On her maiden run with us, her old running shoes gave
way after 500m, a case of keeping the shoes too long
but not used. That morning she invested RM400 into new
running shoes, shorts, vests and socks to show her commitment.
After 3 weeks she felt a little pain on her shin and
had them examined by my chiropractor brother-in-law,
Dr. Thomas Ong. It was not anything major, just that
she has not been exercising and would need longer time
for the body to adjust to the new exercise regime. We
told her to cut down on the jogging portion and carry
on with her brisk walking. Kim was very supportive and
gave personal encouragement to Emily, showing Emily
her photographs before and after she did 6 months of
running and lost 20 lbs in the process! Three Saturdays
later, her husband, Kenny Lee joined us. He used to
play squash, still slim but now as a smoker, he has
trouble running the 3.4km route. Together with their
three elder children, Marissa, Martin and Marvin, it
is now a family affair each Saturday. We believe if
the family continues with this program weekly, they
will all improve on their fitness level.
My biggest challenge is yet to come, this time Emily
elder brother, Raphael Bong has agreed to come. Raphael
is 40, weighs about 105kg or 230lbs. I knew I have to
be very careful here as I am dealing with a grossly
overweight individual. 20 years ago when I married his
sister, he was 20, a slim and underweight young man.
How he has grown over the years. I recognized that even
our jog / walk program may be too much for him to manage.
We have to start him from just brisk walking, cut the
weight a little, strengthened the legs, before we could
even talk about some light jogging. I shall be very
patient here and he has to be disciplined. He will also
have to regulate his food consumption, to reduce oily,
fatty food and reduce sweet drinks or food.
Brisk Walking, A Great Way to Start.
Looking at the participation and fitness level of my
family members as a yardstick, I have decided that I
need to lower the bar; to bring in a pre-beginners’
running program in the form of brisk walking. Brisk
walking will not sound too insurmountable to over-weighted
or obese individuals to overcome their reluctance to
get started. It will also widen the base we can operate
on and to turn obese individuals into joggers eventually.
As I am not a good walker myself, we need to invite
someone to show the correct way to walk; Jeffrey Kok
answered to our prayers. Jeffrey, age 65 has been with
PACM for many years. In recent years as age has caught
up with him, he has moved on to brisk walking while
still taking part in Marathons. In the recent KLIM 2007,
he clocked 6 hours 45 minutes with a combination of
jogging and brisk walking. On 24 March 2007, Jeffrey
came in and immediately he got a strong following of
ladies following him. He promised to come in on a regular
basis. On our part, we will add on a Brisk Walking section
in our website with links and articles on brisk walking.
Ambank Kuala Lumpur International Marathon 2007
The KLIM 07 is the second event of the year for me.
Once again I made the required preparation with Kim.
She is now my regular training partner on Sunday. In
the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30km 2007, the target
I set her was to just complete the run as it was her
first 20km run. As a matter of fact, it was her first
road race in her life. This time I set her a target
of running under 2 hours for the 21km. It is an achievable
target given her very strong aerobic fitness level and
doesn’t need to slow down in her second half during
the GE 30km. After a few weeks of easy 10kms on Sunday,
we get better prepared with three 15km practice runs
immediately after the Chinese New Year on 25 February,
4 March and 11 March. We pushed a little harder after
each week. I suggested to her a pace of 54 minutes for
the first 10km. I will pace her for the first 10km.
As my best 10km time was 53 minutes in 2006, I knew
I will be stretching myself trying to do 54 minutes
for the first 10km in a 21km race. My comfortable pace
is 58 minutes for the first 10km. As Kim has shown so
much commitment, potential and discipline, I shall play
the role of the pacer. The race went very well from
the start and we were cruising along in the very warm
and humid morning. I did not enjoy the airport road
stretch as it was dusty with relatively heavy traffic
on a Sunday morning. By the time we got to the entrance
to the SMART tunnel, at about 8km mark, I was feeling
very tired. I knew I ran too fast in pacing Kim. She
was in excellent form and I told her to move on without
me. I told her I shall follow her from a distance. She
moved on and I slowed down to catch my breath. I saw
my watch at 58 minutes plus at 10km, quite a shocker
to me as I thought I ran hard. At several points, I
actually wanted to start walking, something I had not
done so for any half marathon. I have only walk in the
four full marathons I completed. I plodded on km by
km till I reach Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the heart
break loop. I can see that my capping of 2hrs 7 minutes
is a touch and go situation and pushed hard to finish.
