Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Race Report - Hatyai Nature Run 2012

Event: Hatyai Nature Run 2012
Date: 05 August 2012
Location: University of Prince of Songkla, Hatyai
Distance: 21 km (20.74 km)
Bib No.: 29 0012
Registration Fee: 300 Baht or ~RM30 (Men 18-29)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 5.50am (Thailand Time)
Running Time: 01:47:35
Pace: 5:11 min/km

***** Photos uploaded at 201208072342.

After Hatyai International Marathon at the end of May, soon, it is already August and we were going to Hatyai again, this time for Nature Run. We were carpooling, Miow Chin was the driver, with her bigger car, another 3 gentlemen can really sit comfortably inside the car. By the way, it was really a well-kept car, no stinky perspiration odour, like mine, which is typically a sportsman's car :P

Wifey sent me to Dan's place and we went for Hokkien Mee breakfast before departing. Inside the car, although I was sleepy but I did not manage to close my eyes, but I was enjoying listening to story telling from Miow Chin and Steven. Ewe Cheong was quite quiet too. I did not look at the the time until we reach the boarder. It was a smooth check in compared to the last school holiday check in. Bad... very bad.

As soon as we crossed the boarder, we stopped by at the McDonald to buy the Samurai Burger (not halal). The taste was amazing, I wanted more but we still had much food waiting for us at Hatyai.

We checked in to the corporate hotel, BeMyGuest hostel, according to Steven because they had actually stayed there for a number of years, continuously. Wow... they even said the price rose from 400 Baht to 450, 500, 550 and now 600 Baht. It was an acceptable rate, given the free wifi, clean room, clean linens, free towels, a small fridge and close to the happening place.

Another crew (Sam, KL Chew and Felix) were coming by train and we waited for time a while before checking in. Then, we went to University of Prince of Songkla for registration. I did not registered online so I had to fill in the form for submission. By the time I registered, I was the 12 in my age category. I paid 300 Baht for it and went to collect the vest. It was good that option was given to choose between a vest or shirt. I prefer vest, more like a runner. (Wifey does not want me to wear those 'colourful' running Tee for outing with her). S size for me, a little bit short but good in term of fitting.

Later we had some drinks out there, free ice cold water was served, not only water, you can choose either Coke or other colourful soft drinks. (Why no Malaysia event is doing that? Profit oriented?) We put on the vest and had crazy time on the stage, Dan Low even became the one day champion. After that, shopping again at the 'cheap' sports attire counters. Did not buy anything because I already bought 1,2,3 during Hatyai Marathon and another 1,2,3 during Brooks clearance and another 1,2 one week later. Plus my own shorts, I have total 11 running shorts :P OMG....

Then, we went for lunch at Payang. I've never been there before, heard that it was renovated and significantly smaller than previous one. The real rubber estate is replaced with rubber estate painting on the wall. We had tu-kah, tomyam, green curry and other nice food there. Considered it carbo loading. After that, it was Tesco time.

I was helping wifey to look for spray sun block but not many choices, but managed to grab some hydration salt (electrolyte) for myself, 5 Baht for one packet, I bought 10 packets from 3 different brands for trial purpose. Bought shampoo for wifey, quite cheap, 170 Baht for a 900ml Sunsilk (pink colour) shampoo, I think we need to pay RM24 in Malaysia for it. Bought 2 packets of tomyam instant noodles for wifey too.

Wow... paid at the counter then we moved to Gelate, a place for cheap, relatively cheap Gelato. Since the stomach still full, I could only have 2 scoops, but there were so many choices, all seems very tasty. After testing a couple that I would like to try, not really ngam my taste, I picked strawberry and honey. The strawberry gelato was so sour but still below my threshold, I need the Vitamin C, I doubt there was much inside. The honey one is very 'honey', good carbo loading stuff :P


The weather was damn hot, cannot tahan and went back to hostel to take a cold shower and rest for a while. Watching Olympic game (Women triathlon) on the TV for a while before napping. Then, we went for night market walk already. Not very happening, just walk walk, look see look see. A little tired then balik tidok, I think it was 9 something Thailand time.

Alarm set off at 4am in the morning. I woke up and prepare myself, eating the banana cake that I had bought from Tesco, I wonder why I could not eat much in the morning, else I could have more energy during the run? I'm not sure but I need energy. Apply some counterpain on the ankles where it hurt a few day before, stop running though since last Thursday.

