My last race for the year.
Date of race: 16 Dec 2012
Venue: Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club
Like many, the Malakoff Run around Bukit Damansara, KL, was my final race for the year. The route is well-known for being challenging and super hilly, especially for new or irregular runners. I was fortunate to have joined a LSD practice session with a group of runners a week prior to race day, so I knew exactly what to expect, and when to change gears accordingly. Such mock runs are so useful, I wish I could have more of them before each race! 🙂
Many of my friends ran, all looking to close off the year on a high note. I parked at Desa Sri Hartamas near Pelita restaurant and met up with the 24Running group there. I’m glad I decided to park there because someone started telling me about how risky it was to park on the side of the main road near the equestrian club as there had been cases of car break-ins in previous years. We then boarded the bus sent out by the organizers to bring us to the start line venue. In true Malaysian fashion the buses carried over the capacity of course, so there we all were – lovingly mashed up against each other in a bus in the wee hours of the morning.
The men were flagged off first at 7am, and the ladies 10 minutes later, which is always a relief to some of us as we didn’t have to jostle at the start line with our male peers. I ran the advertised distance of 12km, a double loop route around Bukit Damansara (the other category was the 7km, single loop). The actual distance was however shorter at around 11.3km.
The Malakoff race course – courtesy of Azman.
The organizers ran this event rather smoothly, although towards the end they ran out of paper cups at the water station and had to resort to refilling empty Gatorade bottles for the runners! And someone made a remark that the colors of the race t-shirt (a strange orange-ish pink hue which I did not wear) and the finisher’s medal (green) were uncoordinated. So color-matching is not the organizer’s strongest suit.
To make up for lost time going slow up hill, I tackled the second last downhill with a vengeance. Remembering Tristupe‘s advice to me about letting myself free when descending, I tore down that particular stretch at a pace which for me was so fast my socks and shoes felt like they were on fire! These are the rare moments where I get to taste a 4min/km pace over a non-laughable distance so I totally relished the feeling of the wind blowing hard in my face! All this while praying I didn’t end up kissing the road, of course.
At the last uphill I took a deep breath and zoomed up it because I was getting depressed looking at runners who were walking. I also did it because I knew it was all downhill from then on past the Ministry of Education complex and beyond, and only about 1km to the finish line! At the top of the hill, I caught up with Madam KZ (who always identifies herself as a cyclist first, then only a runner) – practically wheezing just to keep up with her. In the last 100m I imagined mad stallions chasing me (we were after all in the vicinity of horse stables), gave it all I got and dashed through the finish line with a net time of 1 minute faster than my intended target time. Hurray!
This race was small in comparison to others I have attended: “only” 3,200 runners. But the ratio of photographers to runners was high, there were so many photos of me, it was almost ridiculous. They were all kindly tagged in Facebook by my loving network of runner friends, especially by Lina (thanks!).
All in all, a great race to end the racing season with – not to mention the medal was the biggest I had ever earned! I think it can double as a kettlebell.