I've been quite occupied with work this past week that I find it difficult to find free time to start writing about it. I may have forgotten lots of things I initially wanted to share. But, better late than never, right?
Anyway, after spending quite some times slowing down during the fasting month, Newton 25km challenge was one event that I planned to do, mainly, and honestly speaking, just so I can get the 2XU compression socks.
Of course, since it was a run race, my other goal was to finish it. And this time I was glad that I set the right goal that best suited my current condition. I just wanted to enjoy the journey and cross the finish line. No time limit.
On that beautiful last Sunday morning, many gathered around Bandar Kinrara. Many came early so that we can perform Subuh prayer at the nearby mosque before the 25km race starts at 6.30am. I met few familiar faces, and my hunting session was officially launched.
The atmosphere that morning was superb. It was like a big gathering among runners and triathletes. I was at the very back of the starting line, busy looking for more 'victims' with my camera. We chatted among friends, and I didn't even realize when the race started. For what I know, the crowd slowly moved forward and only then I looked at my watch and it was already time to start the race, 6.30am.
It took me nearly two minutes to get over to the timing mat, and started running. We were still busy chatting among us during the first few hundred meters. Many of the RBU were starting from the back, except for one or two that we can't locate.
Out of a sudden there was a running groom in full Baju Melayu suit passing us. He blasted his way to the front and I gave chase to take another shot from in front. At the end, the photo was so blur and my heart rate went over the roof. Wasted.
For the first few clicks, running still felt effortless. The large crowd from front till the back was filing up the whole two lanes of the road. As we went up the few initial inclinations, the crowds slowly get spreaded out.
Nothing much I can say about the first portion of the run, other than my eyes were busy tracking for familiar faces to capture before I made the first turnaround. It was fun to be seeing the fast runners on the opposite side after they've made their turnarounds. At least, it distracted my focus towards the many climbs we have to do. And after I made my turnaround, the joy continued when seeing more friends on the other side of the road.
“Nak pergi mana tu bang? Kejar pengantin perempuan ke?”
Since I missed the first opportunity at the starting line, I didn't mind spending 30 seconds standing there to make sure I get this much better shot of Yim.
The excitement of the first half of the run slowly faded away when there were no more runners on the opposite side of the road for me to hunt (with my camera). After passing through few water stations where I didn't even bothered to stop as I carried my own hydration system this time, the journey towards the second turnaround point was indeed far, and dull. Turns after turns after turns, and with no distance markers in sight, I took on the plodding act while baking myself under the heat of the sun. I was already running by myself long time ago after Shuk smoked me even before the first turnaround.
The level of heat was also increasing as the time flew by. More and more slow runners like me succumbed under the heat and started the run-walk-run game. Although I wore my cap and shades, and carried my own hydration system, the heat never leave anyone out of the challenge. I carried on, with whatever will I had. Luckily this time I didn't set any time target, hence I took it more as another long run training under the scorching heat.
Emma and Lydia overtook me at some point. During other races (especially triathlons), you won't see smiles on their faces while they were running. This time I was lucky I could even snap a photo of them side by side (although they zoomed pass me right after that).
As for me who was already suffering from low energy as I didn't carry or take any PowerBar gel since the start of the run (a mistake I made where I left them all in JB and didn't put more effort to buy new ones), the fight was not anymore with the hills we had to climb, but more about the strength to undertake the heat from top and bottom. I started to walk more than run. And I also started to stop at the water stations. Not for the water though, but for the ice. I chucked a handful of ice at each water stations and put them inside my top to cool myself down.
And with wrong combination (or lacking) of proper nutrition, the number one enemy for runners started to pay their visits to the calves and quads.
Some runners started to stretch off their cramping muscles.
My battle slowly coming to an end when I saw more and more runners who have already finished with their runs sat by the roadside. My finish this time didn't have any drama involved and my 25km run that day ended in 3hr8min.
And being able to do a second time back-to-back long runs weekend, was the bonus of the day. I knew I can't push anything harder with the amount (the lack of it) of training I made for this event. But it was OK. I still felt satisfied, especially when I was handed the finisher's medal by surprise.
Out of a sudden I met Syed with some of his friends.
He said he cramped up and only managed to clock 2h47m (or something spanking fast like that lah).
I don't know what if he didn't get the cramps. Sure naik podium nih.
I sat down at the medic tent for a while, besides the runner who passed out earlier. I attended to my hurting knees with ice just to ease the pain off. Not long after, I went out searching for more familiar faces but to no avail. They definitely have finished long time ago. I then made my way home with the air-condition in full blast and a plan for a couple of trips to open houses for post-race run.
P/s: I don't know about you, but I honestly think this is the most 'no-feeling' race report I've ever written so far. My apology.
Inilah akibatnya bila cerita sensasi dibiarkan basi.
Yeah, I have my busy work schedule to blame.