Sunday, January 1, 2006

Looking Back - Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2005

I attempted the Kuala Lumpur Marathon just 7 weeks after Khon Kaen Marathon. It was held on 6 Mar 2005. I chose Kuala Lumpur as I couldn't travel further. Also, it was the only marathon during the period that I was able to travel. Travelling from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur was a breeze. I took the KTM railway and the whole journey took around 6 hours. By the time I reached Kuala Lumpur, it was around 9pm in the evening. The journey via taxi from the train station to the hotel was short and I was able to get a good night sleep.

I went to pick up my BIB from the marathon expo on Sat. I was hoping to get some good deals from the expo. Unfortunately, the expo was extremely small, which was a disappointment. The organisers also did not manage to have the right t-shirt size and I got a size L despite indicating for a size S during registration. Lucky for me, I still managed to buy some packets of Power Gel and 100 Plus from the expo. I also bought a HRC city-tee as the Hard Rock Cafe was just next to the host hotel.

Thereafter, I went to Chinatown to have my usual carbo-loading lunch. I ordered omelette egg, fried beef, fish and 2 bowls of rice! I was able to finish everything as I was hungry. I then made my way to the KLCC Tower and managed to take some nice pictures of it. However, there was no time for me to shop around. I proceeded back to my hotel to rest and also watched some TV programmes for the rest of the night.

As with the Khon Kaen Marathon, I did not train sufficiently for the marathon. So I was worried standing at the start of the marathon. The start line at the Medeka Stadium was very spacious. There were also rows of mobile toilets available. However, all the marathoners were made to go through manual registration at the entry to the start point. I supposed it was the only way to ensure the runners for other event did not start with the marathoners. However, what was unacceptable was that these process was administered by a few volunteers, which jammed up the entrance to the marathon start line! Nevertheless, I was lucky to queue earlier than most runners.

The marathon started at 5am. I started more slowly than Khon Kaen. By 8.30am, I ran into those who ran in the Half-Marathon event. It was pretty demoralising knowing that they were going to finish while I had another 1/2 to go. :( Nevertheless, I pounded on the road slowly, which by now, was getting more dusty as we were running around the city area. The next 15km or so was the hardest that I had ever run (less the Singapore Marathon in 2004). Also, there were no mile or km marker so it became extremely hard to pace myself within the timing. The volunteers along the route were helpful although the information given out were somewhat inaccurate. This led me to believe that I had another 4km to run, which turned out to be more than that.

By the time I reached the 40km mark, an uncle (volunteer) urged me to run faster as it was very closed to the official cut-off time of 6-hrs. This really woke me up as I did not want to miss out on finishing within the official timing. Somehow, I gathered enough energy to sprint back to the Medeka Stadium in the official net time of
5hrs 57mins 45mins! Phew! I made it and received a nice golden medal for my effort. Overall, the race was well organised in that everything were done in an orderly manner. However, the oragniser should look into proper mileage marker as well as regular aid stations as this part of the world was hot and humid. I was glad that I could strike off Malaysia from the list of countries that I had attempted a marathon.

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