15K on a 16K training day.
A route away from the usual ones, yet not too far away.
Reasonable entry fees.
What’s not to like? The 4 of us from the training group found ourselves at Kota Kemuning yesterday morning for the National Geographic Earth Day Run. Nick has kindly collected our race kits which contain, other than the usual race number and tee, collapsible water bladders. The rationale behind the inclusion of this unusual but practical item was that the water stations were of the BYO cups variety. No cups, except for 1 near the finish, were used to serve the drinks and runners were expected to fill up and drink from their own eco-friendly reusable bladders/bottles.
The drive from USJ took us less than 20 minutes and once we found a good parking spot, we got in our 1K warm up jog (too short, in hindsight) before taking the short walk to the race start. I’d earlier chewed on a nut bar just to stave off any potential hunger pangs. For this race, I debuted the Nike Vaporfly 4%, having received it last week. I reckon this morning presented the perfect opportunity to get acquainted to it. Once I get one or two more runs in them, I’ll post up my thoughts about these shoes. For hydration, I relied on plain water stored in a 500ml Salomon soft flash stashed into a Salomon belt.
Recent mornings have been very sunny and warm and this race had a 6:30am start. That presented us with a minor concern but the quicker we wrap things up, the less time we spend out there baking in the sun.
Once again, this being a training run, my goal was to maintain a marathon pace effort. This was a 70K week and with 2 more days of running before the scheduled rest, running any faster would be pointless and unnecessary in the whole scheme of things. At least that was the intention. Because it was under 5 minutes right from the flag off! Anyways, I told myself I’ll back off if I felt I was overextending myself. At this point, Calvin and Chiam (C&C) had surged ahead. I was still able to see the leaders up ahead and a handful passed me not 1K into the race.
Traffic control was good as was the enthusiasm of the water station crews. True to Shah Alam’s design, we had to clear a number of roundabouts. They aren’t fun and I’m sure the technical teams didn’t find them easy to manage as well. Nevertheless, I found the control to be above average for the most part. Nick pulled back at one stage and we ran together, keeping one another honest to the pace. We could still maintain conversation which was a good sign. Just before the furthest u-turn, we spotted C&C chasing one another the side of the road. Adidas Sub-2s were hot on the heels of the Zoom Flys! At 8.5K, I found myself still putting in a good shift and decided to hunt for runners in front. My racing strategy has always been that of patience by letting the runners drop back to me. And when I pass a runner, I should be able to hold on to the finish. So it was 1 runner, then another and this went on until I spotted the 2nd placed woman some 300m ahead. Still, I bid my time. It was still too early to push, and they were just out of my range. By the next K, I’d dropped the 2nd woman who was clearly struggling, and was looking out for the lead woman.
I must’ve been so intent on the game at hand that I missed acknowledging some call-outs along the way – sorry guys! Thanks for the shout out 🙂
Having dropped the lead woman not long after, it would take another good 3K before I drew up to Khay Ann and we ran for a bit, still quite comfortably, before a right turn suddenly saw me ahead. I kept the momentum up and pushed for the finish. As I crossed the line, a crew member threw a 5th placed tag on me, gave me a heavy medal and a banana. Pretty pleased with the performance definitely and proved quite a bit that training’s on the right path. I thought there would be some hamper or prize money but alas, prizes were for the top 3 of each categories only. But we were just too happy with our respective results to be too flustered about it. It was a gauge of where we stood in training, after all. My splits of 4:50 > 4:52 > 4:54 > 5:09 > 5:00 > 5:04 > 4:55 > 4:57 > 4:53 > 5:00 > 4:54 > 4:54 > 4:41 > 4:47 > 4:33 gave me a substantial PR in the distance (though a little short).
It was overall a well organized cozy little event around the Kota Kemuning neighborhood. I just love these kinds of events. Being the early ones back to the finish allowed us to check out the booths at the area, mostly exhibiting eco-friendly products and featuring such initiatives. The complimentary ice-cream scoop was heavenly and we even had our chance with vain shots at the insta photo booth.
In closing, my thanks to Nick for picking up the race packs and providing us the ride to and from the race! Where stated, photos are courtesy of Runwitme. Thanks for the use of the photos! You can get the latest updates on the local running scene and more by following Runwitme at http://www.runwitme.blogspot.com.