:23:31 effort.
My results
For Wifey, she scored a 5:21:20 officially.
That meant I am officiallly 2mins 11 seconds slower than her :D
Yeap...far behind!
My Garmin recorded a distance of 44:84km. It could be marginal error due to satellite reading or it could be really me pacing up and down the race route. It was evident when I review my race stats that my heart rate moves up and down.

Below Zone 2
SCKLM 2013 Pros
1. Water stations every 2km complete with toilet, water, isotonic, medical and smile. 
2. Traffic control was good. Road closed and re-opened per agreed in REPC kit
3. Medical team has adequate first aid item like plasters and such. 
4. 3 banana stations. 2 Gel stations. 3 Muscle spray stations. 
5. Superb organisation. No complains.

1. None I can think off. Seriously.

See you all next year!!!

Next : SCKLM 2013 Report in Motion (Friday!)


  1. good post and congratulations!!! :) , was a fun event there. had fun!

    1. Thank you sir. Hope your run was good too!

  2. Great post sir!!
    I can visualize the route, the waterstations, the runners on that day by reading your post.
    SCKLM 2013. Totally fantastic!!

  3. Syok leh, who would have ever thought running a marathon is so much fun? Great write up :-)

  4. I agree with you bro.. simply awesome atmosphere and I enjoyed it very much!

  5. Good weather, beautiful people and good write up. Life is good even in marathon like this

  6. Aiks. Saya punya comment masuk spam ke? Stupe-ndous run by you and wifey bro!

    1. Mana ada...wait i go check. Google Bot powederful

  7. I ran my first 10km SCKLM2013 and it was so much fun! I have been following your blog for a while now and saw you at the BIB collection center in June too! Congrats to you and wifey for completing yet another FM!

    1. Hi Leslie. :) THank you for the kind wishes. Should had said hi when you saw me. It is always nice to connect with everyone in real life. :)

      Hope the race was great for you (and it's already fun ;-))

    2. Sure! Next time will give you a pat on the shoulder! The race was quite an experience for me, to fly all the way from Kuching for the run, some might have thought "Is there really a need to do that?" Well, life is short and if running in a marathon, though only the 10km category, is fun, why not?! Hehehe!

      Happy running!


  9. Blisters on the areas mentioned are obviously due to way too small and tight of a shoe. Should try going up half a size or try shoes with wider fit.

    1. Hi Ken! Perhaps so. never had any issues with the sizing. Will keep this in mind next round!