Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Count Down:Seven Weeks to TMBT

Seven weeks to go before my first trail ultra marathon in Sabah.This is a completely new event to me as I have never do a trail run before and I have never run above 42km in one event.Some how these factors have never come across my mind when I signed up for this event few months ago.The reason I signed up was the excitement of trying something new and challenging,something different from the usual road running which I think is not that difficult for me now.

Not difficult?Then why can't I do a sub-4h for full marathon?This is one of the challenge or frequently asked questions among fellow runners.I am always puzzled why runners always taking about sub-4h especially to an uninterested runner like me.I have always tell them..."people have different dreams,my dream may not be the same as yours".We are all different and this makes us unique.We have different aims and visions in life.By taking up marathons and running doesn't mean one must do a sub 4h to prove his worth.It all comes back to the main reason why we start running.

***Got myself a cheap pair of trail running shoes from Jusco.It was too cheap to ignore so I just bought it.Just RM119.70!!Initially I thought of using my usual running shoes to do trail running but after my first trail experience with Steve/Yee,I think I need a good shoes.***

I had my first taste of trail running last Saturday with Steve and Yee.We ran up the Kepayang Hill near Seremban 2.I found the trail to be tough.However for seasoned runners like Steve and Yee,it was just like a walk in the park.This proves that I need more training and I have not much time to do that.
For the next few weeks,I need to run more trails,learn how to run while carrying a backpack,cover as much distance as possible to train my legs to last for 50km,learn how to read maps,learn how to use a compass.

Part of an email which I received yesterday from the organiser:
"TMBT 2012 will be quite different in the type of terrain, elevation totals and the lack of jungle sections due to the change of locations for the start/finish areas due to the landslide problems on the original race course. Expect an added elevation total of 1000m more to the 2011 race course taking the total probably up to 3000m in total for the 100k category with a lot of loose gravel, and some muddy sections in plantations below Mount Kinabalu. As I stated, you can prepare for the event by making your own efforts in coming prepared by checking on weather conditions online and preparing sufficiently ahead of the race. The weather has been terribly unpredictable as usual and we have not had a long dry summer beyond a 3 week period in June..otherwise, its rain/shine/rain and when there have been severe storms, it has been very poor visibility and a challenge when taking on the race course route so, be prepared for heavy rains or extremely hot conditions. The race course map will be released on the 15th August 2012 to all runners for you to download so do standby for that release. Good luck. end of message"

This makes me excited and has reignite my mood to start running and training again.I am now looking forward to something new,something different and challenging.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seremban Half Marathon 2012

Event:Seremban Half Marathon
Distance:21km (actual distance was 20.4km on Lim and YS's GPS)
Date/Time:15th July 2012 @6:30am
Venue:Majlis Perbandaran Seremban Padang.

++Group photo before the run: from L-R:unknown(the guy in black vest,probably a friend of Azizul/Suraya),Suraya,Azizul,Lim,Eric,myself and Steve.

An event which I will not miss because this is the biggest running event in my hometown.This year,most of the S2 runners took part.Due to time constraints and some minor health issues,I did not do much running in preparation for this run.My confidence level was low.I was a bit pessimitic and worry if I can finish the run in time to get the limited 150 medals.

As the date became nearer,I forced myself to run at least 5 km each time,at least twice a week just to keep myself tune up for running.So my target for this year was anything between 2 hour to 2hour 15minutes.I knew I will not do better than 1h 51 min which I did in 2011.   

++Picture taken at the starting line,minutes before the start with L-R:Liau from Melaka,Lim,Teh,Lau,myself and Steve.

This year route is exactly the same as previous years.Nothing change.The water stations were in the same locations as previous year.

I started off with a slow pace and probably the last among my group.At the Forrest Height junction I met up with Lau,Steve and Yesudian.I told them to go ahead as I only intended to run a slow stress free pace.

After the hill climb at the Forrest Height,my body has warm up.Feeling nice and energetic,I increase my pace and yet feeling comfortable.I knew my fitness level has not deteriorate as much as I initially fear.
Slowly,I ran pass Steve,Lau,YS,Azizul and Suraya.I was feeling great! 

++Picture of me running towards the finishing line taken by UuBan.Nice picture.I like it.UuBan is good at taking nice pictures.The worst part of the route was the main road leading to Seremban Lake Garden.Every year,there is sure to be human jam and traffic jam.It was a massive congestion at the roundabout.As I was surging up the final Lake Garden hill towards the roundabout,over taking many of the walking school children,a traffic police ordered all the walkers and runners to stop in order to give way to the cars.

Oh No!!How can the traffic police do this.He should stop the traffic for the runners iinstead of asking us to stop and give way to the cars.I refused to stop but carefully run across the road.The traffic police saw me dashing across the road and defying his order.He shouted loudly at me.."Ooi...Bodoh!!"(Ooi...stupid!)

Those who know me well will know what was my response.There is nothing to be afraid off if I think I am right.So I shouted back at the traffic police while pointing at my watch..."Masa lah...Bodoh"(Time...Stupid).Don't know
what was his reaction like as I just dash off.

This is the first time in my running history and also in my life that I got a scolding from a policeman.I will sure to remember this for the rest of my life. 
The official results for the S2 runners:

LIM TEE KIAP C0449                 1:48:12

YEOH POOI TEE C0496            1:50:11

TENG YEE HONG B0306           1:52:07

LIAU KOK KEON C0462            1:54:02.

FOO YUEN CHENG B0191        1:55:17

YAP SAU LIM B0149                 1:57:24

LEE YEU SHEUAN B0257          2:00:15

AZIZUL BIN MANAF B0179         2:01:42

TEH SIEW LEONG C0522          2:04:17.

SURAYA BINTI AHMAD A0017   2:06:27

LAU THIEN CHEONG C0442       2:15:33

FOONG FATT HENG C0521       2:16:15

WONG LIN FONG A0031           2:52:26.

The good points of Seremban Half Marathon:
-Weather was good on that day.It drizzle at the start of the run and it was cloudy throughout the run.

The "not so good" points of Seremban Half Marathon:
-It is the same problems every year and nothing much have been done to improve it.Traffic congestion and poor control especially toward the end of the run with many school children walking and blocking half of the road.
-Same old medal design except for the year.
-Expensive registration fee.The fee has increased from RM15 to RM50 this year.

Overall,it was a good event.I will continue to support this run in the future.