Monday, March 20, 2006

Trip - Kuala Lumpur Int'l Marathon - 5 Mar 2006

I woke up early on 5 Mar. My room mate, Brokie, also woke up early. She didn't have the habit of having breakfast though so she took something light. Can't remember what she had though. I had some orange juice and water before we left to meet the rest at the lobby. The weather was cool at 0430hrs. Dream, DO were already doing some warm up and stretching exercises. We were joined later by the rest of the runners before taking a slow walk to the start line.

The start line was not crowded. The marathoners like Astro, Weishan, Dream, DO, Kops21, IMD and Mythos were getting themselves ready. I felt excited for them but also relaxed at the same time. This was the first time I actually could take things easy at the start of a marathon event! I took a picture of some of the marathoners before they queue up to mark their attendance. The half-marathoners and I wished them all the best for their journey ahead. Soon, powerful music filled the start line although we felt the choice and timing could be better. :) At 0500hrs, the marathon event was flagged off.

As the half marathon event was not due to commence till 0630hrs, we took a stroll to the 7-Eleven shop. There was nothing much to buy and we returned to the start line. The half marathoners began their stretching exercises and warm-ups. Some of them went for a light jog around the area before depositing their bags with the organiser. We spent sometime chit-chatting, etc. Also took some picture on the runners with their Bib clearly displayed, as well as the traditional runners' shoes, this time, with the ChampionChip tied with the shoe.

The half marathon started off on time. I managed to take a few of the Sgrunners while they ran past me at the start point. I managed to take a few shots though I must admit, they did not turned up well as the visibility was low at that time. Soon, I was alone at the start line, trying to think hard what should I do in the meantime, while waiting for them to appear at the end point. I walked towards the other direction, hopping to check out some makan places to have my breakfast. I did not have much luck. Perhaps, it was still early in the morning! I venture further away from the start line and soon, I came across part of the running route! I became excited when i saw runners approaching. I turned to ask one of the road marshaller what is the distance at that point. He replied that it was the 25km-marker and that only the marathoners had ran past that point. That was around 0648hrs. It was about right. The fastest Sgrunners would arrive around 0700hrs, 2-hours after flagged off. So I decided to station there to catch some nice pictures.

At around 0731hrs, I heard shouts coming from across the road. I realised that the men's champion-elect was running towards the finishing line! I took a picture of him before he disappeared. Back at where I stood, I saw IMD running towards me at around 0732hrs. His yellow outfit was very striking and there was no way I would miss him. Next up was DO, about 30secs further back. 3 mins later, I saw DreamRunner's with this red running-tee. I then took a break to examine the photos. To my horror, I had switched to a different mode which require a camera stand for stability! I was shocked at my carelessness. I quicky switched back to the more traditional mode, cursing and swearing that I should have checked out the settings earlier. :( The next runner was Weishan which ran past me around 0754hrs. Around 9 mins later, I saw Kops21 listening to his music, happily running and waving past me. Another 9 mins past and this time, Mythos ran past me, wearing his SCSM blue tee and sunglasses.

By then the 1/2 marathoners started to run past me. It was extremely difficult to catch some of them due to the color of their running tee. But I could not mistaken those of
Choonwei (more of his running style and hairstyle), Freddy, Run3, Renoh, Brokie (with her chop chop), Cokiee, Sotong, Sportventurer, and David. Sotong was the fastest to recover and he was the first to arrive at my aid as I was rather urgent, since I had been standing at that spot for the last 2hrs 5mins. Also, I was expecting IMD, DO and DreamRunner to come in anytime towards the marathon finishing line, which was why i had to re-station myself. I then left Sotong there to take the remaining of the Sgrunners like IMD's girlfriend and Lactic Acid.

At the other end, IMD was the 1st to arrive. Luckily for me, I managed to capture 2 nice shots of him, smiling broadly into my camera lens. Next, DO and DreamRunner appeared together. Since I had no shot of myself, I requested Run3 to take a photo of me if I managed to catch hold of Weishan and Astro. I waited for both of them under the overhead flyover. Weishan was the first to arrive and I paced her to the end of the finishing line. And just as we were wondering if Astro could make it back in 6 hours since she just recovered from illness, I saw her outstanding blue color outfit. Cokiee, Renoh and myself managed to push her through the last part of the run. We were all glad and happy that she made it back in time.

We took a group photo at the finsihing line with all the Sgrunners and when back to check out from the hotel. Next on our agenda was to replenish after the morning exertion, especially for the runners. We went to Hotel Equatorial's Japanese Restaurant. The food was ok as I did not really enjoy raw fish although the soup was wonderful. After lunch, we bid farewell to one another although most of us took the 1st class bus coach back to Singapore. I really enjoyed myself photographing fellow Sgrunners for this trip. I had so much fun and I would definitely support them in future.

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