Desa Park City Run 2011

You know they’re excited when they wake up at the first calling. Both of their bib were already pasted on their singlets the night before, shorts laid out as well. No dilly-dallying over their milk and we were out 5 minutes head of scheduled for the long drive to Desa Park City. It would be a very long wait for the Carbokids’ turn, what with the 9:40am start. Race Director, Peter Lautredoux wanted a safe run for the kids hence the late start. There were 2 categories for the kids – Under 9 and Over 9, covering a 600m dash and 2.2K respectively.

My pre-race food was some pre-soaked chia and some leftover soft drink. Nothing bad happened to the gut, thankfully. We got to the spanking new International School @ Park City early. There were still parking spots in front of the school. Julie was already at work greeting the runners, young and old, to the event. Everyone was chilling out waiting for the 7am start for the 5K Fun Run and the 7:10am start for the 10K. With 25 minutes to go, I got ready for my warm up with some striders. Also warming up were Daniel, Ronnie, YS Lee, Jason Loh. Even though the familiar speedsters in the form of triathletes were there, the event has a decidedly family atmosphere, unlike the youthful allure of the Nike “We Run KL” 10K happening in downtown KL. Suited me just fine.

Once the 5K runners were let off, it was time for us to get into position. There wasn’t any race plan other than just run a sustained effort, hang on as much as possible going up the 600m hill (we had been warned in the runners’ notes) and put in a strong finish. There were obviously many who were queued up in the wrong position (non-readers of the Race Etiquette obviously) but within the first 200m, I was cleared to run at my own pace without the weaving in and out. The rolling route was nice to run, sustain the uphills and free up the legs as I rolled down. That was until the promised 600m climb where I was really tempted to walk. But there was no one walking as far as my eyes could see, so I shuffled up the tougher-than-Ammah Hill-hill. Reached the top with my tongue hanging out, stepped on the mat (timing was done by ChampionChip), allowed a brief peep at the panoramic view of Desa Park City and ran down as fast as I could, hoping to make up the lost time.

Storming downhill before the final uphill sprint. Managed to overtake 2 runners around the turn. Photo courtesy of Tey ET.
Storming downhill before the final uphill sprint. Managed to overtake 2 runners around the turn. Photo courtesy of Tey ET.

I’d given up running with Tay Poh Chye, an absolutely wrong person to pace with (but a nice guy all the same) whom I saw up ahead. I drew up to Boston-bound Khoo Yit Kiat, who was taking this run as the start to his marathon training. Note that he was jogging, while I was already near maxed out. A loop around the commercial center and we were back to the finishing area of the International School. A short downhill followed by an uphill sprint for a finish time of 49:48 (averaging 4:55 pace, clearly slowed down in the treacherous hill section). I was happy nevertheless as I don’t think I’ve hit a sub-50 timing this year, so few short races had I run in 2011. But I’d really love to have a 4:45 average.

Hydrating before their start.
Hydrating before their start.
Rookie met the Legend.
Rookie met the Legend. Legend told the rookie to run his legs off.

Plenty of waiting around for the kids to start their run and we checked out the school. An obviously upmarket establishment, the classrooms were Mac equipped. When the Over 9 kids were called to the starting line, everyone was gathered by the starting area, eager to catch the action. Definitely fun to watch the kids run and Raymond The Tomatoman, who was the marshal on the bike, remarked at how fast the kids were.

Fast and Furious start for the Over 9s. The girl in white and grey (center right) was the eventual winner.
Fast and Furious start for the Over 9s. The girl in white and grey, a triathlete, (center right) was the eventual winner.

Then it was the Carbokids’ turn. I walked them to the starting area and reminded them not to go out too fast, and if tired to just walk. Prior to that, I’d ensured that they laces were already double-knotted 🙂 . I positioned myself on the opposite side of the road while my wife and Mom at the Start/Finish. You can see from the photo and videos below, how cute they were. It was only 600m but to many of them it was already akin to a 5K!

C2 showed good form and steady pace towards the finish. He didnt stop to walk on this uphill section!
C2 showed good form and steady pace towards the finish. He didn’t stop to walk on this uphill section!

Threes a company.
Three’s a company.

Both completed but did walk on a few occasions, which was just fine. The thing was they finished and it was an eye opening experience for them. Now if only there are more kids’ outings! Peter and his team did a great job with the event and hopefully we’ll see it returning next year.