Friday, August 20, 2010

Muar National Charity Run 2010 - 1 August 2010

5 weeks after KL Marathon with only a 10km run around Woodlands sandwiched in between, i embarked on another half marathon; this time at Muar. Didn't know much about Muar except for its proximity to Malacca and Mount Ophir. I found out later that it is also home to the best-est Mee Bandung.

Anyhow, with Ed opting to attend National Day preview, I set off driving up to Muar with IMD and Yeehua. Arrived at 5pm, collected race pack and checked-into Townview hotel. After dinner, i prepared the race essentials: Blue TNF Arnuva Boa, 2009 SCKLM vest, black mizuno shorts, socks, fastened race bib on racebelt together with USK, then went to sleep.

Got up at 5am, didn't get much sleep anyway. After shower, met up with IMD and Yeehua at the hotel lobby and realised that it was raining. Decided to drive to startpoint about 3km away. Organisers were still setting up the race area when we arrived. After much waiting, the race started at 630am with me right at the back.

Ran beside Cik Rustam, the Pacesetter president for the first 3km before deciding to slow down. I then joined a pack of 4 runners and we ran together for the next 2km. After a waterstop at 5km, i was all alone. I could see a few runners a couple of hundred metres behind me. I wasn't tired, no soreness or aches.

After turning left towards Malacca, we entered the highway portion of the race. Nice looking houses lined the side of the highway, the kind of kampong houses i would love to have. The road were deserted as i maintained my 8km/hr pace. Mok Ying Ren appeared as the first runner on the opposite side of the road, meaning he was 5km ahead of me. Soon, a marshal guided me towards an overhead bridge to cross the road.

Another marshal called out to me to enter the forested portion of the race. Palm trees lined both sides of the track and it stretched for about 2km. A waterpoint appeared halfway along the track and i took my pack of powergel.

Re-entering the highway, i spotted a runner ahead. Slow but constant steps. i caught up to him and eventually overtook. He seemed to be in pain. Crossing another overhead bridge, i entered the last 5km of the race. I remembered an Al-Ikhsan shop was due to appear on my left followed by Giant. As i passed by them, i saw the bridge towards Muar town. A marshal on bike was waiting for me at the other side. As traffic was already heavy by then, the marshal on bike personally escorted me for the next 2km.

Entering the last km, i caught up with the tail end of the 6km walkers. Coffeeshops were already lined with patrons and smells of prata and satay filled the air. I felt hungry and wanted my plate of mee bandung but continued the slow run. Before long, I approached the finishing area. Officials were still waiting for finishers then as i crossed the line in 2:49. Tired but still feeling fresh, i collected my race medal. No more soya bean drink so i took plain water instead.

Both IMD and Yeehua came in top 10 in their respective categories and received their prices on stage.