Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Race Report - KRI Annual Road Race 2012

Date: 07 October 2012
Location: Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Resort, Ipoh
Distance: 21 km (20.97 km)
Bib No.: A 0118
Registration Fee: RM55 + RM4 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 6.30am (6:26am)
Running Time: 01:44:31
Pace: 4:59 min/km

As I have mentioned in my previous post that this would be the last Half Marathon that I did in 2012 because there are no news on of Across-3-States Half Marathon. I have set a high bar for myself early of the year to hit sub-1:45 in 2012, I was close in PJ Dawn 2012, but still > 1 minute away from the target. That's what I always said, when you missed something, you have had missed it, whether it is by a second or by a whisker.

Wifey and I took this race as a gathering in Ipoh with her INTI friends, continue from the previous gathering at Pulau Langkawi in July 2012, I have ran in Pulau Langkawi during the stay and might have successfully pass the running bugs to them. A few of them actually took up running, a group chat was formed and is still active. I feel proud that they actually signed up, trained up and turned up. Kudos to Jacky, Jincent and Devin, next time the ladies shall run.

I was quite excited because I wanted to run the best half marathon in 2012, I woke up a couple of time, quite early before the alarm and slept back. At 4:47am, I was awake and I felt that I needed to pull myself up and not to be hurry on the preparation. In consequences, wifey became the victim of all sort of noise I made. I boiled water, I took a warm shower, I applied cream on my legs, switched on the TV, etc. At one point, wifey asked me what time I was leaving and I clearly understood that I was tearing her sweet dreams apart.

In order not to torture wifey, I went down to the lobby quite early around 5:45am and made a call to the guys room, in case they overslept, but a soft reminder is always welcomed (I guess). The 3 guys actually were up and came down on 5:50am. We walked to the starting line at Kinta Riverfront Hotel which is about 800m to 1km away. It was sprinkling and I wished that it won't stop soon because it was so cool and refreshing. HR could be in a more comfortable zone as well :P

The walk took us around 8-10 minutes and we could see cars keeping coming with runners beginning to warm up. This was my first time and I had no clue where to go and what to do too. Just keep walking and I saw the Batu Kawan runners, Dan Low, Steven Heng and Woei Jye all there, chit-chatting and cam-whoring (that's a normal activities for regular runners before the race begin). Since all my INTI friends were starting 15 minutes, they were doing 10k while I did 21km. I tried to ran a little to warm up the body and stretched a little too.

Steven and I in the same Nature Run 2012 outfit. PB outfit?

Cleared excessive liquid from my body and I was off to the starting line after wishing all of them good luck. I was at the back again, there's good and bad. Good in the sense that I could not run fast in the beginning and could help me in the later stage of the race. Bad in the sense that I need to queue and run zig-zag to overtake runners in order to move forward. Dan told me to move forward because I was chasing PB but before I did anything the race started, early.

From left to right: Dan Low, Steven Heng, Woei Jye and me.

I was quite nervous and started my Garmin 405 during the gun time, so what you see above is actually the gun time result.

I wanted to take it slowly but I saw Captain Yellow - Kho Kwang Leng (one of the dedicated half marathoner + photographer) surged up front, so I followed. I did not want to be left behind and tried to move forward in a comfortable pace. I was not familiar with the route and it has gifted me a surprise of a flyover in the very first km. I kept reminding myself to take it slowly, or in another word, not too fast at 5:00 min/km pace.

Then, I was running at the faster pace than my race plan, still no discipline in this department because I was so kiasu and I wanted to hit the PB so badly. I kept moving forward in a steady motion, I kept focus on my form and breathing rhythm, to set myself in the cruising mode. 4:51 in the second km but a little bit over the at the 3rd km, it went to 4:41. Of course it was a good pace, but not sustainable, so
I adjusted a bit.

By that time, it was like going up on a mild elevation stretch, I could not even know how far was it but it was mild. By that time, the runners already split into several small groups and I tried to beat one by one. I remembered that it was 3 groups that was within my sight. It was just a straight route, from km-4 to km-8, I have successfully overtook the 3 groups with an average pace of 4:55 min/km.

