Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Beaten by a 56 year old OP....

Hi everyone, last week i ran the Adidas King of the road half marathon race with Kam.

It all started at 0530hrs when I received an SMS from my mum that she and my dad werent racing that day as my dad had a sudden attack of upper respiratory track infection. Both my parents are keen runners/ walkers now and they have been joining me in various running events around Klang Valley this year, albeit that they only do the shorter version like 7 or 10km. Its quite refreshing that both of them are health fanatics and literally can beat some of my batch mates half their age! Mummy is 60 and atuk (dad) is 64. Anyway, there I was, on my way to Sunway Pyramid in the wee hours of the morning to where the starting line was. A few years ago I couldnt imagine myself sleeping at 10pm on a weekend and waking up early (in fact earlier than working weekdays!) in order for me to race. Somehow the memories of me stagerring home at 4am after a late night's out drinking just a few years ago seemed like centuries ago.


After the RV with Kam and as usual for him to use my car as his storage space (helmet etc ), we made our way to the start line. It was awesome. There must have been five thousand people there! The whole NPE was closed to traffic and people was wandering around the highway like it was a pasar malam. The 21km race was flagged off first at 0645 by Samy Vellu. Im sure he wasn't too pleased that toll collection was halted from 0500 till 1000hrs that day. Me and Kam started at the back (as usual). No use being in front and getting pushed around and worse still being later overtaken by a 60 year old auntie! I didnt know how i was going to run the race. I did the Seremban Half marathon 2 weeks earlier in good time (below 2 hours) and just last week raced in UM Duathlon. Should I take it easy this time and take it as a training event? After 2 km I realised that I was not in good form and repeating a sub 2 hour half marathon in 2 weeks was just wasnt on. In fact, my aching skinny thighs told me to shut up and just jog along. I pretended to Kam that I was taking it easy and was going to pace him. "You go ahead Ala, aku slow je today" he said. "Takpe, kita lari together today, we take it easy" was my reply trying hard to make it sound that running slow today was by choice and what a wonderful guy I was to keep him company.

As of any races, you see people of all make , sizes and shapes. You find the auntie who sprints along passing you and make you look like a pussy...cat. Then you find the serious runners with the ultra gay running vest with slogans like Impossible is Nothing, Running For life! and all the other fancy crap. Not to mention the ultra short running shorts! Just like Maradona in 1986. Then you can see the amateurs, girlfriend just dumped by the bum boyfriend trying to rebound, the cancer survivor who wants to prove they still have it, the triathlete with their body hugging suits, the skimpies with their sexy attire ( Im not complaining) and the fat ass struggling along ( think of Bandit...)

We ran (jog) along at a good pace of 10k /hr. Caught up by Azmar who started late but managed to catch up at 4k. I must say that Azmar has really improved a lot on his running. This especially when his first race was the Subang 10 km last year.

We cheered people along especially familiar faces, while some are just any strangers we meet on the road. There was this Mat salleh we met at 6km who was jovially enjoying himself, especially when he is 65 years old and managing to be in the middle of the pack. By the 8km mark the initial crowd of runners had been separated by their own different paces. Its only now you can tell who was actually running and who was struggling.

The half marathon route took us west along the NPE from Sunway pyramid towards KL. We would be running on the highway and would make a u turn at Kuchai lama interchange. En route we would be passing Kg Medan and Tungku on our right as the run ascends on to the elevated portions of the highway. Basically we were running on air...3 storeys above!. We would later pass jalan Gasing interchange on the left (and Bukit Gasing and parts of PJ). It would be straight on passing Kg Kerinchi and Angkasapuri on the left. At the Bangsar toll interchange, we would take the right fork towards Kuchai lama and Taman Desa. The U turn was somewhere along this point.(km 10.5). As me and Kam was approaching km 8, the front runners, 4 tall lanky africans were on their way back on the other side of the highway! Crap.By the time we reached half way, they would probably have finished!

Anyway, for the majority of people, running a race is not about racing. Its just between you and the road and accomplishing your task. Its about the satisfaction of crossing the finish line. It about the finisher's medal. Its the free T shirt and the goody bag. Its about impressing your work mates at work. Its about a way of life. I sound a bit gay dont I? Well racing makes you a bit mushy at times.

