Friday, August 12, 2011

PJ Half Marathon ... Twenty Two Years Ago.

I was going through my old stuff this evening and came across my old race number bib from 1989, my first ever half-marathon run. It brought back some happy memories of running. Twenty two years ago, on the 6th of August, I was a skinny wee lad of 22 waking up at an ungodly hour of 5am to follow my best buddy down to the Padang Timor field in PJ, which was the race start/finish location to run in a half-marathon that I practically never trained nor prepared for.

Race number bibs of bygone days ..
I wasn't really unfit, at that time I was pretty heavily involved with the martial arts of Tae Kwon-do but that didn't mean I could actually run a half-marathon. I only went because I thought it was a fun thing to do (I was delusional). I even ran with my martial arts Gi bottom under my track pants, yes I actually wore a martial arts Gi and track pants to run the event ... hahaha! At the first sponging station, I soaked myself silly and my clothes ended up weighing twice its weight!

Well, suffice to say, I practically struggled throughout the 21KM and was literally crawling through the finish line 22 seconds from the cutoff time of 2:30:00! I came in with a time of 2:29:38, to say I was cutting it close would be an understatement. But, I was exhilarated for even crossing the finish line and not giving up. I ran/walked/crawled but I didn't give up and swore that I would do better the following year.

2:29:38 ...
The week after that event, I started training in earnest for the event the following year. I put my heart and soul into running and having a best buddy to run with and against paid volumes for me. We were constantly pushing and spurring each other to do better with each run. I was also young and could take the punishing regime of training on a daily basis back then.

The retro looking programme book ...
All that paid off for me in the next installment of the PJ Half Marathon the following year and I managed to cut my qualifying time by a whole 20 minutes! I was ecstatic. I knew from that moment that running was all I wanted to do. I did take part in a few more races but work and other commitments (namely being lazy) got in the way and I put running on the sidelines for years. I did try to revive my running a few times but it didn't last long.

That was until last year when the wife and me decided that we need to get fit again. Well, with that first step of starting again, I would say the rest is history. I'm running better and faster than I ever was in my youth, though I wish I had taken advantage of this when I was much younger, who knows, I could be running even faster than I am today. But all that aside, I wonder how I could even put running on hold for so long.

These days, I don't think a day goes by without me thinking about running, yes I do think of you too, honey ... LOL! But going through all my old running stuff sure brought back some fun running times I had with my best buddy. Those were the days.

Now though, I can start a whole new chapter of running with the wife and maybe one day when we're old and grey and we're not running (god forbid!) anymore, we can sit back on that rocking chair in the porch as the sun sets and reminisce about our running days :D

With that said and done, does anyone know if the PJ Half Marathon for this year is going to be held at all? I read about it months ago but now there's just deafening silence. I would give my right arm and left toe to participate in it again.


4 comments:

  1. 1989. I was in Form 3. Hated any long distance running. What a long time that was.

    Wow! You still keep all those running mementos. Salute!

    :)

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  2. Lina, Form 3? LOL! I hated sporting activity in school too so it actually amazes me why I love running so much these days.

    Yes, I even have the bib numbers of the next 4 installments of the PJ half ... hehehe!

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  3. 1989... I too am very young & hated distant running the most. I can still remember I normally DNF the 1500m run in secondary school. LOL

    On this year PJ Half Marathon, saw En Rustam (PACM) reply on Facebook said it will be on 30 Oct. But don't have any official announcement yet.

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  4. Neoh - LOL! I used to try my best to skip my school's cross country events!

    30th October? Cool, I'll definitely keep an eye out for it :D

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