My first trophy received on stage in KRI 21km. (Photo by Chung Meing Ling)
This is the first time I got a trophy for my effort in a road race after running for 4 years. It was also my first time running an road race event in Ipoh. It was an enjoyable outing for me because I got to spend some good time with fellow barefoot runners, Master Tan Wah Sing, Rich Chai and sons, Lee Chung Wah and KF Chong.
I went to Ipoh with Rich Chai and sons. We met up with Master Tan, Lee Chung Wah and KF Chong in Ipoh. We spent the night before in a famous hawker centre near Ipoh Garden, having simple meal for dinner while chit-chatting.
The morning of the race was rainy. Luckily the rain drizzled out as the race began. I joined the 21km which started earlier. This was the first time the half marathon was held by KRI (Kelab Roadrunner Ipoh) and also the first time timing chip was used.
Having chalked up good time in PJ Half Marathon a week ago, I was also feeling quite good in this race and ran at a reasonable fast pace at the beginning. at about 4km mark, Master Tan overtook me. He starts slow normally in race but can get to fast pace after a few kms. I see him as my role model both in running and as a person.
The route was a flat one, but it was rough in a few sections. Being a barefooter, the disadvantage is that I cannot really speed at these sections. In some sections along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, it was quite dangerous as no traffic cones nor marshal.
Approaching the finishing line (Photo by Shirley Sohg)
But I was about to maintain good pace on average throughput my run and finished in 1:36:35 (official gun time) for 11th place, just 5 seconds from 10th place. It was enough to get a trophy as I managed to get top15 placing.
It was a well-organised event. The comments I can say was the water stations for 21km runners could have at least one more and some sections (Jalan Kuala Kangsar) do need more road marshals.
But what was more memorable was the good time spent with fellow runners at this event. Special thanks to Rich for the carpool and to Lee and wife for their hospitality and bring us around for good food in Ipoh. Maybe next year, I will join this event again.
I never really focused on training for half marathon races. All my training so far is targeted for running a full marathon. My next full marathon will be PBIM 2012 in November. This PJ Half Marathon 2012 was more of a warm-up race for me.
PJ Half Marathon 2012 was a well-organised event. This year the starting time was at 5:30am. This was a good move as last year the event started about 6:30am that caused most runners ran under the hot sun shinning into their eyes for the 2nd half of the race.
I started the race pacing with Tang Chee Choon. He also trains in Bukit Jalil. I was feeling quite strong but restrain myself so not to over commit myself too early in the race.
Then at around 4-6km, I overtook a few runners. At about 8km mark, iron woman Julie Foreman overtook me after pacing couple of kms alongside Tang and I. She also overtook me around the same area last year.
I think I surged a little forward from Tang then. However, Hong Zi-Shen who started just besides me overtook me shortly after. At about maybe 11km, ironman Richard Tang also zoomed past me and I couldn't follow. If there was any bad patches, this was it. My pace slowed at this stretch on the way to the U-turn near Terminal 2. The race become quite a lonely one for me.
After the U-turn, I increased my pace again and able to overtook a couple of runners. At the last 1 km, I catched up with Richard and was within 50m of him. I thought I should wait until near the finish before I tried to make a move. But I left it too late. I finished just a few seconds behind him.
My official result:
Gun Time: 1:34:32 (My Personal Best)
Rank: 8th (Men Jr Veteran), unfortunately no trophy nor cash prize. I'm still waiting for my first trophy or cash prize.
Overall good organisation of the event. The traffic control was a lot better than last year. Runners was diverted to run on the rightmost lane on the way to Terminal 2 on airport road and on the leftmost lane on the way back. Thus avoided cars that needs to turn to the left exit of junctions to Glenmarie, Ara Damansara, Plus highway.
The course is relatively flat and you can set fast time here. As for me, I didn't really think too much about doing well actually before the race. It was a pleasant surprise that I managed to improve my time by about 5 minutes compared to last year.
Maybe, just maybe, next year I can match Julie Foreman or Richard's pace. I will try-lah.