26th June 2011 , 5:00am
This is the 3rd year I am running in this Standard Chartered KL Marathon and for a change,my three kids are joining me too.They are taking part in the kids dash.
***Running bibs of myself and my 3 kids.Have to go to Bukit Jalil to collect the kids bibs as the organizer did not provide courier service for kids dash.The bibs collection was very fast and smooth.Not many runners were there on Saturday afternoon.***
We decided to stay in KL the night before the race because I wouldn't want to drive very early in the morning with my family tagging along.We put up in The Starpoint Hotel in Jalan Masjid India.The hotel is situated in a very crowded place and it took us almost one hour to reach it from Jalan Pahang because of the massive Saturday afternoon traffic jam and the night market around the hotel.
Good points of the hotel:
Located very near to the starting/finishing point of SCKLM.
Cheap rate with basic facilities
Bad points of the hotel:
Situated in a crowded and dirty area of KL.
Full of budget tourists especially from India.Noisy tourists talking and banging the door rooms even up to midnight.
Can't find any Chinese foods around this area.Plenty of Malay and Indian food outlets.
***The day before the run,I went over to Dataran Merdeka and saw many workers busy preparing for the event.Taken some pictures.***
Lim,Liau and myself walked to Dataran Merdeka at 4:30am.We couldn't find the rest of the S2 runners.Lau,Heng and Teng drove from Seremban.
The run started at 5:00am.Lim was with me from the beginning of the run.I saw Uu Ban near the KL railway station and he was eagerly overtaking many runners.
I wasn't in the right mood to run during the first 10 km.My stomach was fulled with water,breakfast and a bar of Powerbar.The weather was hot.I was hoping for rain as predicted by online weather forecast.Where was the rain??Then my right shoulder was aching.My both calves were sore,my lower limbs felt weak.I felt like walking after running for few kilometers.I knew this was due to negative input into my mind which leads to more negative manifestation.I couldn't be giving up at the start of the run??!!
***Picture of me taken by Steve.He was not running as he has to attend a wedding dinner the night before but he volunteered to take picture of runners passing through the 36km marking at Bukit Tunku.***
Steve has posted almost 1000 pictures of SCKLM in his Facebook.The link is http://www.facebook.com/steveyap?sk=photos.Go and search for your running photos.
The break through came after the 12km water station where they provided sponge.It was so nice and cooling to sponge my body and my face.It was like a "waking splash" on my sleepy mind.Suddenly I feel fresh again and finally I got back my running rhythm.By then Lim has overtaken me and he was far ahead.I couldn't see him.I knew I must be more focus on my run and must blocked off all the negative thoughts.
As the day got brighter and hotter,I make sure I sponge myself at every water station.At 26km,I caught up with Uu Ban.He has slowed down.Lim was still with me.He was either in front of me or was following closely from behind.It was a bit stressful running with someone you know.Neither one of us wanted to give up.We were like "chasing each other".Ha..ha..ha..
***After the run...my kids were looking at my injured right foot.A blood filled blister over my right big toe.
Occasionally during my run,my thoughts go to my children.I was wondering if they can cope with the kid dash,if my son can finish the run and worry if any bad things happen to them.
Since I have done this marathon route previously,I roughly know what to expect along the way.I was saving some energy for the final push near Bukit Tunku.I took my last Power gel at 34km mark and was focusing to "break away"from Lim during the uphill route.At the same time,I
was looking out for Steve who volunteered to take pictures of us.
After conquering the 39km,I knew the ending point was near.I was getting ready to increase my pace for the last 3km.Suddenly Lim came from behind and he caught me by surprise!Still going strong and following closely.I told him to go ahead and reminded him of a final short slope to conquer ahead.From that moment,I increased my pace and did not look back.I was looking forward to see my family who was waiting for me near the ending point.
To my disappointment,my family wasn't at the finishing line to snap pictures of me since my wife was having some problems collecting the kids' finisher certificate.What a waste!!I was hoping my kids were able to see their father completing a marathon-"the moment of glory".Never mind....there always be another time.
***My kids...not in the mood to pose for pictures probably having the first timer anxiety.Parents can accompanied their children during the run which is good!However there was some confusion after the run when it came to collecting the finisher certificate.My wife was pushed from the 5km fun run booth to the 10km booth and vice versa just to collect my son 3km finisher certificate.Unable to tolerate it after 30 minutes of waiting in a long queue and with the 3 kids grumbling of tiredness,hot weather and hungry,my wife threatened to make a complaint.Eventually a volunteer gave her a certificate.So much of trouble for an unnamed certificate.***
***Kids zone...nothing much except for the inflatable slide.Organizer of SC Singapore Marathon has much more to offer for the kids.My kids spent only 10 minutes in the kids zone.Maybe next year the organizer can have a more variety of games for the children in the kid zone.***
***The finisher medal...not very special in my personal opinion.The same goes to the finisher T.Can't expect so much for just RM60 registration fee.***
Overall quite happy with my result which is 13 minutes better compared to last year.
Generally the organization of this marathon has improved over the past year.This year there was adequate water at all the water stations.Bananas was given out at the 16km point and power gel was given at 30km.
Post run,there wasn't any queue to collect the medal and finisher T.Everything was smooth and fast.However I can't comment on baggage collection as I did not deposit my bag this year after the bad experience of having to wait for almost one hour just to get my bag last year.
Suggestion for next year edition:
1)To start the full marathon at an earlier time if possible.Running under the hot sun is not fun.This is my personal opinion as others may take running under hot difficult situation as part of the marathon challenge.
2)More activities for the kids and family members who are waiting for runners to finish the run.Kids get bored easily and they need variety of exciting and stimulating games to keep them occupied.I remember my kids were so engrossed at last year Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon kids zone and they were there up to 12 noon.
3)Better pacers.Saw a pacer who abandoned his "pacing job" as he can't cope.His friends were far ahead of him.Some pacers ran too fast ahead of their intended time.I wonder do they really make use of their Timex watch?
4)More cheering groups along the route.Didn't see many people cheering runners but can sense that many motorist were annoyed by the traffic jam caused by the road closure.I have an unpleasant encounter with a middle age Chinese man along Jalan Ipoh who sarcastically asked in Cantonese: "Running for fun?Go home and sleep!!"
The official results:
Francis:3h 24m 6s very good result but he still said it is only so..so...
Lim :4h 23m 24s another PB!!CONGRATULATION!
Uu Ban:4h 46m 47s heard that he started out too fast.
Lau :4h 58m 36s heard that he had stomach discomfort.
Heng :5h 1m 13s no feedback from him yet.
Teng :5h 5m 26s he was very disappointed with his result.Suffered from stomach discomfort after taken 7 pieces of Gardenia bread before the run!