Saturday, December 27, 2008

O come, all ye runners!

The Malakoff 12km race was held last Sunday. John and I missed the registration dateline but we decided to go ahead, join in the crowd and still follow the run. The race course was new to us.
Few days before Sunday, an idea came along that John would put up his famous Santa's cap again. This time, he also put on his red vest and shorts and I got him a little red sack bag. We filled the bag with goodies; sweets and chocs and distributed them to runners along the way. O what fun we had!

When we reached Taman Rimba Kiara that morning, we were surprised to see so many participants. We joined runners for the 12km route except this time, John and I stood right at the back of the pack. Usually in a race, at the crack of the starting gun, everyone actually begin running - fast! At the back of the pack, the start goes like this: You hear the gun, stand in place, walk forward, then walk-jog-run.

As we started jogging, we were cheered and greeted by friends, fellow runners and marshals, "Ho!Ho!Ho! Go Santa!" (as if we were in the race). We ran the first few kms with Wah Chai, Uncle Yee, Ah Tai and Pek Moi...chatting and chanting 'Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town!' Then we met Ngae who switched our carol to 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' and some of the runners nearby joined in.
Although the race course was rather tough with uphills and downhills, there were a lot of fun, laughter, chatterings and merriment as John and I continued running and distributing goodies from the bag. Then it was Ngae again coming from behind singing a few verses of 'O come all ye faithful!' After that I made a few of my own verses too but sang in silence for fear of offending some Christians around.
It goes like this: "O come all ye runners, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye to Malakoff. Come and behold them, born the Kings of marathon. O come let us adore them, O come let us adore them, O come let us adore them...Kings Of The Road!"

Yeah, we had lots of fun. I was actually enjoying the experience of seeing a race from a new perspective. As the course was 2 loops of 6km, I could therefore watch as leaders of the race ply their various strategies. They (the Kenyans) seemed so in control. When they needed speed, they had it. The very fast are different from you and me - or, at least, me. Some things are the same, though. As confident as the leaders of the pack looked, their eyes give away the truth. They push their limits. They are just susceptible to doubt and worry as those behind them. Their speed and ability don't make them immune to failure.

As for me, I was glad to learn that there are times where I do not have to be 'in' the pack or to be a competitor to enjoy the race. At the Malakoff 12km on 21st Dec. I stayed right at the back of the pack...I ran, I watched, I learned and I enjoyed myself.

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