As we were making our way to the half way point, runners from the opposite side(returning) was cheering us slow coaches along. Specially to this one old chinese guy called Bruce running ahead of us whom everyone seems to know. Looks like you dont have to be fast to be a star I reckoned to Kam. Out of a sudden we heard "Come on doc! you can do it" from the other side of the road. Some of them were my friends but some people I dont even know. It seems like our faces have been a regular feature now at races that people tend to recognise you....despite not being the star athlete.

We crossed Azmar again. Followed by Ariff. Then abang kamal; the ironman passed along. Followed by another friend Jaja and then I got the shocker of my life..There was OP Fadhil of batch kutu...56 years old and roughly one km ahead of me and Kam. "Alamak bro...boleh kejar ke ni?" We arrogantly thought we could, but somehow it didnt happen. The U turn was a relief and after reloading ourselves with fluid and some food we were heading back, this time the mood was upbeat. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves cheering on the slower runners yet to reach the half way point and chatting up with other fellow slowbies.

The last few people making up the rear was really struggling, yet you could see the determination written in their faces. We even stopped to cheer on our friend Mei Shen who was just reaching the 9 km mark. She happens to be a good swimmer and strong cyclist, but running was just not embedded in her genetic make up. People say she runs like a duck...well you need to see for yourself. As usual, she was smiling all the way. The last guy....I mean really last, (you can tell as there was a police car being driven slowly behind him. With an ambulance, just in case!) was this slightly overweight and well-nourished young chinese kid. (Politically correct way of saying fat). He was struggling and I really hoped that he would make it. We cheered him on. No reply, nor any facial reaction. That's usually bad news. Never mind, we continue on. We managed to chat up with a lot of people along the way. We also talked about old times, mostly RMC stories and what our mates are up to now. We 'exercised' our eyes at the skimpies slowing along. We patted the uncles and aunties that were slowing down by this stage.

At km 19 or so we met with this young chinese kid with a bright red t shirt with the words "Powered by Jesus" boldly on his back. Probably some church group or something. "Perhaps I could use some of the power?" I asked the kid. We held hands for a bit (hoping for the power to transfer) and we cheered him on. I've seen him in other races before and he seems like a good kid. If only mat gan and Mat Kong was there, it would have been serene.

We crossed the finishing line at 2hr 9min. A good run.

  • Azmar: 1hr57 PB! PB:personal best
  • OP FAdhil 2hr 5min (prev best PB 2hr 40m at KL marathon 07)
  • Others: jaja,ariff, Mei shen completed the race in good time.
  • Vicky completed the 10 k race
  • Kam:2hr 9min PB!(2hr 30 in seremban)Improvement!
  • Me: 2hr 9min PW! (you translate yourself)

Recent races:

  1. Penang marathon 24thJune
  2. Siemens 10k run 8th July
  3. Seremban half marathon 15th july
  4. Port Dickson TRI 22nd july (Sad tragedy fellow OP)
  5. UM Duathlon 29th July.

Upcoming :

  1. PJ half 12th Aug
  2. Desaru half Ironman 18th August
  3. Subang Jaya 10 km 26th August.

Hope you guys, OP and KOP's (kawan) have fun and dont forget to get your buttocks moving!

Doc

3 comments:

  1. Camiseta PersonalizadaAugust 7, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Se você quiser linkar meu blog no seu eu ficaria agradecido, até mais e sucesso.(If you speak English can see the version in English of the Camiseta Personalizada.If he will be possible add my blog in your blogroll I thankful, bye friend).

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  2. aku baca nak menangis...

    :)

    too bad i missed the race.

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  3. Doc Hisyam,
    Rememember u gave me all the support earlier on in the earlier days of "light & easy" biking at Putrajaya?

    U started it off & I have never stopped since! Frankly now I need a sparring partner since I lost Zoob..unfortunately everybody in my Kutu batch are already in the "wheelchair" mode! They are talking about what ubat to take,which doctor to go & dont know where to put their money etc etc.

    Tak boleh ikut si Stupe tu.... mutant betul!

    I will be at Desaru but NOT swimming!
    Nice report OP

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