Woke up 320am and my nose started sneezing again...clear sign I haven't fully recovered from flu or am I having another round of sinus attack? Haze hasn't been kind to my nose these few weeks. Been sneezing & having runny nose since Thursday. Stupidly I took another couple of minutes snoozing without realising I've turned off my clock alarm! Somehow...something must have woken me up and I jumped out of bed thinking I'm late for SCKLM! Saw my watch 342am...phew! Thank God! Managed to reach Dataran Merdeka before 430am and secured a nice parking spot just beside Kelab Selangor.
430am and I was at the starting line. Not because I'm kiasu! My eyes scanned for Race Director holding pacer balloons but to no avail. Those who volunteered to be pacers...(one of them is me as I have agreed to do a 4hr pace)...were supposed to collect pacer balloons from him. But where was he??? Nowhere to be seen. Neither were there red, yellow, blue, pink and green pacer balloons. Perhaps he was so kan cheong and he had to go lausai somewhere. Michelle, Meng and me waited...440am...still no balloons seen... 450am behind starting line, still no sign of Race Director with balloons. What was going on?? I met Mark who was supposed to be the 3hr pacer and he gave up waiting for his red balloon. Oh well, so much of pacing for SCKLM. No balloons no pacers. Whatever the reason was, we were played out...sorry runners, no pacers in this run.
Rain fell just before flag off...yes, the skies opened and one by one ran for cover. Although it kept the morning cool but wet shoes for 42km was not desired at all. Bummer!
Gun went off at 5am and around 1800 runners started their marathon engines to the first SCKLM. I just hoped there's no heavy rain.
First two kilometres was slow and zig zagging through runners. Was with Chin, Frank and Victor for a while before I went on my own pace. In front was Simon but he seemed to be doing a slow pace for his standard. He must be warming up cos before I knew it, his engines kicked in and off he went. At km5 I caught up with Ronnie and Stanley. They put in a good pace so I joined in. From Jln Tun Sambathan to Loke Yew, the run was smooth. I just hoped to be able to maintain the pace all the way to the end. At 10km, Ronnie checked the time...49min...good pace.
We continued that good pace till 20km...1hr38min...and that's when my calves started to twitch, hinted me something but I refuse to acknowledge. 1km later it twitched again and it was serious! I had no choice so slowed my pace. Instantly I knew the cramps will be making their presence...but when...which km??
Somewhere near KLCC, I had to stop and do some stretching hoping...just hoping cramps will hold back. At that point I was already at least 500m behind the pack I was pacing with and their figures became smaller and smaller. 24km, bong! The cramps have landed! Calves got it. First thing I thought about was not he pain but my 3hr45min target...my PB...gone! So long! Sayonara! Bye bye! Argh!
Besides cramps, blisters were forming fast. Could feel them on both feet. My pace was so much slower in the next 5-6km. Very disappointed as the last two training long runs were not like this! Legs were not their usual self on race day. Cramps didn't want to leave out quads as well and you can imagine how it was like with cramps on calves and quads. Reminded me of Sundown2007.
At 33km, Sam ran pass...John followed soon enough and told me to focus...shut out the pain. I did and it helped my pace but going downhill beside Muzium Negara, my left calf couldn't take it anymore as it flexed out of shape. Quads followed suit and I truly hit the wall. Mental game came into play cos I thought about giving up but it was only 7km to the finishing line. Even if I walked, I could still make it. It's not like I broke a bone or something more serious had happened...cramps cannot win! So I walked...I waddled...and ran when I can.
Final turn at 40km, my watch showed 3hr40min. Sub4 is in the bag but perhaps a PB still possible?
41km++...3hr48min...someone said it's only 5min away. Heck, I was not going to be slower than my Penang Bridge marathon of 3hr42min. I squeezed every ounce of strength my legs had left...the final 500m was tough. Not only I had to endure the pain but swerving left & right to go through the heavy runner traffic was despicable! Where were the marshals??
Crossed finish line 3hr52min...on par with Penang Bridge.
Net Start: 04:58:36
Category: Full Marathon 42km
Net Time: 03:51:57
Position: 140 (079)
Finish Timing: 03:52:22.74
Looking back at SCKLM2009, it has to be one of the worst marathons I ever ran.
Pacers got played out...cramps...blisters...too many turns on route...poor traffic control...dangerous at 34-38km on highway...no direction after crossing finish line...poor human traffic control... and insufficient water supply!
I had the chance to see the top 3 medals earlier and the quality is just like our finishers...sucks!
Here's to show you the BIGGEST blisters I ever had!!!
Maybe I can enter Malaysia Book of Records???