Wednesday, January 08, 2014

MPIB 2014 12km Run Report

I've never taken part in the previous installment of MPIB run that was held the past two years. Not wanting to give it another miss, me and wifey signed up this year as the first race for 2014. With a few major races coming up, runs like these act as a buffer to help us "get into racing zone". This event has been organised by runners, for runners. Familiar name in Runners Malaysia group such as Mr. Wan, Jamie Pang and Julie Wong, to name a few chip in to make this happen. In fact, many runners act as volunteers, taking time off from racing one of Klang Valley finest running route and give back to the community. I say it's awesome.
Race Morning
Padang Merbuk is now synonym as the gathering place and race venue for runners and races. With ample parking parking space and more controlled traffic condition (low traffic on weekend), it serves as a good place for races and runs. As parking could be limited, we car-pooled to trace venue and had to park close near JKR office - a good 800m away. No issues as we need to run 12km anyway ;-)
Too early. With Eugene
We arrive about 30minutes before race start and the start line already see people lining up. Looked like many are raring to go!
Podium winners, all.
The plan was to do the run as training run. With this part of the route famous for hills, it is only fair to make it into a hillwork type of outing and 12km sound like a good plan. Nursing an tight hamstring and consistently putting in the hours for training, I know it will not be a good idea to go all out. A tempo run will be in place with a planned pace of 4:20 to 4:30 speed. Throw in the hills and (mostly) downhills, this will meant speeding up slopes as fast as I could.
Mr. Wan, as the race director, came to the from about 15mins before race start and asked the ladies to move behind, as they will be flagged off 10minutes after the men. Yeap, there were a few ladies in the man's pack and each has potential to win the race. a 10minutes lead equals to a 2.5km lead for the front runners, an unfair advantage if this were allowed to happen.
Mr. Wan
My respect to the MPIB people as the VIP that were designated to flag us off arrived 10minutes before 7am - and that simply meant the race will be on-time! Thank you.
As the horn went off, runners jostle for front spot up the first slope that is about 200m. It provide HRmax workout and instant warm up. Many less experienced runners were seen running above their usual pace and were heard gasping for air as early as 100m. The stronger runners pulled away with better ease and I sits myself comfortably in the mid of the front pack. "OK, about 20 people infront". I told myself.
The route takes runner via reverse double hill and the flat downhill like first 3km. I was clocking in 4:17 - 4:02 and 4:51. It was the "wild" 3km that the body tried to normalize. KM4 and onwards saw the pace sets into tempo 4:30 (about 10seconds off my LTpace of 4:24) Why is this important you ask? A tempo is right below Lactate Threshold pace and running at LTpace or above will not be economical in this terrain I am not fully familiar (as I run the usual counterclockwise aka double-hill, not reverse direction). So, if any of you are planning a race and to ace it, look or find your LTpace (or your LTHR, heart rate as they work the same) and work towards improving (paces) and establishing your VO2max. 
The route then heads towards Langgak Tunku (Selangor Mansion) and brings the runner back towards starting point via Jalan Tun Ismail, up towards Sasana Kijang, passing KTM Komuter, making a u-turn under the railway road at BNM, headed past PDRM new building, up past JKR and there was where the confusion happens as the 8km runners will turn left back to finish and the 12km supposed to go straight back down to Mahameru and back using Tugu Negara/Lake Garden road. 
Thank you RFF for the capture. Running up JKR slope. 4:30pace
The final 2km saw runners (12km) meeting with the 3km runners and some slower 8km runners. The crowd were manageable unlike 2XU run where the longer distance runners has to jostle for space with walkers. So, indeed, a race by runners, for runners!
At KM10, I was overtaken by a few friends and indeed, they were fast. I was maintaining a 4:30 pace and their speed was inspirational. I noticed I had the power to run up slopes, but sort of level off on the flat. That simply meant my cadence is not high enough and I must now train to run faster downhill. That also meant I am not as fast as I thought I was. ;-)
The map below is the route taken on race morning. I've saved this in Garmin and if you are interested (out of town) to run this, download the GPX and upload to your device.

I finished the race in the intended sub-60 timing of 55:07. The split for 5km - 6.5km and 9km per below. The distance at the markers were under compared to my GPS. The 5km mark happened at my 4.8km GPS, the 6.5km at my 6.8km and the 9km happened at 8.5km. A bit off but the distance eventually normalised the last 2km.
It seems I scored a 17th position with the timing above. Not too bad for a day of training run. Click here for the prelim results.
Empty finishing route
Running into finish line and seeing the numbers of photographer friends, I decided to make a jump and Tey managed to capture it. :D
Tight hamstring did not allow full leg fold?
Finishing Line Mix Up
I was told upon completing the run that morning that some fast runners complained about the wrong instruction given to the 12km runners, that saw a few of them running extra distance. I believe the confusion happened at the T-junction right after JKR, that heads back to Padang Merbuk via Suasana Kijang (the BNM apartment). What was meant for the 8km runners to turn has caused confusion to the 12km runners (that should go STRAIGHT DOWN towards Tugu Negara via Mahameru Highway). Distance at that point was KM10, things like these happen I supposed and the responsibilities fall not only on the Marshals, but the runners too. The route was shared in the event booklet and the website here and here. I guess my habit of reading event booklets did help to mitigate some of these (and also knowing that women starts 10mins later than men).
Thank you Best Of Running!
Race Pros
- Good thoughts on the route to be different from the usual direction
- Sufficient water stations with isotonic (I did not take a single drop!)
- Good marshals directing/pointing the route (but can be improved)
- Finisher medal, banana, bread, water and mandarin oranges at finishing line
- Milo Van, Instant Noodles, Ice Cream, Cereal sponsors giving out free breakfast (took none, again)
Race Cons
- Certain stretch exposed to traffic and blind corners. 
- More accurate distance markers for those without GPS or devices capable of telling distance
Two thumbs up! Thanks Max Lim!
Swag. Thanks Eugene for the photo!
Photos taken with JVC Adixxion XA2 at 2seconds interval, 16mp (resized to 30% original) can be viewed here in my Facebook Page : Tristupe Facebook Page Don't forget to "LIKE" to tag the photos of yourself and friends!

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