Monday, March 26, 2012

Race Report - Malakoff Penang 2012

Event: Malakoff Penang 2012
Date: 25 March 2012
Location: Padang Kota Lama, Penang
Distance: 17km (16.88km)
Registration Fee: RM50 (Men Open)
Gears: Adidas Adizero, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 01:20:21
Pace: 04:46

It was a blur blur Saturday, I have actually forgotten what I have done, just remember the morning run that I have tried my compression shorts and the farewell dim sum session with Nigel, who has relocated himself to JB. Wish him all the best.

I remembered that I put myself on the bed at 11 something on Saturday night, I wanted to do well so badly and the quality of sleep must not be compromised. Alarm was set at 5.30am.

I woke up and did the big business after downing a glass of water, want to clear the tank before I hit the race. After that, I made myself a glass of hot milo, and the last cookie that I have bought from New Zealand, back dated to end of September 2011. I consider it was 'good' and 'safe' to consume, as there's nothing wrong with the taste. The amount of energy from the early breakfast should be enough for the race.

Packed my things, dressed myself up with the Brooks running shorts, the sexy red shorts, the Adidas Sundown marathon vest, the tracksuit and bright yellow jacket. I want everyone to notice me when I'm on the road, on the bike, especially. I thought I can get to the starting point in 30 minutes, but it was not true.

I was overestimated the ability of the aging Honda EX5 Wave, I tried to push to get over 90km/h but never hit that mark. I paid the Penang Bridge toll on the bike the first time in 2012, RM1.40, relatively cheap compared to a car :P

Riding the bike on the way to Padang Kota Lama or Esplanade was like forever, it was so slow. I started to question my judgement to ride the bike on race day. Having departed at 6.05am and I managed to get to the starting point at 6.45am. I was quite nervous because I still need to see Huei Giap to get my bib and tracking chip. I parked my bike in front of the GE office, took off my outfit and rock and roll.

I quickly ran to the point that Huei Giap was expecting me to turn up at 6.30am. He helped me with the tracking chip while I I pinned all the bib to my vest. Still not warm up yet. I tried to move as much as I could, and I meet Steven from LLC and Telly from PLLC.

Runners starting to gather in front of the line and I was like 30m behind the crowd, there was simply no chance for me to squeeze myself through, at that point of time. I wanted to do it in an easy way.

'Bang' and the race has been flagged off. I told myself to do reverse split (ideally, but things does not always in your favour). I was busy clearing the human traffic, I think I only managed to run freely after 1km since Penang runners are quite strong.

I'm not sure who is in front, so I just tried my best to play the catching up game. Checked my pace once a while to ensure that I'm still competitive (in sub-5 pace). I can see a few female runners in front of me near Gurney Plaze at the Kelawei Road, they were very strong, consistent pace with several supporters cheering for them from the side. I wish I have one.

I tried to move in a more economical way to get pass the female runner after running behind them for the whole stretch of Kelawei Road, finally I got past the only female runner in my sight and after a while, we were running into Tanjung Pinang or Straits Quay, there was a water station which the female runner who I have overtook ran shoulder to shoulder with me, and finally left me behind the dust after the checkpoint, I tried to chase her, but I did not want to spoil the whole run and it was a good race until that moment. I overtook runners and only being overtaken by one.

Then, I have set my sight on a foreign runner, his move was very economical as well. I ran behind him from the Island Plaza, we were like 60 meters away, and I managed to overtook him in front of Gurney Plaza. Phew....

After that, I felt the tiredness creeping in because the pace dropped 20 seconds per km. I have not drink enough and I guessed I was paying the price for it. Sacrifice hydration for time is not a good idea. I tried to push to catch the next runner in front of me, about 100m away. For the whole stretch of Gurney coastal way, I could not close the gap.

I just tried to pushed until I see Citibank, E&O Hotel and I knew that it was going to the finishing line. At the junction of the Padang Kota Lama, I took a wrong turn to the left and that makes me ran into a wrong route and I had to finish from behind. There was a policeman or RELA volunteer who saw me doing that turn did not bother at all. Haih... after all, it is my fault for not going thru the route thoroughly.

Finished in 01:20:21 with a respectable pace of 4:46, I should be able to do better. Hopefully by next run, I can do better.

Took a few photos of Steven Heng, Qamarrul, Huei Giap, Hubert, KP Loo, Krishna and PC Tang. Then, rode my bike back to mainland for Cheng Beng.


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