Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shape / Men's Health Night Run

After a very successful event last year, Shape and Men's Health Run is back again. This year the event was held at night at Putrajaya. This is my second run at night in Putrajaya, the first time was just a couple of months back when Pacesetters had a fellowship run there.

The response for this run was overwhelming judging from the tremendous increase in participation from 2,000 runners last year to 4,000 this year.
I registered for 11.5km instead of 7.7km which is supposed to be for the veterans. I am lousy with speed, thus running short distance is not for me.

It was hot and the air that night was extremely humid. The condition worsened when runners were instructed to gather inside the crowded gantry half an hour before the race start. So we were all couped up and trapped there. I could see sweat trickling down John's neck. He was already drenched, so was everyone else.

So soon as runners of the 11.5km category were released, everyone started running at full speed...while, I was still trying to search for some space to move away in order to inhale some oxygen. After that, I was struggling to find my rhythm. At the beginning, the running course was rather flat until I reached the slope at PICC (Putrajaya International Convention Center). It was here that I managed to pass a number of runners and regained a little confidence. The rest of the route was running the ups and downs of the roads of Putrajaya and crossing three beautiful bridges. But honestly, I haven't the faintest clue of where I was heading to cos' I was unfamiliar with the vicinity of Putrajaya. Furthermore, it was rather dark with only dim street lights.

Before I realized it, I was running with this Caucasian lady Carmen Robinson (the name I only got to know after the race). We were pacing each other - with Carmen taking the lead downhill while I took over on the uphill. Looking back, although it was quite a task trying to keep up the pace, it was fun and added some light to an otherwise dark and dull run. After the second bridge (Seri Saujana Bridge, if I'm not wrong), I was so surprised to meet who else but my dear husband..."Is it him?" Of course, I was the one who pinned his number on the belt. "What went wrong?" As soon as he sensed my arrival, he told me not to worry - just concentrate my race and keep the pace. I understood his message, obeyed and tried to break away from this Carmen lady with the assurance that John would assist me. But before he attempted anything, the lady eventually slowed down and gave up. I surged ahead, still trying my very best to run as fast as my legs could carry me.

Now with John pacing me from behind and then side by side, I managed to catch up with some more runners and with another 2km to go, we stumbled upon Ang Chee Kiang. When Ang saw us, he picked up momentum and ran even harder..Ha!Ha! As we were approaching 11km, John alerted me that we had only 500 metres and assured me that there were no lady runners behind me. Right after he said that, I asked him the silliest question if I could rest first and it became the joke of that night! What, with just 500m to go and you wanna rest - Yap Wai Mun must've run out of her mind!!! No, no rest for the wicked - I gave my last ditch effort and pushed towards the finishing line, holding hands with my pacer to secure 7th. position. At least, I made it below an hour.

The finale was exhausting but sweet. We were bursting with sweat and were drenched from head down! I remembered the Shape Run last year, I was so privileged I had a sub-3 marathoner senior veteran Lee Keng Boo to pace me so that I could secure a top ten placing. It was not planned for. This year, I was even more fortunate to have my own husband pacing me at halfway. This was not planned either.
There's no denying a good team permeate collective energy that engulfs one another where without exchanging a word, we inspire, encourage and cheer each other on. This contagious collective energy usually brings us together and forms a special vibe that's so raw, rare and pure. With this, I would like to thank John with all my heart for pacing with me; not only in a race but he paces me everyday in our journey in this lifetime.

Apart from a goody bag worth RM300, for 7th placing, I was awarded with heaps of goodies said to worth RM2,400.
1. Clark Hatch 3-month Titanium membership - RM500
2. 6-month subscription of Shape magazine - RM33
3. Origins products - RM1,000
4. Eclipse NatureCare Contoured Pillow - RM240
5. Nature Valley health bars - RM200
6. Sweet Sweat products - RM200
7. Clear Shampoo - RM100
8. Nuvafemme / Cartilamine supplements - RM150
9. Fruitz Organic Snacks
10. Tripo-X products
At least this time, runners were not being short changed.

P/S Picture courtesy of Lynn Guan.

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