KL Marathon 2009
So what happened last Sunday the 28th?
The run went out well I would say. I wish I could have put up an entry much earlier; but I was caught up in terrible deadlines in the last few days.
Let the pictures do the talking.
The participants were asked to collect their Race Pack on Friday and Saturday.
I went to collect it on Friday (26th June) itself since I would be sending my niece to UiTM on Saturday. There were long lines divided into each race category.
The lady with a tattoo on her arm was in the queue next to my line. Hope to see her again during the race. :)
This is the Race Pack. It contains the running bib and another smaller bib to be attached to the bag on race day. There's a complimentary event T-Shirt inside. But I didn't wear it on the race day because......I bought a new running shirt specially for the event!.
Baru la semangat. Heh he he...gaya mesti mau. Penting tu.....
It's a Nike dry fit made of thin fabric that is supposed to ensure the sweat will dry off quickly and avoid body heating.
On the race day, I woke up early, had a quick breakfast of 3 in 1 cereal and left home even before Azan Subuh.
Small problem....it was raining very heavily when I left my house. For a moment I had doubt whether I really wanted to proceed with the run in the rain.
But luckily the rain stopped by the time I reached KL from elevated highway. I had already planned to park my car at my office building's car park and walked to the starting venue at Dataran Merdeka but then I didn't expect the exit road to the parking place was closed because of the race.
Since no policeman was around I got down and removed the police's red cone aside just enough for my car to pass through.
When I entered the basement car park another problem cropped up. The auto gate is not working. The building maintenance had switch the entry gantry as they probably thought nobody would be able to enter the car park since the road was closed.
So I had to look for the building maintenance guys, woke them up and told them (nicely) that I need to park the car. I just could not afford to drive around trying to find parking space elsewhere and risked being late for the flag off. And I haven't prayed my Subuh prayer yet!
Finally got my car parked after having to reverse my car and entered through exit gantry; I quickly walked to Masjid Jame'. So many runners already there. I reached Masjid Jame' at about 15 minutes after 6.00AM.
Once everything was done, headed to Dataran Merdeka. The place was crowded with runners. You can see all kinds of runners - veteran, young, serious, first timers, fun, foreigners in all shapes and sizes. Tried to look for my two office partners but there was no way I could locate them because I decided to leave my hand phone in the car. I didn't want to take the risk of soaking my phone in the rain later during the race.
The atmosphere was electrifying, especially during the final minutes of countdown before the flag off. But my feeling was somewhere between being excited and half worried whether I could finish the race within the qualifying time of 1 hour and 30 minutes for the 10km run.
In between while waiting for the clock to turn 7.00AM, the announcer announced that the leading runner in the Marathon category was about 10km left to the finishing line! Imagine, the 10km event haven't even started and yet the Marathon runners already in their final phase. [The Marathon was flagged off at 5.00AM and they were to run for 42km].
Since my friends were nowhere to be seen, I just kept to myself in the crowd and kept telling myself that I should keep running at my own pace. The target was not to stop until at least after the first half an hour.
We were flagged off a few seconds after the big clock at Dataran Merdeka struck 7 times.
So off we went - I was was standing may be about twenty feet from the staring line; there were of course many more behind me. Imagine - there were 5,100 runners participated in the 10km race.
From Dataran Merdeka we headed to Dayabumi building, then to the right to the slip road that connected to the round about near Bus Stand Kelang. Then we passed the buildings somewhere near Jalan Kampung Attap. Then went up to the left to Jalan Istana. The National Palace was on the right. There were many runners ran passed me but I just kept my pace; many have started to walk as well as there was a bit of climbing.
From Jalan Istana we headed towards Jalan Damansara - it was gradual climb all the way. Slow but steady climb which you may not really notice if you are in a car. First water station was somewhere in between Jalan Istana and Jalan Damansara, after the Nasional Museum which was on my left. Grab two cups of drinking water and gulped down the drink while running.
It was about thirty minutes of running already and I was searching for kilometre marks along the road. I told myself I didn't want to stop and walk as yet as I saw the road was going downhill in may be, 150 metres more.
The run continued towards Jalan Mahameru but instead of the going straight the route detoured to Jalan Hishamuddin in front of the Parliament building. It was about 40 minutes of non-stop running for me and I decided to stop, take a breather and walk as fast as I could. Again it was a bit of climbing at the exit towards Jalan Hishamuddin. There I heard one of the volunteers said it was another 4KM to go.
It was uphill all the way until I reached somewhere near the junction near JKR building, only then the road went downhill passing the Central Bank, then towards DBKL building.
By then, based on my personal timing, one hour has passed. It put me on great pressure as I started to have doubt whether I could still make it within the stipulated time. It may not seen to be too far but at that point of time, I just thought that I have very little reserve left in me.
From DBKL at Jalan Raja Laut we were supposed to run all the way upwards to the junction near the school/SEA Insurance building; turn right to Jalan TAR and all the way down to Dataran Merdeka. So near but yet still so far.
There was the third water station in front of Maju Junction. I took out the last of my power gel sachet as I need all the booster that I could have for the final lap.
Clock was ticking 1hr 4 minutes.....1 hr 6 minutes as I kept looking at my watch. I tried to quicken my pace but at the same time I was not sure whether I was running any faster.
By the time I reached somewhere near the Coliseum building, my watch showed the time was 1hr 16 minutes. I kept telling myself, "....come on, sikit lagi, ... sikit lagi....you could see the finishing line already....sikit lagi...".
I was unsure whether to make a dash or just leave it to God and tawakkal.
In the end, I reached the finishing line....yes, finally I reached the finishing line. I glanced at the official timing there - it clocked 1hr 19 minutes - almost same time as my timing watch.
Lega.....I was so relieved. I didn't care how many runners finished ahead of me that morning. What was important was that I managed to complete within the qualifying time in my first ever attempt in 10KM running category.
So this is the finishers' medal that I got.
For me, it is a great personal achievement.
I am glad that I set my target; I challenged myself; I am glad that I attempted; and of course I am so glad that I did it. AlhamdulilLah.
Check on the official website today revealed that my official timing was 1 hr 19 minutes and 59.14 seconds. And my standing is at no. 1,240 out of 5,100 runners.
Not bad, I think.