I must say that the Seremban Half Marathon is the only running race in Malaysia where the medal is the exact same medal that was given out to runners ever since the race was first organized, like two decades ago!! And it is the only medal (in my collection of medals) with no string attached. Boring!!
John and I had actually ban this race from our running agenda for a few years because it was so poorly organized. This year, we decided to give it another chance after hearing about some changes and improvements being made in the route design etc. However, we didn't set any expectation, in fact John reminded me to prepare for the worst and treat it as another 'training' run. So it came as a pleasant surprise for us when we experienced the following improvements :
New Route Design
At least 60 percent of the running course have changed...taking runners to some residential area which I enjoyed most because it's traffic free. The race route is like a roller coaster - hills after hills, which is fine for me.
The other 40 percent of the running course is back to running with the traffic and there were parts where we still had to run side by side with a lorry or a car and inhaled nothing but carbon monoxide!!
Adequate water/isotonic stations and sponging stations
Those days there was only 1 miserable water station at 11km and along the road, hawkers were selling drinking water @ RM1. Today, we had 4 refreshment stations and still plenty of it after the finishing race.
Speedy prize money collection
There is no need to wait for speeches after speeches. There is no need to wait for anouncements. There is no need to line up (like stupid FTAAA always made winners do so) to the podium. We went straight to an officer in charge of our category, present our ID and running bib for checking and that was it. Fast...no time wasted at all...I like this very much.
Fuss-free lucky draw
Yes, I've got coupon which said that I won a mystery gift. With that, I went to the Lucky Draw booth and draw my prize. The prize was half a dozen cans of 100 Plus and a Hotlink pack. Normally, a lot of time were wasted in getting a VIP to draw the lucky number and then waiting for the numbers to be called (not once but several times over), then waiting for the lucky person to check his/her number and then waiting for the person to slowly move to collect his/her prize. And it can go on and on until thy kingdom come...
Overall it was pleasant morning for me. The weather was superb - cooling and breezy. I enjoyed running the rolling hills. I won some prize money and received a small lucky draw without wasting any time waiting. I had a good breakfast with John, Lok and Agnes and headed home, happy!