Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Long overdue report on Springs Half Marathon, Kuching

I almost forgot to write about this race. Had a brief pre-race posting earlier but after that, I was kinda lazy. Luckily, photos gave me a nudge to pen on it. Thanks to Michelle for the great shots!

6 years passed by Kuching without a long run. 2006 was when the last marathon was organised in cat city. I did my first half marathon then. That year, I started running. Yes, you heard me. 2006.

Clocked 2hr23min with the final 5km walking rather than running. Cramped quads, hamstrings, calves.

But crossing the finish line was exhilarating! Did something I've never thought of doing before cos the longest run I've covered was 5km during school days.

Now, 2012, six years later, I must say I've done quite a bit of running, cycling, swimming, climbing all over the country. And with a half marathon in Kuching, I quickly booked KL - KCH air tickets. Won't want to miss it!

This is the first time I ran with my brother. Well, not side by side as I did 21km and he took part in the 10km event. Talking about side by side, yes, I ran side by side with my uncle Frank. First time we ran together. His personal best during his top form times was 1hr29min. Very fast! He's one of my idols as he's a triathlete as well. During his active years, I was still in high school. That was also during KhooYK's prime time. They relayed triathlon in Sibu if I remembered correctly. Uncle Frank told  us his racing years in 2000, 2001 with a Japanese, Iwata. Few years ago, it was my turn racing with Iwata.
Iwata who? Hahaha!
He's Japanese and posted to KL by Panasonic. A very fast triathlete who keeps finishing on the podiums. He left for homeland last year.
Me & my bro

Side by side with my uncle

Face smiling but legs cramping

Two thumbs up!

Uncle Frank still looking strong!

Left: 2006 medal, solid pewter
Right: 2012 medal, hollow plastic

Top50 finisher Tshirt plus medal

Ok, now let's talk about the run. At the flagoff, the number of participants for this half marathon was as expected, only a fraction of what you see in KL. There was a Kenyan runner, meaning he will finish as champion, as usual. But unfortunately for him,  km2 was as far as he went. Injured. Too bad this time. But fortunate for us locals. :P
I was with leading pack for the first 2km, together with Lim Huat, a veteran from KL. Actually, it wasn't a pack as there were only a handful of us. A bike marshal cruised along beside us. We paced each other till km5, crossed the bridge into Petra Jaya, and that's when either he slowed down or I increased my pace. Whatever it was,  there were no runners around to pace with as the thin pack dwindled down to single runners and I was alone most of the time with nobody in front or back. Until a senior veteran uncle zoomed pass me. He was like a rocket! There goes my 5th position. Hahaha!
At a huge roundabout in Petra Jaya close to DUN building, my MTB uncle was on his bike supporting the runners. "You're no.5!" he exclaimed as I ran pass. Eh, I was no.4 earlier but no.3 was too far in front. I couldn't even smell his "smoke" except for that rocket veteran.

 At km16, right calf started twitching. Oh crap! A sign of lack of long distance training at this race pace. Slowed down a bit as I entered reservoir short hill. More twitching and on both calves! Going downhill into Bampfylde, I stopped & did some stretching as cramp started to show itself. MTB uncle came by, gave some encouraging words and rode back to finish line.

My run became slow jog. 1...2...runners passed me. Suddenly a Kenyan zoomed pass. 10km runners coming. With 2km to go, another hill appeared, Bukit Antu or ghost hill. Jogged slowly up and Lim Huat passed me. Going down had my calves screaming. Had to stop and stretch again.
The final km was a slow jog. Damm cramps! Reaching Springs shopping mall was a relief. The final 100m, I was practically shuffling my feet. Crossed finish line in 1hr38min, 9th position. In KL, that would be 29th. Hahaha!

Results in this link

Got a medal and a shirt for Top50 finishers.

Not a result I desire so that gives me another reason to go back hometown Kuching for another half marathon. Hahahaha!

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