Put on the green vest, compression shorts, lao beh stocking (hopefully I can get a few new pairs after Green Run, but I need to do 1:43 or better) and Brooks Pure Connect. Took along my Nathan Trek with was filled with 600ml water + 2 packet of electrolyte, with the hope to kill the cramps. The next thing, we were on the starting line. Met Woei Jye, Kenny, KFC and other Cari Runners. Took a few photos and I took my can of Nescafe, just needed a kick (Not sure whether it kicked..... me).

Did some stretching, telling myself, no cramp, no cramp... please because I was told that this was a hilly route. After wishing those around me good luck, after the countdown from the microphone, all the participants were let loose. I was telling myself to stick to the race plan but it was quite difficult because there was already a slope 300m away. I held my nerve, repeatedly told myself to slow down, although I saw KFC and Hugo (WJ's idol) overtook me.

Race plan was 5:10 to 5:15 but I was a little bit faster than that in the first km. Kenny was biting me, I could see his serious face when he overtook me at the first water station. So, I quickly chased back and soon it was a mild elevations stretch, I was be able to overtake Kenny and lead the way with controlled speed, but maybe it was the pressure, the pace was getting faster in km-2 onwards before leading to the rubber estate.

I was focusing a lot on my rhythm, posture and cadence, but I was not looking at my heart rate (HR) as that could be distracting. It was all flat until km-5, which leads us into the rubber estate, that was where the nightmare started, first elevation was quite mild, still be able to run comfortably, but I saw many runners actually running faster.

Into km-6, it was a 80m continuous elevation, I slowed down, because I know that I could not waste my energy here, focus on arm swing, cadence and breathing rhythm, but I could hear that Kenny who was following me at 1-2 meter away breathing heavily. That's not a good sign, but I did not have enough energy to tell him, it was inappropriate to do that too because he could think I wanted to slow him down for my good. So, focus on my race. Then, it was a downhill from 115m to 25m. I just paid attention to my ankle and landing, used the gravity at the same time caution not to injure myself.

The pace was good, sub 4:30 pace and made the U-turn. When the race route has any U-turn, it simply means that everything that you feel good previously will be bad, and anything bad could become good. That was exactly was happened. The route that I was cruising at 4:30 pace was killing me, I could feel that the cramp is building up, I did not want to get injured, so I chose to walk. This was not my day, not my PB day. At the same time, I told myself I needed to gain back whatever I lost during up, in the down.

The fatigue muscles were screaming for help, I could not do anything than just supplying them with the electrolyte that I brought with me. Walked patiently. During the down, I was flying again with sub5:00 pace to the exit of the rubber estate.

At that corner, I was overtaken my Dr.Tham, he was like flying. I was tired, I could only see him opening the gap, my pace drop to 5:20. That was km-15.

My mental power was weak, I was like not giving all I had, because I knew that PB was not possible and I could not risk myself getting injured again. I could only run with the pace 5:30 at km-16 and I had to stop because I felt the muscles were not doing well. I could see KFC in front by 200m, but it was too far for me to chase. At the end, I ran and stopped, ran and stopped to ease of the 'almost cramp' feel on my right tight.

I saw runners passing me with ease but I could not do anything, so helpless. The sun was up there shining brightly and I was hoping I could reach the finishing point soon. Entering the university and knowing that I'd lose nothing, I walked again, until Ewe Cheong ran past me and encouraged me to finish it. I ran until the end and posing for Dr.Tham's camera :P

Stopped my Garmin Forerunner 405 and it showed 1:47:35 for a distance of 20.74km. Phew... just glad that I could finish the race in one piece.

Race Summary:
  • It was a good achievement (I simply have to encourage myself on this) compared to my PB @ PJ Dawn, given my mental strength and willpower were weak.
  • I was doing quite well until the U-turn going up the slope, had to stop due to fatigue muscles. I could do better if I did not walk that much.
  • Must try to stop at the first few water stations, be it 10 or 30 seconds, it could have the cumulative effect on the overall performance.
  • Should bring along powergel (for standby purpose) can take whenever that's necessary.
Garmin Data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/206883369

Race Review:

  • Free drinks during registration and given options to choose running vest or running tees.
  • A very challenging route with elevations. Nice view when entering the rubber estate, feel so good running at the middle of the route.
  • Beautiful gold medals for all finishers.
  • Free drinks and food at the finishing area.
  • No isotonic drinks along the routes. Must be able to drag yourself thru the 21k or bring your own supplements.
  • No cheering supporters :(
I'll need to modify my own training plan to add on more hill running and tempo rather than running on flat ground. Another check point at Green Run.

Need to survive Green Run, SP Half Marathon, River Jungle Marathon and Taiping International Marathon. Wow.... it is scary.


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