The morning started at 5:00am when I woke up and prepared myself. I ate a slice of bread before leaving to meet my friend in Bukit Aman car park.
I arrived at the car park at 6:00am, meet up with WW and we walked to Padang Merbok, the starting place. When we arrived there, there were only a handful of runners there. All the booths were already up and the runners arrival rate reached its peak at about 6:45am. We met the rest of our gang, BP, James and Janice there.
We waited and did some stretching and proceed to the starting point at about 7:15am. Here I managed to see (the newly-promoted master treasure hunter) Cornelius (who ran a half-marathon a week before and flew in from Api-Api for the run) and quickly met up with him. I thought it was quite hard to locate him among all the runners. But as I told him earlier, I will see him in this run and I did.
The 3100+ participants were flagged off at exactly 7:30am. The start was an easy climb and I picked up a bit of pace on the way down the small hill. Then came to the U-turn at Lebuhraya Mahameru and we were going up Bukit Tunku. I was doing quite ok at the earlier part of the race. Then came a few more climbs and I reached the mid-point mark at about 8:00am. I could sense that I was on track to finish the race in 70 minutes and possibly 60.
After I stopped and took a sip at the water station, I kind of lost my rhythm. The pain in my calf started to set in. By this time, the heat from the sun was having effect on me as well. Not sure if it is the water that I took, I started to feel something at the right side of my abdomen. At this point onwards, I backed off from my initial pace and the under-60 finish was fading away.
At the last 3km, it was basically mind over body. I was telling myself to go on despite the pain and tiredness. I guessed the spinning sessions that I have since July really helped me. It helped me to fight the pain and kept me longer near my anaerobic threshold. At the last 500m and with the finish station in sight, I was being passed by half a dozen of runners from behind. I just pulled through the last few hundred metres and finished (according to my Casio) in just under 65 minutes.
The blogger (you can figure out which one in the photo), was still pushing at the last 400m to the finish line.
I was handed a card with the number 764. This was the overall position of all male runners. I thought this would not be good enough for Top 500 finishers in Men Open category to qualify for a medal. To my surprise, when I got my goodies bag, I found a medal inside.
This was my first open road race. I have not even been a consistent jogger. I could even feel embarrassed if I called myself a jogger or runner. I have just started training on treadmill 2 weeks before the run. On the indoor machine, I have only completed 10km once and never trained outdoor for this 10km run. I know that running outdoor will be very different compared on a machine. But I just didn't find the time to train outdoor.
Running outdoor, you will experience harder impact on the knees and lower back. Also the weather and environmental factor will be something the runner needs to adapt to.
After the race, I was basically a spent force. My calves were cramped and my left knee strained. I quickly got myself some fluids and light breakfast. And I met up with my friends at the finish line and rested a while. We left the place about 9:40am.
Overall, it was a good experience for me. Running in my first 10km after only training on the machine for 2 weeks, then being rewarded with a medal was a good feeling. My body is taking the punishment now. But I know the pain is temporary. The memory from this run lasts longer, if not forever.