The Newton 25K Challenge is strangely a race that happened twice in the same year. Earlier in the year, January 1st to be specific, I ran this race for the first time and for reasons only the organizers can comprehend, I'm running it for the second time this year.
The build up to this race actually had me pretty worried about running it and could have possibly been my first DNS of the year. Three weeks prior to this run, I sustained an injury to my ankle. Being a stubborn headed person, instead of resting I kept on running, even doing a trail run at that and kinda made it worse.
|I hope I don't have to pose with his medals next year ...|
I was glad that I wouldn't have to pull myself out of the race but coupled with the Christmas merry making and the enforced rest, my stamina took a dip in form. I would just have to rely on my determination and resolve to better my previous timing during the first edition of this race as my motivation. It wasn't going to be easy, mind you.
|With the 12K Women's Open winner, Sheela ...|
I had already planned to go easy this time around, taking the ankle into consideration but wanted to also make sure I could better my previous timing. After all, I wanted to end the race year on a good note. The race started on time. I started from way behind and it took me close to 3 minutes to cross the small start arch.
|The finish line in sight ... pix courtesy of Lina|
There were three slight changes, for the better if you ask me, to the route keeping it more confined, especially with the doing away of the previously boring Persiaran Lestari Perdana stretch but another steep incline was put in to replace that stretch. I guess you can't win them all.
|With Lina after the race ... pic courtesy of Lina|
Thank god though, that once I got back to the flatter terrain and even the inclines, the pain was a lot more muted. I decided that I would speed up during these stretches as much as I could without totally damaging the ankle. The only good thing was after the 20K mark, it was mostly flats and I could get up to speed. Ran back the last 4k with a much faster pace and squeezed in across the finish with a time of 2:36 taking off close to 14 minutes of the previous edition of this run though it was an under-distanced race.
I don't have much to bitch about the race though I would have preferred if they did provide Isotonic drinks at the water stations or at least every alternate station instead of the measly one station around the 17K (I think). Water alone wasn't cutting it for me. I guess Isotonic sponsorship was a problem. Overall it was a decently organized race and I had fun, well as much fun as one can have trying to negotiate one incline after another ... LOL!
A big congrats goes out to the wife for attempting and finishing her longest distanced race to date. Well done, honey :D You've come a long way since you started running and I'm looking forward to seeing you do a lot more!
Met a lot of friendly faces before, during and after the run, which is always a good thing. I decided at the last minute to switch my race shoe from the Skechers GOrun 2 to the more tried and trusted GObionic which performed exceptionally well as always :D The GOrun 2 will have to wait till next week for me to race test it at the MPIB run, my first race of the new year.
And that concludes my races for this year. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you out there a blessed New Year and may we all keep on running happily and injury free!