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Geraldine is a regular visitor to this weblog. For a runner who trains up to 10km, it was a brave move (or run?) to upgrade to half marathon on race day. Read her brief story on PJ Half Marathon.
I reached Kelana Stadium before 6am and warmed up near the starting area. Predictably, there were many male runners in the 21km. When I collected the bib the day before, the total number of bibs for women was probably below 200. That was a big number relative to the number of medals awarded – 30 only. I was afraid I might not make it to 30th. Too many uncertainties ran across my mind… Wow, more than 100 runners vying for that all-important validation.
It was a refreshing change to hear a male announcer for the race at the starting line. He was good though not much of a 'ra ra' person. It drew some smiles and laughter when he mentioned that due to some road works and the barricaded narrow lanes, runners should not rush but to be careful and safe. The irony of it was all in the word 'rush'. Runners did bolt out like wild horses upon the firing of gunshot. Yes, where were we all rushing to and rushing for? Casting aside the obvious, there were going to be so many kilometres to outrun others and there was no need to jostle and push and get hurt. This is a good reminder to have for each run.
I think I did well on first 10k. As I have not trained to run more than that, a good number of ladies overtook me on the second half. I dropped my little precious (the drinking straw) while fiddling my watch after the first refreshment station. Boo hoo! I skipped that stop. At the next stop, I managed to get some water into my mouth (an art of delivery) though I had to walk a bit. At the next two sponging stations, I just took the sponges and quench my thirst. It did not matter to me whether the water is potable as I was ready to get a tummy upset later but I really did need the hydration. Desperation calls more desperate measures! I always envy runners who carry a small water bottle. That'll really helps.
The route is boring. Thankfully the weather was great and the traffic was light so the runners did not get choked on fumes. I did not bother to catch up with those lady runners and that was not like me. My legs were quite weak, so my then aspiration was just to complete the seemingly unending route. When I saw Kelana Business Centre from afar, my heart leaped with joy as the end was near (sounded like Frank Sinatra's My Way). I was still not properly fueled to do the dash. One achilles tendon was giving me slight discomfort. Luckily that went away soon after the race. The surprising outcome: ta da … I did better than my first attempt at KLIM 06 – 1hr 57mins. That was 17th position.
My friend did not do well and while he was on the opposite side, he counted the lady runners and I was the 8th runner after the U-turn at the Subang airport road. I guess it was downhill for me soon after. There were numerous times that I was ever to tempted to walk especially seeing a couple of male runners walk/run. On hindsight, I would have and could have done better by not letting runners overtake me if I had more fuel to burn. That would take many training hours which I am lacking in this area. Considering that I doubled the distance only on race day and still managed sub 2, I am indeed happy that my body is decently strong and resilient. Also thankful that I bagged my 2nd Half Marathon medal.