I guess a quick race deserves a quick story update.
Yesterday, I joined the Pacesetters Relay 4 x 3km speed race at Padang Merbok. I like to call it speed race because from my general understanding of endurance running (as an avid slow long distance runner), short distance means F.A.S.T.
Together in my team were Shanaz (team captain), Syah (anchor runner), Dan (an ultramarathoner - who had to replace Nana on the eleventh hour) and yours truly, a nobody who was brought in as the first runner. Was I nervous? Yes, a little bit. Target set by team captain was to run that 3km undulating race route within 15 minutes.
That’s a freaking sub 5:00mins pace requirement!! Something which I’ve never done before. 500m yes, but not for 3km.
For the first time ever I was standing at the very front of a start line. It was a considerably small size race with a total of 102 teams (so I was told). To my right was Marlin, and to my left was Ray. Left hand holding the baton, right hand getting ready to press the start button of my stop watch. It was 07:00hrs, wet dark morning. And the race started right on time.
Me: ”Ray, jam kau tu Garmin model apa bro? Ada GPS ke? Nampak canggih je tu...”
Ray: “Ini lagi canggih dari Garmin bro. Model ni diorang jual kat pasar malam Segambut je. Aku rembat anak aku punya pagi tadi. Haa, tengok ni.. ada keluar lampu kelip-kelip...”
Check out that guy in front row, third from right.
Gaya starting sikit-sikit dah macam pro, tapi baru bukak tiga langkah dah kena sayur dengan orang belakang, kiri dan kanan.
Ketara sangat beliau hanya pandai bergaya, tapi tak terer mana pun.
For those who are familiar with the area of Padang Merbok where the race started, one would know the starting of the race would lead us straight into a few hundred meters of steady climb. Although I was intimidated at first to follow the first pack of speedsters, I refrained myself from doing so and just ran as fast as I can maintain my heart rate to hover slightly above the comfort level.
Just after few meters running, the race leader was already out of sight. Partially because it was still dark, but mainly because they were in another league lah. There were sayuring and de-sayuring process taking place. Getting to halfway through, I didn’t manage to overtake anybody anymore, and no one overtook me. I was afraid to hit my booster much earlier for the fear I cannot maintain it until the end. I thought I’ll wait for the final decline to go all out. It was a struggle though. At one point I wanted to turn my head back to see if any other runner was trying to catch up, but I was afraid that might just turned me into panic mode. Hehe…
Tak ku sangka, aku pun kiasu gak sikit-sikit rupanya... ngeh ngeh ngeh.
A marshal at one corner said it was down to the last KM, I checked my stopwatch and it showed 10mins plus plus. ”Okay, target within sight. I think I can finish up the final km within 5mins”, I convinced myself.
I shifted slightly into another gear, trying to gain some speed. I had no idea what position I was in at that time, I just wanted to finish it once and for all. On the final descent towards Padang Merbok, I tried bigger stride and made full use of the gravitational energy.
The finish line was soon in sight and my team number (#54) was being announced by the emcee to let the second runner ready to take the baton. I tried sprinting down to the line and as I passed the baton to Shanaz as the second runner, I stopped my watch at 14min40sec. Someone told me I was among the top ten runners to arrive and that gave me a reason to smile, while I tried to catch up with my breathing.
The other runners in the team performed very well too. Finally, Syah, who was our anchor runner, crossed the finishing line and put our team into 11th position, out of 102 teams altogether. The total time clocked by our team was 1hr 1min. And in my book, that was an awesome effort by the team.
Now, it’s time for me to move back to the drawing board… for another mission in 2012 - The Marathons!
And as I mentioned earlier somewhere…
“Long run is tough on the leg muscles, sprinting is tough on the cardiac muscles.
Both require high mental strength to complete.