Date: 15 April 2012
Location: SMK Padang Polo, Penang
Distance: 2.4km x 8 (19.2km)
Registration Fee: RM50 per team (Men Open)
Gears: Adidas Haruna, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 00:09:34
F1 - Tan Choon Shih 0:09:34
F2 - Cheah Woei Jye 0:11:26
F3 - Hubert Poh 0:12:08
F4 - Eddie Tan Kak Hoo 0:13:37
F5 - Choong Wai Inn 0:11:59
F6 - Ang Hui Ming 0:15:16
F7 - Yeoh Huei Giap 0:13:00
F8 - Danny Tan 0:12:45
I suggested to put up a relay team for this event 3 weeks ago and I was very happy that we could form a team in 3 days time by getting all members to commit. It is only a short run, 2.4km and very cheap, RM5 per head only. Since I'm not convenient to travel to Penang Island to submit the form or to attend the briefing, I have nominated Woei Jye to be the team manager. He did a great job by sending out emails and updates.
On Saturday I got to know that we have had the team assignment. We are F1 to F8. I volunteered to be the first runner and I thought I can scare people's shit out. That was my initial intention. Read on and you shall know the truth, it is always cruel. The the rest is taken care of by WJ.
On race day, Hui Ming and I reach early as promised and by 6.55pm, we already have F1, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7 and F8, except F2, who is the team manager. We were quite worried because we woke up early, we prepared ourselves mentally, even physically, the adrenaline is pumping but the team manager still not here, and we will be disqualified even the race being started because we do not have our bibs. We made several calls and finally he reached, and passed the bibs to us. We were asked to assemble at the field, which all the 19 Men's Open team must be there. Then in a short while, all the first batons were called to line up and move to starting line.
I looked right and looked left, all the runners are professional, I saw Ow Yang, who is the fastest Chinese marathoner in Penang Island (*this is what I heard) and some other state runners, all very terror. It was too late to back out but it was not my spirit to be seconded or downed without a fight. I told myself I want to pass the baton with some margin, and here comes the pressure, although I am the one keeping telling the team not to stress themselves because it is only a fun run.
The race official distributed the batons and we heard 'ke garisan' and 'piang~!!!' the race started, I forgot to turned my Garmin on, whatever. All the first batons are really fast, in the 100m mark, they are already 30m in front of me, walao eh.
I tried to increase the pace but I did not know how fast I was because I did not on my Garmin, haih....I was gasping for air after 800m or so, based on my rough estimation and I saw the gap was being pulled wider and wider. I told myself to hold the pace, at least, that's the basic thing to do, but the legs are tired, maybe due to the all day long standing on the Saturday shooting session, or maybe the pace was already out of my capability.
After the Island Hospital turn, I was closing on 1 runner and I did overtook him, and I hope some of the runners will actually lose steam in the end, but sorry, I can tell you that all the front runners were really really really fast. I sensed that my pace was dropping gradually, but I could not tell how much. I estimated it to be around 20% or so.
I could see the Penang General Hospital, I saw the turn into the Sepoy Lane into the finishing line, I wanted to pedal for more, demand more from my body but there was no answer. At that turn, 2 runners actually overtook me and I just ran all my heart out to the finishing line to pass my baton to F2-WJ, our team manager.
I was informed that my official timing is 00:09:34 which mean the average pace is 03:59. That's something to be proud of.
It has been a long long time that I have not been that tired. I know there is some problems that I need to fix, lack of speed training, no experience in 2.4k sprint, etc....
Then, we had fun near the finishing line with the bunch of bananas, talking craps, help to cheer our team mates and other runners. A few of the members and I were quite surprise that every participated team which completed the run will have medals. Wow... we were in joy because we did not expect that with merely RM5 each head, we will have medal.
We wait patiently for the prize giving ceremony, our team manager went up to the stage to receive on behalf. What a moment! Then, we had our own medal award at the back, WJ - the team manager presented the medal to all the runners. It was a great event, great achievement and I believe everyone tried their best although it was just a FUN RUN for us.
Well done. Hopefully we will have Banana Run 2.0 next year.