Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Balance Pacesetters 30KM 2010

BP, Cornelius and I after the grueling NB Pacesetters 30km race.

The run in 2010 is getting tougher and tougher. With all the steep hills along the race course of New Balance Pacesetters 30KM 2010, I think most runners will find satisfaction just to complete it.

As for me, I found great satisfaction in conquering the super-hilly route and exceeded my target (2 hrs 45 mins) for this race.

The day started at 3:40am when my alarm sounded and woke me up to prepare myself. This time I need to pick up the master from KK, Cornelius from his hotel to the run venue. He is a friend, a keen runner cum master treasure hunter and a blogger too. See his site here.

After I fetched Cornelius, I parked in Bukit Aman car park and met BP there. We walked to Padang Merbok, the race Start/Finish place, together.

We did some light warm-ups after we deposited our bags. The 30km race started on time and we were on our way to the "super-hilly" course.

I was running at about 5 mins per km pace at the beginning and met Julia Lim around the 1km mark. She is a strong and fast runner and has improved so much over two years. Now she is consistently among Malaysia top 10 half-marathon runner in her age category. She finished on the podium in some races too. I decided to pace with her as I roughly knew her pace. I needed someone to pace with so that I would not push too hard at the beginning.

It turned out to be a good move as we paced each other, often exchanged lead and it was a motivation especially when we climbed the long steep hills.

Only at about 25km, I eased up a bit and let Julia to lead the way. From then on, I just ran at around a pace of 5'30" per km.

At the finish line, I timed myself at 2:35:49. Average pace was 5'12" per km. I exceeded my initial target for this race. I felt good after the race as I knew I could have push harder. I guessed I was a bit reserved and didn't want to risk injury on this super-hilly course.

I saw Julia right after the finish line and congratulated her. It was her first 30km race too.

Then I quickly grabbed something to drink and eat before proceeded to take my medal and goody bag. Then I collected my camera bag and started shooting the runners' finishing photos at around 8:43am.

I saw Cornelius coming back around 3 hrs 10 mins (gun time). He was quite happy to finish with that time as it was way inside his target (3 hrs 45 mins). I snapped his finishing photo and continued my unofficial duty to snap photos for other runners.

I snapped quite a lot of photos for my other runner friends. It was a good feeling for me knowing I can share those photos with them later.

BP came back after 3 hrs 29 mins. It was a punishing run for him too especially he hasn't done any long run (20km or more) since PBIM09 due to injury of his knee. He said later he almost cramped from 25km onwards.

I also met my primary school classmate, Sharon. She finished her maiden 20km in 2 hrs 20 mins (I think) and she was happy about it. On Friday, she trained until her leg muscles were sore and luckily she recovered in time.

After that I continued to shoot until around 9:20am and then I met up with BP and Cornelius to snap more photos. I didn't have much time to stay longer to catch up with my other runner friends and my wife was waiting for me at home. So we went back to our cars and I sent Cornelius back to his hotel.

I am processing the photos that I took and will upload to my Multiply site soon. Please visit my album later.

It was another good run and a very tough one also. I hope to improve on my speed and I know I must work harder to do that.

I heard some elite runners ran the wrong way in some turns where no road marshal was there to direct them. This incident caused some elite runners to lose their positions (they were heading for podium finish). Also there were no medal and finisher T-shirt for slow runners that finished late. These shortcomings were really unfortunate and I believe Pacesetters will look into this to ensure it will not happen again.

I wore this on that Sunday (race day) morning after I came home & took my shower. Then I went CNY shopping in downtown KL (show-off?).

Until next run, do train hard and stay healthy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spies on the run and route map of 2010 NB 30KM

I collected the running bibs for the New Balance 30km 2010 on Saturday. This time BP and I got interesting running numbers. I got the James Bond's number and BP is Agent 008. It is an ong number also since it is number 8.

We registered quite early when the race was scheduled in Putrajaya. Then it was moved to Padanag Merbok. Bad news for most runners as the running routes around that area are mostly hilly. See the elevation view of the NB 30km route below from

Elevation view of the 2010 NB 30KM route. (click for better view)

See the route map here.

2010 NB 30km route map (click for larger view).

I did a long run today. This was to train for the race on 17 Jan. I ran from Bukit Aman to Solaris Mont Kiara and then to Petronas Sri Hartamas and then return the same way. Mostly overlap with the race course. The total distance was about 26km (according to my Suunto GPS). I did it with the time about 2:27:58. Hopefully this is good enough training to prepare for the hilly course (so that I will suffer less).

This morning I saw so many runners running the usual Bukit Aman - Petronas Sri Hartamas route. I met so many runner friends during my run. I think everyone was preparing for the race next Sunday or for the Putrajaya Night Marathon (that I confirmed not running because of a wedding dinner and lack of training). The morning sun was already shining brightly and hot at about 8:00am. This will be another challenge come race day. So, fellow runners please be prepared.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Saucony Pacemakers New Year Run 2010

Celebrating New Year Day and my wife's birthday in Pacemakers New Year Run 2010.
(Thanks Tey for the photo.)

Climbing the staircase. (Thanks Eugene Chan for the photo)

My first road race of the year, and it was on the first day of 2010. What made it even special, it was also my wife's birthday and she ran with me in the Saucony Pacemakers New Year Run 2010 at the Lake Garden.

I was still recovering from sickness. I got a terrible flu since Christmas and it developed into a nagging cough. I cough until I feel my lungs about to fly out and breathing also becomes difficult. At the peak of it, I coughed while I was sleeping, thus making my sleep effectively no sleep. When I tried to train or run while still recovering, breathing was not as smooth as I wanted it to be. So my weekly mileage for the period leading to the race was pathetic.

We arrived early at about 6:35am. We collected our timing chip (Championchip) and did some light warm up. The race started a bit late as the organiser was still not ready as some volunteers were missing in action. My wife and I waited near the starting line and I met Kwang Leng and Chuah Seih Seng, both fellow runners.

When the race did start, I thought I ran too fast at the beginning and I was huffing and puffing before the end of lap one. I noticed my heart rate was also quite high. First Kwang Leng overtook me and then Chuah. I couldn't pace with them then. As it was a 4-lap (total about 12km) race around the lake with >100+ steps of staircase to climb on each lap, I decided to pace slower in the second and third lap. Indeed, the staircase was a nightmare for me and most (if not all) runners. Your heart rate can skyrocket at the top of the climb, effectively making you very chuan (short of breath).

On the final lap, I decided to pick up the pace a little bit. That was after I was lapped by the eventual champion just before the end of my third lap. In the end of the final lap, I sprinted as fast that I could and overtook a few runners before the finish line. I finished in 12th position in my age category (35-40) in the time of 1:10:16, not a good result I think. I probably need to train harder on my speed training.

Then I met my wife at the finish line. She finished 7th in her category, earlier than me because the lady runners ran a 3-lap race for a total distance of 9km only.

My wife and I then grabbed some light breakfast. I chatted with Chuah and Kwang Leng and went back soon with my wife. It was a good start to another running season. Hopefully, I can improve from here. Until the next run, do train hard and stay healthy.