That lead runners into the an industrial area, I could see 3 runners in front of me, with one run quite close to me. I forgot his name and I could recognize him by his head swing and arm swing. He ran past me in the TIM a few weeks back. At km-9, I was running shoulder to shoulder with him, I was running with a more consistent pace. Whenever I ran past him, he pushed forward to 1 or 2 meter in front of me. I did not bother it and concentrated in my breathing rhythm and in no time, I was ahead again, he pushed forward again, I think the cycles had went on nearly 1-km. Finally, he gave up and I shifted my focus to the runners in front of me again.

Took a gel in km-10 at the water station where all the relay runners gathered. It was quite hard to maintain the instantaneous 4:5x pace and I had set my sight on the runner in front of me, he was running in a good form, good posture, relax, etc... I was running 10m behind him and follow his pace as I could not draw further energy to increase the pace. Good thing is that we were running down the mild elevation in the first few KMs.

Made a turn into a petrol station and I could saw a Chinese temple there, could not remember the name and kept my focus, because the engine was not really responding to what I wanted it to be. The distance between us still the same and as deeper I we got into the route, I could saw the fast runners coming out, but not African runners, I guess they have made it to the finishing line by that time, however I could see a few fast runners from Penang, such as Dr.Francis, BM Leopards, Wong Jin Ji and so on.

There was a U-turn but it took me age to reach there and not far away, there's a water station, took water and isotonic drinks, cooled my head and neck with sponge and continue to the run. Unable to hold the pace below sub-5:00 and I held on, not to let the time buffer that I have made in the first half of the race. Saw Steven, Dan and WJ during my way out of the U-turn. Tough...

Then, it was only one way ticket, by that time, we were joined by the 10km runners and the runner that I have tailed since 10th km was pulling away from me in km-19. I checked pace.... argh.... I was the one that slowing down to slower pace, probably he was a little bit faster. I could only see him disappearing in one of the turn.

We were made to run up a short connecting road with elevation as well, I was tired, I wanted to dig deep for more energy, but seemed like there was no avail. I walked up for a short distance and resumed as soon as I got to the top, that was maybe 20m? I don't know. What I knew was that I was not going to hit below 1:40 already with around one km to go.

I could see the Kinta Riverfront Hotel but it was still quite far away for me at that moment, maybe because I was tired, 1km was too far, too heavy for me. Saw Tey taking photograph, posed for it but deep inside I knew that I was struggling. Why the finishing line is so far away????

Suffer face?

Then, made a left turn, I could see the entrance to the hotel and I tried to ran a little bit faster and I could see all my INTI friends were already there, wifey and her friends were there as well, posed a 'seahorse' style for them before I crossed the finishing line at 1:44:31. Later, I found out that chip time was 1:44.01. Not bad, it is a PB but still much work to do on it.

Finally, I saw the finishing line.

Gun time or chip time. Does not matter, because it is a PB~!

Went to grab medal and drinks, then took photos for Steven, Dan and WJ. Then, photograph session with wifey and INTI gang.

Oppa Seahorse Style

Wifey and I.

Race Summary:
  • PB of 1:44:01 set at KRI Annual Road Race 2012. Achieved my 2012 HM target.
  • There is no negative split again, started fast and finished not-so-strong again.
  • Good thing is overall no cramp, no HR burst, no panting like a dog. Does that mean I finish the race with much fuel unused?
  • Overall, it was a good race with good organization.
Race Review:

  • Good water stations arrangement, with sufficient water and isotonic drinks.
  • Good organization of marshaling, I guess no runners would ran into wrong route.
  • Many things in the goodies bag, must have please many runners looking for for freebies.
  • Many drinks at finishing line, got 100 Plus, Red Bull, V-soy, watermelon etc....
  • Did not capture vest or running T size during registration causing out of size during race pack collection. I had to take women L size.
  • Still using ribbon although already collect expensive registration fee for timing chip.
  • No certificates for participants. An e-cert will do.
  • Relay team runners have to share 1 trophy instead of one for each runner.
  • Should have run in Ipoh city instead of the high traffic routes and industrial area

So thirsty.... drink drink drink....
From left to right: Jacky, Jincent, myself and Devin with Seahorse style.

+++ jia you +++

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