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Wan's Column - The UTAR Charity Run

The UTAR Charity Run on 18th June 2006 is not a high profile run but it gave us an opportunity to get out of town for a makan trip. My wife Clara and my running kaki Chai Weng Moon made plans early for this trip, despite knowing that we will miss the PJ Half Marathon that was held on the same day. While the PJ Half Marathon is an established run with more than 20 years history, the UTAR Charity Run is the first to be held. It was originally slotted to be held at Kampar to start and finish at the new UTAR Campus. Later it was decided that Ipoh would be a better venue and Ipoh Road Runners Club (IRRC) was invited to organize the event with UTAR focusing on the charity drive.

I always like to drive to Perak for runs, the drive is not too long and the food in Perak is great. I must say at my age, hitting senior veteran next year, our running objective is a lot less competitive. We look forward to the fun, food and social as our prime objective. The registration for us is very convenient as we need only to submit our entries to Albert Chow, our fellow PACM member and the outlet manager of the New Balance boutique shop at Bukit Bintang Shopping Centre.

One of the IRRC members come back to KL each week and collects the entries. The T-shirts and bibs were then delivered to Albert one week before the event. This is great service that only running clubs are providing. …hassle free! Chai took care of the hotel booking at Heritage Hotel. I guess I have to do my part by offering to drive up and I did. We left KL at about 4.00pm and got to Ipoh by 6.00pm, did a round loop to look for the start venue at the Indera Mulia Stadium and found that it was nearby to our hotel. We caught up with Patrick Cheng, a friend of Chai and we had a great dinner at Tambun Hawkers Centre. Cheap and good! But don’t over eat.

Running a race in Ipoh is always very relaxed as the venue is near, no parking problem and therefore we could sleep late and left our hotel only at 6.45am. It is quite unlike Penang where the start time of the Penang Bridge Run is very early and the venue is much further with roads closed to traffic very early. I was pleasantly surprised when I met a number of Pacesetters members at the run. Tan Swee Nel, group leader of Sabak Bernam was there with his group. Keshab Kumar drove up with his three angels, Teresa Goh, Carol Low and Foo Sook Ying. Peter Lim, Lim Siew Cheng and her husband Lee Cheng Chuan was also there. It was a nice Pacesetters get-together in Ipoh. The turn-out was not too strong. Only about 800 plus registered but the actual number of runners taking part was about 500 plus. When I met Chong Him Shim, the president of IRRC, I commented to him that I like the venue as compared to the Polo Ground that they hold their annual 10km run. I suggested that they change the venue from Polo Ground to Indera Mulia Stadium Car-park for their November event.

As majority of the runners were seasoned runners, coupled with a small crowd, the starting area was very orderly. Tun Ling Leong Sik, the Chairman of UTAR was present to receive the donation of RM88.888.88 from the organizer. What an auspicious amount! He flagged off the run at 7.30am sharp. The route is a little similar to the annual 10km run by the IRRC, very flat and fast. After the event, Chong told Albert that it was 9.9km. As the route was very flat, everyone went very fast, including me. I have Lim Siew Cheng, Keshab Kumar and Tan Swee Nel around me during the event to pace and attempt to overtake. In all the past events, I have always finished behind Keshab but this time I thought I could upstage him since he did not have enough sleep, driving up at 4.00am that morning. I stayed ahead of him up to km 6 but after that this 60plus Nepalese man was too strong for me and I slipped back in the race……sigh! Still can’t beat a 60 plus man who did not have enough sleep. When I finished my run, I was pleasantly surprised that I clock 50 minutes 14 seconds, it was the fastest 10km time I recorded in recent years. I suspect it was shorter than 9.9km, perhaps 9.6km but Albert insisted that our fast time was due to the very flat route. Well! I shall not argue about it and take it as my personal best to shoot for in my next run in Ipoh.

After the run it was shopping time at the Brooks Store. Brooks’ Loh and Sherman were there to man the store, offering 30% off for all items. I bought a pair of Adrenaline GTS 6, my favorite model from the Brooks series to replace my existing pair that is already 11 months old with more than 700km to its credit. The old shoes still look, so new and would make good walking shoes. My other favorite model that I am using is the New Balance 1221 that I use for 21km race and longer distance practice runs. Both these two models are stability shoes that suit me, given my bio-mechanics. To read more on shoes, you could go to the Runner's World website.

We left early for the hotel, had a shower and a light breakfast at the hotel. More shopping at Ipoh town; we picked up some salted chicken at Aun Kheng Lim (24, Jln Theatre, 30300 Ipoh, tel 05-254 2998) and stock up some tit bits for the FIFA World Cup Football telecast at Yee Thye Cake House (1-3, Jln Theatre, Ipoh, tel 05-241 3482). After contributing adequately to local tourism, we drove out of Ipoh towards Bidor for an early lunch. We went to a recommended shop; My Friend Restaurant at Bidor at the outskirt of the town. We had a great meal that includes Ikan Haruan and frogs for lunch. We drove off happy and completed the trip within 24 hours as we reached home at Subang Jaya by 2.30pm. An enjoyable Fathers’ Day I must say……need we asked for more?


Peter Lim, Wan Yew Leong, Chai Weng Moon

Chong Him Shim, president of IRRC, second from left, his daughters and friends

The Pacesetters group from KL

Clara, Wan and Chai after the run

Wan Yew Leong
11th June 2006
wanyewleong@gmail.com


Note: Coming Events In Perak

The IRRC will hold their annual run on 19th November 2006 in Ipoh, according to Chong Him Shim. They are exploring having a 21km distance, in addition to 10km.

The Gerakan and Bidor Kaki Runners are having the Bidor Half Marathon 5th November 2006, according to Lee Choy Hin, an active member of the Gerakan from Bidor.

 

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