Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Balance Pacesetters 15km 2010

One week ago, I was still not sure that I could run in this race. Luckily my toe injury was healing well and I actually racked up 30km (with the injured toe) in 6 days leading up to the race.

This time, my wife joined me for the 15km run. This would be her second 15km race. What was different from the first one she'd been to, this race course was hilly and unfamiliar to her.

The race course was basically reverse double-hill route with some added routes to make it 15km.

This year the race started first for all women categories and followed 15 minutes later by men. It was in complete reverse order compared to last year. I thought this was better.

I started the race strong and stay close to the front pack for the first km. Of course, when I said close, I mean within sight. But that didn't last long as the front runners charged away.

Tan Wah Sing, the well-known barefoot runner from Kuantan, overtook me at around 1km mark. I was able to follow him for a good 500m. This was the first time I saw him run, I mean his gait, from close. I noticed he lands on mid-foot and not on fore-foot as commonly-believed gait of a barefoot runner. I thought this was the best landing for runners. When I said the best, I meant the best in term of injury prevention. Landing on fore-foot, puts a lot of stress on the Achilles tendon, while landing on the heel puts stress more on the knees.

I met my wife just before 6km mark. She was doing fine and I ran next to her for a while and gave her some encouragement.

Kwang Leng catched up with me at around 6.5km. Then we both passed Yin and her mom, SH Tan coming into Bukit Tunku. After that, I reached the mid-way check point at about 36 minutes.

Then it was a long climb followed by a long descent. I saw Mr. Yong at the point of start of descent. He applauded and cheered me. I applauded and saluted his dedication to serve as a road marshal for this run (and also many other Pacesetters run). At this time, I picked up my pace and tried my best to maintain that pace.

On this run, I saw many runners paying tribute to Ngae (a runner and triathlete) who passed away recently. Some donned a sarong while running (e.g. I saw Jennifer with a sarong), while some wrote a message on the back of their vest. I remembered him from an article he wrote on Footloose magazine Jun 2009 and I saw him running barefoot in some races and donning a sarong. My deepest condolences to his family and close friends.

Back to the race, the last part of the run was really tough as the sun was out shinning brightly and the heat started to build up. It reminded me of the the recent BIM.

This time, I was mentally prepared and luckily also there were many shaded areas. In the end, I managed to finish my race in 1 hour 16 minutes. No personal best this time, but I was happy as I could run/race again.

Thanks Tey for this pia photo at the finishing straight.

I quickly grabbed some drinks and took some watermelons and then started shooting finishing photos. This time I didn't got many shots as I started a bit late. I slowly jogged and walked in reverse direction of the route to find my wife after 15 minutes at the finish line. Then I saw her around 100m from the finish. I ran with her for the final stretch and she finished just under 2 hours. I congratulated her for a job well done.

We had to leave early to pick up our kids from class and caretakers. So I didn't really have much time to catch up with friends. BP was running this morning, but I didn't manage to see him. His knees are still bothering him. Only managed to say hi to Yin, Elaine Pan, Kwang Leng, Pang, Chuah Seih Seng, Dannie, Carrie, Moey, Lawrence Law, Julia Lim, Wai Sum, Hoffen and Christopher Jong. Julia got 3rd place in her category. Congrats!

Until the next run, do train hard and stay healthy.

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