But I relented when she said that it would be like a holiday and what holiday can better with a race thrown in. I couldn't argue with that point so I signed up for it. We left the boys and the little dog at home with my mom and off we drove to Cameron yesterday.
|She's happy posing today cos she has a trophy too this time ...|
I guess Cameron is everyone's favourite holiday destination. I was fuming and that bittered my first impression of the place. But once we finally reached Tanah Rata and seeing our place of accommodation, the cool, refreshing air and greenery around, my mood changed for the better.
|The serene and beautiful night scene just outside our room ...|
You can save a heck of a lot on electricity bills staying in Cameron cos you don't need air-conditioning or even a ceiling fan, the place was just like a perpetual icebox and I was sneezing away quite a bit. I have a sensitive nose and too much cold tends to get me into a sneezing fit.
The race itself was a small 'boutique' race with a small group of participants. Everyone was pretty cheerful for such a cold morning. Did a couple of warm up loops to get the blood flowing which failed miserably. I was having a tough time getting the body warmed up cos of the biting morning cold.
|Totally bundled up prior to race start ...|
|Julie Wong keeping an eye on the runners coming back ...|
Running on a high altitude is a whole ball game altogether. I had to slow down to a walk (at the 2KM mark at that!) to take lungs full of air and to regain my composure. Serves me right for being a cocky little bastard and not heeding professional advise. It took me quite a while to get hold of myself before I could start running again.
I lost a lot of time. Even though it was a torturous uphill all the way, the body and legs just weren't warming up fast enough to get into a proper running mode. Finally at the 7KM mark, the legs started to warm up properly and came into play. The breathing was much better now that I knew how to breathe properly and from that point on it was playing catch up.
I upped my turtle powered first half pace and kicked into a steady 5:10-5:20 pace all the way back to the finish coming in with a time of 1:10:52, far off my usual 12K timing but was delighted to be told I was third place in my category, the men's veteran.
|My five seconds of fame :P|
But even getting third place cannot beat what this young fellow said to me after the race:
'Bro, you 35 year old guys are all pretty fast one la', he said.
'Urmmm bro, I'm 45 years old la!, I replied.
'Seriously? You don't look 45, you look like you're in your thirties la' was his response.
Man, being mistakenly identified as 10 whole years younger sure beats a third placing anytime. That made my entire morning ... hahaha!
But jokes aside, what I learned from this run today was not to be such an arrogant cocky little guy and heed the advise of the more seasoned runners when they dish it out. After all, that's why they're called seasoned runners, right?
The organization of the run, though on a small scale was handled pretty well, I must say. There was enough signage, static and mobile marshals at critical point of the route to guide you well. It would be pretty difficult to get lost on the run and there was even two water stations for the runners.
|Doesn't this tree look like a fish that has just been eaten with just the bones remaining?|
After the small medal and trophy presentation, the wife and me headed back to the hotel, rested for a bit and started our long arduous drive back to KL and I really mean arduous cos it took us ages to reach home! While Cameron Highlands is a beautiful place, unless I own a helicopter, I don't think I want to suffer through the drive up there again!