With a 52K and year-end marathon coming up, I was desperately seeking long races as training. No problems in that department because since PNM, there’s been a quick succession of weekend halves with CAPAM, K2 (24K, training) and now the Inov-8 Pacesetters 3030. The weekend runs have grown progressively longer over the last month and a half. If what one does on weekends are the sole determinant of marathon performance, then I’d say I’m in good shape. But that’s not how things work. Weekdays are essential in getting the body conditioned to take on the longer distances, the very department I’m most deficient in right now.
So I found myself at the roadside sleeping in the car this morning, waiting for the hours to tick down to 5am. I was already there since 4am, just so that I get a parking slot. The area isn’t known for ample parking facilities.
I thought I’d get in a longer shut-eye but Nick and CY arrived too soon! I gobbled half a Clif Bar and we started walking to the race staging area. The crowd were just starting to stream in.
Soon enough the Gold Coast gang was assembled and after a quick warm up we started moving to the start line. Nick, CY and I were positioned somewhere in the 2nd half of the crowd. It was to be a training run anyway. Even if it wasn’t, going out hard on this route is one sure way of destroying your race. The first 10K (1:04) was quite enjoyable, with my HR at a comfortable and even keel. Halfway mark was reached in 1:32.
Drink stations were adequately manned and I didn’t see any that didn’t have the cups at the ready. Thumbs up to the water station managers and crew! I didn’t consume any bananas there as I didn’t want the fibre to irritate my bowels. It was also my plan to try to rely on body fats to get me through.
If the first loop around Publika was great, then the second loop was a complete opposite. The legs were starting to feel the effects of the undulating course and a chafe was building up at a most annoying spot. The leaders were already 5-7K ahead by the time I got to the 21K mark and the toughest point had yet to come.
The final 10 was no fun at all. I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a training run. That seemed to make the trudge up Double Hill slightly less painful. The ending couldn’t come sooner enough and in the end, a 3:09 on a course that had 463m total elevation gain was neither a good nor bad timing. Now if I can get those weekday consistency back…
Congrats to Julia who scored a top placing in the women’s open and Pacesetters for bringing this distance/event back.
- Starting area: With the Start/Finish moved further out, the staging area had more space. The tent layout could be better arranged to spread out the crowd and in accordance to the traffic flow. E.g. the food tents could be placed further away (near Nelson’s) from the T-Shirt/Medal tents.
- Water stations: No complains. Everything was well managed
- Traffic control: Mostly well managed. The tricky Jalan Duta crossings at both sides were reasonably well managed. The crew seemed to be more hardworking than the traffic cops.
- Banana peels: I didn’t see any on the road. They were either cleared by the crew or responsibly disposed by the runners.
- Cups: The use of plastic cups? Strange choice.
- Pacers: Again, they should start the race at the appropriate seeding sections. While the first set of 3:00 pacers were positioned at the front, the rest should move further back. They shouldn’t expect runners to chase them down when the race starts. Pacers should start with their charges. I only saw the 3:30 pacers where they should be.