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.