Race Day Update
The finisher medal. The reward for the fun this morning.
I left home about 10 minutes after 5.00AM. Just blew kisses to my wife before I left because I was ready with my ablution and had all planned that the first thing to do once I reach Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Contry Club was to find a prayer room.
Reached the public parking space near the Securities Commission at about 5.30AM. There were already many cars and I could see the early birds were walking towards the club.
After asking for a direction at the secretariat, I went straight to the club house where the surau is located. The guard manning the club house just woke up from his 'jaga' duties. Ha hah ha...were they paying him to sleep or to do 'jaga' works?
Still plenty of time before the starting time at 7.00AM. This time I knew that I need to have a proper warm up. I realised that I would be losing precious time if I were to warm up on the run.
We were given pink ribbons before the start and at exactly 7.00AM, the CEO of Malakoff (the organiser), who himself is a triathlon athlete flagged us off. I later found out that he also ran the race - just for fun, I suppose. Being an Ironman, the 12KM run would not be challenging enough for him.
So off we went. My two office partners were also running but we have agreed that each of us would be running our own race as we didn't want to be affected by each other's pace and speed.
I kept to my mind of the water stations distance marker. First water station stop - 2KM; second 4KM; third (in the second loop) 6KM and the last water station would be 8.5KM.
The strategy was to run the first 40 minutes or so non-stop or at least up to the second stop. But midway in between the first water station and the second, I had to stop because my shoe laces became untied - right after the first check point where they distribute white ribbons. And I tell you, once you stopped,........it was difficult to start running again. Suddenly I found my legs heavier and they didn't listen to the instructions from my brain anymore. And it was still too early in the race.
It's the mind game all the way. Somehow I managed to convince my legs to pick up the pace slowly and tried as much as possible to gain the distance. Up and down the hills at Jalan Beringin until I reached the third stop. It's time to pull out my power gel sachet and gulped them down with water. Not long after I felt as if I had a new wind to run and ran I did all the way until I reach the third check point where they gave out red ribbons.
The climb after the check point was a killer, many runners no longer run. I walked as fast as I could; swung my arms and stretched my legs as wide as possible. Just like when you were playing rugby, I kept telling myself to 'gain ground'.
When I reached the fourth and final water station, it was already about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Gulped my last sachet of power gel and I knew I had to make my last ditch towards the finishing line. I want to reach there within the qualifying time. That's the target. And by the time I reached the junction towards SC / National Science Centre, it was downhill all the way.
Reached the finishing line within the targeted time. Thank God. So glad. My two partners also managed to finish within the qualifying time not long after me.
Hah hah ha....I won (and earned the right to brag until the next race!!!).
***The cycling sessions in the last few days before the event proved to be a wise decision. I didn't want to risk and exaggerate the pain on my left knee before the race. So cycling up the hills gave me endurance training without injuring my knees.