Sunday, September 9, 2012

Adidas KOTR 2012 Race Review

The first race for the month of September, the Adidas King of the Road just came and went and I must say I pretty much enjoyed the event. This is our second year participating in this event. It is actually one of my favourite events for two reasons. One is because it is just a stones throw away from where I live and the second being the fact that the roads are entirely closed which keeps those annoying, pesky and impatient motorists at bay :-)

The wife and me headed to the race location early like we always do and encountered a hitch in trying to access the parking area at Sunway Pyramid. They stopped us from entering the CP4 parking bay ramp though it was clearly stated in their race guide that participants would be allowed through. I had to make my way round the back and park outside Sunway Pyramid which was no big deal cos I arrived early and parking was still pretty much available. But it was still pretty annoying, Adidas, when your race guide says one thing and your volunteers do something else! Aside from that small hitch, everything else was pretty spot on. Met a couple of familiar faces and some new ones which included Wiliam, a Daily Mile buddy.

The Queen of the house with my King of the Road Medal
The wife and me did a short 2k warm up on the totally closed off NPE before race start to loosen the early morning tight muscles before heading to the race pen. I decided to stick to the middle section of the pen as I had a race strategy all planned out which included starting slower. Starting in front would have ruined that cos I would have followed the pace of the more enthusiastic front runners and ruin my plans.

The route ahead wasn't as easy as it may seem with a few killer inclines along the way that called for a conservative start and pace. I learnt that lesson the hard way last year by being too overly enthusiastic at the start and suffering on the early inclines. My race strategy this year called for patience. The race started right on time and the trudge across the start was slow. In fact the first 2k was pretty slow going with all the runners still pretty much bunched together which was fine since it fit my plans just nice.

Just before flag off ... I like that guy on the left sneaking in a pose ... LOL!|
The pace for the first 2k was kept to a 6-ish pace. The crowds started spreading out just after the 2k mark. Shifted into second gear of my agenda to tackle that first long incline and to slowly catch up with the front runners. Skipped the first water station just before the incline at the third kilometer. I was still pretty much hydrated. Since I was well prepared to face the incline, it didn't pose too much of a problem for me. Kept to a nice, fast, short strides and before I knew it, that part of the run was over and done with. Now for the next stage of the run, which still had a few more inclines to tackle but not as bad as this one was.

The pace throughout the next 10 kilometers was averging at a steady 5:20's to 5:30's. The legs were totally in the zone churning out step afte step without any issues, which I was thankful for. My one biggest worry was my calf issues cropping up again. The sun was pretty much out by this time. I hit the u-turn back to the finish, at approximately 8k and I knew it was going to be a hot final 8k back. Decided to stop at every water station and pour a nice, cold cup of water over my head which helped with the heating issues.

The final stretch was pretty flat with one last tough incline at the 15k mark. The last 3k or so though was pretty chaotic for me, since that was where the 10k runners merged with the 16.8k runners and the road got just a tad too crowded. I had to weave my way through which had a slight impact on my pacing. It is not a nice feeling having to weave through a crowd when you're tired.

You're all set to race that last few clicks back to the finish but having to side step a crowd can take your breath away quite a bit, especially more so with that last killer incline thrown in. But I managed to perservere and made a final charge to the finish in a time of 1:31:46 which was what I was aiming for. The race plan was followed to a tee, which I'm pretty much happy worked out as well as I planned :-) That made the race a pretty good one for me.

Runners coming in at the finish ...
Saw the Skechers team of Ivan, Adeline and another colleague of theirs which I failed to get her name, at the finish in support of the two (or was it 3?) officially sponsored Skechers runners for the event. Caught up with them for a bit after collecting my medal and then waited at the finish for the wife. Managed to catch Naveen, Atan, Lina and a few others crossing the finish before finally heading inside Sunway for a nice cool drink and then heading home.

My apologies to those who called out to me and whom I had a blur look on my face cos I didn't really recognise you guys. It was the lack of oxygen la ... hahaha! I'm actually bad with faces but it was nice meeting you guys :-)

I ran in my favourite race shoe, a blue Skechers GOrun and as expected, the shoe worked really well for me though I made the mistake of leaving my slippers in the car, which was quite a distance away and those who've run in the GOrun would know just how freaking painful it can be trying to walk in that shoe, especially so after you've just ran a race in it!

Yours truly taking advantage of the empty NPE to pose ... 
Overall, it was a pretty well organized event with hardly any hitches. The water stations were spot on, the volunteers were more than enough at the stations (I made it a point to thank each and every volunteer I came across during the race), traffic management was superb, well with the roads closed, there was hardly any need for that :-) The collection of the medals were a breeze with the runners ushered nicely through by the friendly and smiling volunteers. The medals were nicely designed too. A big kudos goes out to them for a job well done. I had fun, loads of it :-)

See you next year, Adidas!


The well designed medal


6 comments:

  1. It was an awesome run. :D congrats to n your wife, Nick!
    The volunteers were great and they even shifted the tables n drinks located at Km6(?) for runners approaching km13. :)
    Looking forward to next year's event.

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    1. Yes, it was. There were in the midst of moving the tables when I was passing by, thought it was awesome of them to do that.

      Definitely going again for next year :D

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  2. Congrats! It's one of the races that I have "overlooked". Will try to take part next year.

    BTW, looking good! Keep up the good pace.

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    1. You must come Francis, It's a nice race and a little challenging too :D

      Thanks Francis, still a long ways off but am happy with the current slow but steady increase in performance :D

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  3. Congratulation on completing another great race.

    The photos of people congestion really scared me leh, my middle pack kind of speed will sure jammed like hell :P

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    1. Thanks Neoh :D

      That congestion cleared up after about 2K, then it was pretty smooth running. It did help to keep my pace slower at the start though which is good cos I tend to normally run a little too fast at race starts.

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