Due to the haze conditions in KL, the organisers decided to postpone Standard Chartered KL Marathon to late Sept. Jackie and I were quite disappointed as we have been training and putting in efforts to prepare for the marathon. We were looking forward to run together and pace each other for this marathon.
The news slowly sets in and though disappointed, we kind of accepted the organisers’ decision. After all, the health of thousands of participants are at stake here. Certainly, the weather and haze condition are something which the organisers are not able to control.
And since the race was postponed, our group of friends (ten of them) who have wanted to head up to KL with us decided not to go KL anymore. So it was just Jackie and myself boarding the coach to KL on 28 June Friday night. Race or no race, it was a good excuse to treat this as a weekend getaway since arrangement has already been made. This break was timely as I had also just completed a major project at work and in need to unwind.
Prior to leaving Sg, we got to know via social media that some Malaysian runners (TPRC) are organisng a 21km run for overseas runners. (The wonders of facebook!) Very quickly, Jackie and I decided to bring along our running gears for the trip and if weather condition is good, join the group of runners to run on Sunday morning.
30 June 2013, 5.45am
Jackie and I woke up at 5am and walked to the meeting point which was just a stone’s throw away from our hotel, to meet up with the runners. We were slightly early and was surprised to see a big group of enthusiastic runners had already gathered. We were even more surprised that the race director for SCKLM was present to give a speech. Before flagging off, runners mingled and took photos. We were happy to see a few familiar faces from Singapore, Ben Swee, Rachel, Poon ZL etc.
The run started promptly at about 6am. The first 5km of the run was generally smooth and flat. Jackie and I ran alongside with Rachel and Poon ZL, chatting along the way. Even though this was an informal run cum gathering, it was nice to note that the organiser had prepared a water station at the 5km mark for us.
The next 5km of the route consists of hilly terrains. We were mostly running up slopes. I was huffing and puffing up the hills, struggling a bit on steep incline. Jackie, on the other hand, seemed to be enjoying this part of the run very much, smiling each time he saw a hill looming ahead. By then, Rachel and Poon ZL were pulling away from us, running faster, not at all daunted by the hilly terrains. I can only admire Rachel’s toned and defined calves muscles from behind as she ran steadily up the hills. Who would have thought she has just given birth in April? Gosh, she bouncing back fast and looks even stronger than before!
Soon, Jackie and I reached the halfway mark, which was a petrol kiosk where all runners stopped to buy drinks. There were a few photographers stationed here and we took a few photographs with other runners before continuing the 2nd half of the run. Having covered the hilly terrains earlier, the next 10km seemed much easier. The sky was brightening up and there were more cars were on the road. So we took extra precaution when crossing the roads. We were slowly catching up with a few runners ahead and passed by the same water station at 5km. We could see Rachel and Poon ZL with one of the pacers ahead and we followed them closely.
The trio seemed to be running faster though, so Jackie and I decided to just maintain our pace. There was one last bit of uphill and from a distance, we spotted Laichee with her two friends. They had wanted to run a longer distance so did not join us for this run. We said “Hi” to them as we ran past and continue our run, expecting it to end anytime soon. We caught sight of the pacer, who have slowed to a jog. I guessed running with Rachel and Poon ZL has tired him out. The speedy couple were no where in sight!
Jackie and I reached the stairs leading to a carpark (the end point) and realised that the couple could have ran ahead, not knowing that the end point were at the carpark. Since we already clocked 20km, we decided to stop and walked a bit further to see if we could see them. True enough, after a while, we spotted the couple, on the other side of road running towards us. They have planned to run back to the hotel to enjoy their hotel breakfast. So we waved goodbye to them and returned to the carpark to meet up with the rest of the runners.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and had enjoyed the run very much. It was an eye-opener to try such undulating hilly terrains in Malaysia, the locals’ training ground. We were glad we came and join them.