Date:02 June 2012
Location: Alor Setar, Kedah
Distance: 22km (21.38km)
Registration Fee: RM20 (Men Open)
Gears: Adizero Aegis, Puma
Starting Time: 6.00am
Running Time: 02:35:47
Pace: 7:17 min/km
It was Friday night, I was waiting for Woei Jye to pick me up to Alor Setar for my first run in Kedah. It was going to be a happening weekend as most of the companies and factories were having Monday as replacement holiday since the Agung's birthday is on Saturday. Traffic was quite slow at 3 something in the afternoon when I came home, but everyone knows that long weekend means chaos on the bridge and that was exactly what happened.
Woei Jye left Seagate at 6pm and reached Auto City at 8.30pm, if I remember it correctly. I had to ask Wifey to send me to Auto City to wait for him as the traffic should have drained most energy from him, so WJ does not need to travel further into the town area.
After bidding farewell to wifey, WJ and I went to the Taman Sri Rambai hawker centre to have dinner, it was more to WJ's dinner because I did took my dinner before the meet up. The hawker centre was not as crowded or as merry as it was last time. I noticed some of the stall actually moved away from the hawker centre and it became like 'not-so-popular' place for hawker food anymore. I bet the curry mee still taste the same but the fish porridge that cost me RM5 was sub-standard.
Took a cold shower and went to bed.
Not sure whether I was sleeping too much in the afternoon or I could not get used to stranger's mattress, I was woke up by the alarm, but in 'tired' mode. WJ was awake as well. We ate some breakfast and I took the milo and bread that I bought last night, all set and we went to Alor Setar Mall, the starting line.
As soon as I got down from the car, I could hear the emcee announcing that the race will start in 10 minutes. I checked for some familiar faces and I saw many runners travel all the way from Penang for this race as well, there were Forward runners, Cari Runners, i-Runners, etc. I greeted Dan, Ewe Cheong, Eric, etc. I was excited but I could not feel the power coming up.
Soon, the race started, I was running blindly (without my Garmin Forerunner 405) because I offered it to WJ, so that he could really try it out and make a good decision on his purchase of his GPS watch. I was in the middle of the pack and tried to catch the leading pack, who has already opened up a great distance. I was chasing blindly because I was not sure how fast/slow I was running, maybe already over my race plan of 6 min pace for first few kms.
I saw Deo again, said 'Hi' to him, I bet that was still in the first km. I tried to run in a more economical way, wanted to cruise like what I did in Malakoff Penang but I found myself could not inject the pace to my legs. Strange ideas coming out from my mind, I checked my heart beat by simply putting my palm on the left side of my chest. The heart beat was fast and I felt I should listen to body, there's many many km's ahead. Hence, I stopped and took out my iPhone, that's the point that I had thrown my race away, which I am not regret at all.
So, my angel and demon race ended at the km-5. I was sweating profusely, not sure whether it was the humidity or my condition that sending me signal to stop. I was wet from my hair to toe, even my Adidas Adizero was totally wet. Something weird.
I began to snapped photos of those catching up from behind, like Ewe Cheong, Raja Uda Idol, Hu, Dan, etc. After enjoying photo shooting for a while I continued my run towards the end of the 'never-ending' 6-7km road. Upon turning into the Jambatan Tok Pasai, Eric, CKF, etc already made the U-turn and running in reverse direction.
I was in run/walk pace. Great opportunity to snap photos. I took some sweet time on the bridge, looking at the scene, breathing in the fresh air, etc, then I saw Ewe Cheong and Deo, took a couple of photos of them but I'm afraid that my unstable hand had produced a couple of failed photos. Then, I ran down to the U-turn point where Dan was chatting with one the uncle.
On the way back to the top of the bridge, I saw WJ coming from opposite direction so I wait for him, can help take photo of him and asked him to take for me as well :P The scene was really good, I even uploaded it to Facebook immediately it was taken. WJ told me that was 12.X km which I don't remember well. After that I continue to run as well, the absence of my Garmin and physical distance marker really demotivated me, because I was looking for some help, I was running like a tortoise.
Then, I saw a signboard, a Petronas petrol station is 1000m away. So, I ran in a slow pace until I saw it. Bought 2 Gatorade at RM4.80 and donated RM0.20. Coincidentally, WJ passed by and I handed him one bottle. It was a live-saving Gatorade because I was sweating a lot and was in need of hydration, isotonic hydration.
After that, WJ informed me the distance we have covered and he smoked me. I told him that I would chase after him.
I was not in a good condition, still 7-8 km to go, cannot imagine myself walking that distance, so I engaged myself into run in a slow and economy way again, managed to pass WJ but punctured after 3-4 km. Got into run/walk mode before entering a small lane to the bendang (paddy field) area.
The weather was OK, sun was shy and I enjoyed the greenery of the bendang. I just walked and took photos. Then, WJ came up from behind, we took some photos and he smoked me again. I helped to collect some dumped plastic cups on the way back to the finishing line. Just a little effort that I could contribute when I could not run :P
Finished the race in 02:35:47. The long time that I had ever clocked since 2010. It was a relief, I wanted to finish the race in complete mode and I have done it. Got the finisher medal :P as I was well within the 3 hours cut-off time.
My race summary:
- Good exposure to back-to-back races within 7 days. This time was 42k + 21k. I need to complete 4-5 back to back in August and September.
- Always listen to my body.
- Got the taste of running slow again and it reminded me of the difficulty of running slow, the helplessness can be fatal :P
- Flat route except Jambatan Tok Pasai.
- A lof of 100 Plus and bananas at the finishing line.
- Got a certificate with name, bib and placing. Included in the RM20 registration fee.
- Nice Kuala Kedah scenery on the bridge.
- No isotonic drinks along the route.
- Use nylon necklance instead of ribbon. Quite weird for me, I wrapped it on my wrist.