Brooks Half Marathon 2012 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I was in Malaysia for a short 7 days break recently. While planning for the trip I found out that there will be a half marathon race going to take place on 11 March. The thing is, I have to attend my good friend's wedding in the afternoon. But the temptation was too strong for me to resist. I am now addicted to running thanks to Da'a and Zaiton (The bride and groom for wedding I'm attending) who made me run my first half marathon last November in Penang. so I registered for the race and believe I will be okay and well enough to also attend the wedding. I have been training remember?

Race kit collection on 10 March 2012 at the Brooks' store at The Curve
Loving my bib no.
I woke up at 4 am, had two slices of bread and went straight to the National Stadium. It was still dark and pretty quiet when I reached the stadium at 4.30 am. I was lucky to reach the stadium earlier, because the entrance to the car parks were congested soon after that thanks to the car park operator for collecting RM 2 parking fee. They should have told us about this fee in the race instruction so we can prepare with the exact change.
National Stadium Bukit Jalil was still quiet at 4.30am
I had a good warm up and stretching outside the stadium and was so ready to run, but 30 minutes before flag off, I heard my tummy growling and felt the need to defecate urgently.This must be caused by the spicy and fattening pre run dinner I had last night. Instead of the conventional pasta, I had Oldtown Nasi Lemak Chicken Rendang last night. Probably not the smartest act, but you cannot blame me for that. I am in Malaysia just for a week and I have been craving for Oldtown Nasi Lemak Chicken Rendang since I got back to Doha from Malaysia last December. Luckily there were plenty of toilets after the stadium gates and thank God it happen before the race. I cannot imagine if I had to hold the watery waste, the kind that you get after eating curry and spicy food during the race and the porta loos may be 5 km away.

I met Azim and her sister, Kak Yati. Great, at least I have company and was not alone among the more than 6000 runners already making their way into the stadium. We were late getting into the stadium and had to start the race from the back of the starting line.

The national anthem, Negaraku was being played when we got in.
Pre race photo
This is my 3rd half marathon in 4 months. Say WOW please..
Hmm, maybe he woke up late and rushed to the stadium without realising that he still got his sarong on. Anyhow this guys amazes me. I love watching runners dress fancy for races.

The surrounding area of the stadium was dark and was not well lit up when we make our way out the ramp. But I was more worried about pot holes and the Neanderthals attitude of some Malaysian drivers. We had to share the road with motorists along the route. This is quite a big race with more than 6000 runners participating in 21, 10 and 5 km events. The organiser should consider closing the entire road for this event.

Aside from the narrow course and the humidity, I thought I had a great run until KM8. I started fantasising of finishing the race under 2:15:00, but all hope was gone after KM 8 when the route gets hilly all the way until the finish line. The hills were so steep, there is no way I can run. I was trained in Doha for God sake, where the highest hills are the many piles of soil dug from construction sites around Doha. I was cursing along the way and gave up. I thought I can make up for the loss time going downhill, but the hills were so steep it hurts my knees. I do not think this course was AIMS certified. My target now is just to get it over and done with.

Look at the course elevation. I believe whoever selected this race course must be a seasoned mountaineer (Graph taken from Azim's blog)

I finally completed the race with an official time of 2:47:16. Placing at no 934 out of 1374 runners. I later found out that the course was not a standard 21.0975 KM. It was more than 23KM. My 21.1 km time was 2:25:46 which would mean a new personal best record for me. Well although officially it was not my PB but considering the toughness of the race I believe I deserve a pat in my back. I must now shift my focus on another half marathon in Gold Coast Australia on 1/7/2012. Hopefully I can finish it under 2:15:00 then.

I admire this woman. She ran all the way bare feet, non stop carrying a message to raise awareness about:
SAVE MALAYSIA, STOP LYNAS
Ran a lap in the stadium to the finish line

Queuing for a gift bag containing the finisher's medal and a drink
The end of the life of my Ipod arm band

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