Monday, November 07, 2011

PJ Half Marathon 2011 - My 6th half marathon

Thanks to Tey EngTiong for this photo.
Thanks to Chuah Sakura for this photo.
Thanks to Yap Eng Hui for this photo.

This was my only sixth half marathon since I started racing. Yes, only the sixth in my relatively young racing " career".

This was my tune-up race to Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS). I have been training for the full marathon for SCMS. So I thought I would use this race as part of my training or tune up.

The day before the race, I was training in the Bukit Jalil park. I ran for 16km. So on race day, I didn't expect to do very well.

The starting venue was in Stadium Petaling Jaya in Kelana Jaya. On race day morning, I saw my good friend, BP whom I started running with, 3 years ago. He was with his wife who was running in 10km race.

The race started on time at 6:30am for the 21km category. The race route sent the runners to Federal Highway, U-turn below the cable bridge near Freescale Electronics. Then the runners would run to Subang Airport Terminal 2 and U-turn back to the Stadium.

I started off pacing at about 4:30/km. Fellow barefooter Rich Chai was pacing near me. We overtook Paul Liong, another barefooter before the cable bridge U-turn. After the U-turn, I was pacing on my own. After turning into the airport road, I was slowing down because of the rough road surface. Then some runners overtook me. The road condition was getting worse nearer to the airport. I had to run on the white line on the road as much as I could.

After the U-turn at the Terminal 2, I picked up my pace slowly and by km 17, I overtook back some runners who passed me earlier. The sun was up and shinning brightly by then. It was my motivation to finish the race faster.

In the end, I reached the stadium and the finish line at 1:39:23. It was a personal best for me. It was a pleasant surprise as I had only expected a time around 1:45:00.

I stayed for a while and met up with some regular runners. By then the sun was getting hotter. It was a very warm and humid race.

I felt that the organiser didn't do a good job in traffic control and water stations. The traffic police at major junctions were not properly planned. Some busier junctions should had more people present to control the fast moving traffic. Also the Federal Highway and the road to airport were not closed for this event. Runners were running at the same direction as the fast-moving vehicles. At some busy stretches, there were no traffic marshals/cones at all. I felt really unsafe running in these conditions.

Water stations could have been in better locations. E.g. the first water station was at less than 4km away from the start. Perhaps the spacings between water stations could be more accurate.

Another comment is that the entry fee was expensive. The were some sponsored items in the goodie bag and there were lucky draws, but please don't tell me the entry fees went to those items.

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

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