I met up with Kim at the Powerbar tent shortly to exchange
results. She met the target I set her. It is great training
with Kim as she has great discipline. I believe I could
even improve or at least slow down the deterioration
in my time running with age. Shortly we met up our fellow
runners from the RunnersMalaysia
Beginners’ Running Program; namely Rizal, Ivy Lui,
Peter Kuan, Alvin Kuan and Jamie Pang. Jamie made a
great come back in training and ran 2hr 1 minute for
the 21km. He has been training hard since the Chinese
New Year and shall be running the Penang International
Bridge Run on 24 June 2007. Jamie ran a fine negative
split time and he was behind both Kim and I at the 10km
mark. Peter Kuan was able to redeem his failure to run
under 3hrs in the Bidor Half Marathon by completing
within 3 hrs (2hrs 53mins 18 secs) He has put in considerable
effort with several long runs through the Chinese New
Year period, a great sacrifice for someone in the property
sector with many Chinese New Year lunches and dinners.
Rizal and Ivy did their 10km within 1 hour.
Snapshot of our 21km Results (Extracted from KLIM
Yew Leong –
2hr 6mins 23 secs, 58mins 30secs at 10km, 148 /
559 (26.4%) in men veteran and 353 / 1214 (29.1%)
Kim – 1hr 58mins 5 secs, 57 mins 9 secs at
10km, 20 / 158 (12.7%) in women and 37 / 293 (12.6%)
women overall. (Out of the 19 women ahead of Kim,
only 6 were Malaysians that include established
runners such as Yuan Yu Fang, Vally Michael and
Jamie Pang – 2hrs 1min 11 secs, 1hr 1 min
37 secs at 10km, 164 / 655 (25.0%) in men and 279
/ 1214 (23.0%) in men overall.
Peter Kuan – 2 hrs 53mins 18 secs, 1hr 19mins
37 secs at 10km, 492 / 559 (88.0%) in men veteran
and 1050 / 1214 (86.5%) in men overall.
While it is not confirmed, most runners I talked to
felt that the 10km mark was not accurate, it was longer
by a few hundred meters. If this is true, it is disappointing
as in the absence of km markers (a key weakness that
should be rectified) we are dependent on the 10km mark
split time as a guide to decide on the pace for the
second half. The full marathon runners will be even
more confused as they may start speeding up after 10km
and end up running a poorly paced race. In the process
these marathon runners could hit the wall earlier. Besides
the timing, we are happy with the event overall, adequate
drinks station with both water and 100PLUS. Sponge stations
offering drinking water as well. This is important as
we were running in a very hot and humid environment.
It is good that the organizer has included a kids’
run, a 3km event within this event. It would encourage
the children to take up running after experiencing the
big event atmosphere. I made this comment in my write-up
on the Singapore Marathon 2006 and I am glad the organizers
took it up.
The figures in the marathon has not improved much with
826 runners completed the 42km event. The Half Marathon
did better with 1,507 completed and this has indicated
that a number of rookies have joined the Half Marathon.
The organizers will have to do a post mortem and work
out early how it could improve the participation in
the 42km and 21km categories. If Singapore can do it
with a much smaller population, why can’t Kuala Lumpur
The participation details are as follows;
|Men Senior Veteran
If we are to compare these figures with the Great Eastern
Pacesetters 30km in January 2007, we have a total of
1,400 runners completing the 20km and 30km event. A
high budget event like the KLIM 07 has only managed
to garner 2,333 runners in the Half and Full Marathon.
I conclude that we still have a long way to go to improve
the home participation of the KLIM to rival the Singapore
Marathon with 15,000 Half and Full Marathon finishers.