Shah Alam 10K 2007
Having not raced
since the Penang Bridge Marathon,
I wouldn't have turned up at the starting line if not
for a certain someone's gentle prompting. Heh heh...
It's not my usual "policy" to race in the
absence of training. My weekly mileage has been hovering
between 20-30K which will keep me somewhat healthy,
will not make me sharp, certainly not for a hard race
as a 10K. The only drawing factor was the curiosity
to see how my recent string
of hill running will serve me. I felt unready but
not completely hopeless and I was quietly confident
that all the hilly runs will see me through at least
in 58 or 59 mins.
I registered online just before the Thursday cutoff time
and collected my race bib on Saturday. I'd not run Shah Alam
before and I heard about the challenging course. Munched a
cereal bar and washed it down with Red Bull while driving
there. As soon as I got there I spotted Ronnie,
Draco, Steven, Naresh and a host of regular faces.
The first comment that I got from the SAAA official was to
pin my bib on my chest - I had mine on the midriff section.
That seems to be the standard SAAA response to all the races
I'd been in the last 10 years. Somehow they have an obsession
with the chest region. I just nodded and went off my way with
nary a thought for these archaic rules.
With 30mins to go, I started my routine warmup along the partially
closed road and positioned myself in the midpack section of
the crowd. It didn't seem like a huge crowd - probably due to
the clash of another nearby race and the long weekend. Regardless,
medalling here would be very very tough with only 100 on offer.
started beeping the moment I started it, since I set my Alert
threshold to 6:10 pace. Anything below it, the watch will
beep. It took about 200m before it stopped as I began to hit
a quicker pace. With the undulating route, my pace was very
erratic. Hardly easy to maintain a consistent pace, but it
hovered between 5:13 to about 4:53. I spotted Abu from a distance
but bided my time until I passed him just after the Concorde
Hotel. I had no particular problems scaling the climbs and
I passed many over the entire course during the hilly sections.
It even seemed easy at some points and with that, my confidence
came back gradually.
Ran into Lai during one of the climbs and paced together
for a while. As we turned one of the corner, we let out a
simultaneous "S**t!" when we saw another hill looming.
Kept my pace and went ahead. All went quite well, and the
race officials were doing a fine job from traffic to water
stations, until the final part of the race where we were misled
through non-action on behalf of the traffic marshall. At the
final roundabout, we were supposed to take the 3 o'clock direction.
I distinctly saw the small sign but since no one ran that
way but instead took the 12 c'clock direction, I followed
suit. The marshall didn't stop anyone nor direct traffic,
so everyone and everything went on assumption basis. If not
for Ronnie, I wouldn't have hop over the divider to get back
on course. There were general confusion and most made their
anger known to the "blur" official. Another marshall
got there in time and also lend the errant official a piece
of his mind too. Many runners whom I'd overtaken earlier were
suddenly in front of me. It wasn't right but in my tiredness,
I gunned my engine to haul them back. I was running out of
distance and the last 100m were over a steep uphill. Somehow,
I scaled it in 4:30 pace.
The race route
It was amusing that Chen ended up behind me as he ran an
additional 1.5K due to the mess-up. And somehow, there was
still a medal for me. My timing of 51:27 over 10:15K ran was
good by my standards, in view of lack of training. If ran
according to the race route the distance was 9.6K, which was
short, and even if I'd ran under 49 mins, I wouldn't have
considered it my PR anyway. All said, it was a good run for
me and the medal looks good too. The weather was perfect and
if not for the bungling official, the morning would've seen
far less unsatisfied runners.