Sunday, May 19, 2013

KL Tower International Sunrise Towerthon Challenge 2013: Spectator Review

The wife first caught glimpse of this event on TV during the news many years ago, so when the KL Tower International Sunrise Towerthon Challenge was opened for registration she thought of signing up. I told her to go ahead and leave me out of it. Stairs, especially 2,058 of them and me don't get along too well. Give me a good old road surface to suffer on for 5 hours and I'd gladly do it rather than have to climb some vertical route one step at a time.

The daunting tower ...
She said it would be a good experience and signed up for it with me officially being her driver and cheerleader for the event. I think she's insane but heck, each to their own ... LOL! This would also be the first time I would spectate while she ran. Since I don't have a race report to write, I thought I'd write a spectator review (if there is such a thing) for her.

The wife is a very low key and shy person unlike her vain pot husband ... hahaha ... so don't expect to see pictures of her here. She wants to remain very much under the radar so much so that of all my running buddies, I think only Jamie, Frank, Neoh and Kah Yen has met her before.

The woman of mystery with her GOrun 2 she chose for the race ...
Anyways, back to my report. We picked up the race kit a day earlier at the Telekom Museum. The race kit collection was so well organised that we were in and out in 5 minutes flat. We took a drive to KL Tower after that to give the wife a feel of the first 800m incline before hitting the stairs and upon seeing the start incline I was laughing my head off at the wife completely not sympathizing with the torture she was going to go through on race day. I'm evil that way :D

The smooth flowing race kit collection ...
We got to the race location around 6am cos the wife wave was set to be flagged off at 7.30am. Parking was easily found at one of the office buildings nearby. Most people just parked by the road side but I wasn't risking a summons or my car being towed away.

Runners warming up ...
The place was already full of people, runners and spectators alike seeing as how the men's open were flagged off in waves around 5am (I think) and decided to find a place to sit and wait her flag off. It started to rain and I started cursing, not because it was raining but because whenever I join races it never rains. Here I am being a spectator and now it rains. Life isn't fair sometimes.

The men's open flag off ...
The wife headed to the start pen somewhere around 7.15am and I waited to see her flag off. Caught up with Kew who had already done his insane run up those crazy stairs. My respects go out to him for taking on the challenge. Then the horn blared for the first wave of the women's flag off.

Some really 'late' starters ...
I wonder if they (save for the elites) knew that the incline for the first 800m had a gradient of 8.5 degrees cos they all took off like it was a nice flat downhill stretch. I knew they were going to pay for that. My observations were true cos by the first 200 metres, loads of them very already huffing and puffing. Evil me was sniggering inside. At least the wife heeded my earlier advice and took a nice, slow, easy jog up.

The long and winding climb, 200m into the start ...
With time on my hands, I headed up to the tower lobby, which was also quite an effort to reach at a leisurely walk pace let alone run. Lots of the earlier finishers were lingering around taking in whatever drinks were available. 100 plus and Dutch Lady were on hand and I was rueing the fact that they should have had these ice cold drinks at the Deuter finish last week!

While waiting, I caught up with Ivan and Adeline of Skechers Malaysia who were there for one of the Skechers sponsored runners. After seeing to their runner who had left by then, they decided to wait with me for the wife to finish her run which I thought was nice of them.

Just before the start entrance to the stairs ...
The wife was ecstatic to finally reach up the top of the tower. Her account of it was that it was so darned stuffy, crowded, wet and slippery on some stretches, loads of vomit here and there which made it an obstacle course to avoid them and some idiot decided to add to all that by farting in the stairwell ...hahaha!

According to her, those overly enthusiastic at the start of the climb were later overtaken by her when she found them slumped in exhaustion along the way. Her entire strategy which was planned the night before was to take it slow and easy and don't rush up those stairs, after all, it wasn't like a podium finish was on the line or anything. The idea was to complete it with the least possible pain and I must say she did so much better than I expected. Kudos to her!

The start to the stairs ...
Overall I would have to say the event was nicely organized. Water stations were plentiful with one just at the top of the 800m stretch and according to the wife, about 4 more in the tower itself on specified levels. The stations were mixed with water and isotonics, which future race organisers should take note of, especially the isotonics part.

Traffic could have been handled a little better though cos cars were still being allowed through the road up which the runners use and also past the start point of the main lobby stair section. A little bit of carelessness from a driver and things could have gotten ugly. I would have just sealed off the road, save for medical vehicles but then, what do I know.

The barren looking stairwell ... pic courtesy of the wife.
It is a nice experience for her and she was pretty happy with her performance so much so that when she reached home, she said she wasn't even tired! The show off ... LOL! I think I was more tired being a spectator than she was running the event. She received a nice, albeit slightly big, finisher medal which she can lay claim to that I don't have. The worst thing is, she's ready for another round next year!

The long wait for the lifts ... pic courtesy of the wife.
The wife told me the top three men's open winners were all Kenyan's, now why am I not at all surprised :D Would I join this next year? Not in a million years, even if you paid me a millions bucks and threw in Jennifer Lopez along with it! Well ... urrmmmm .. maybe the Jennifer Lopez part might change my mind la ... hahaha!

Her slightly big finisher medal ...

6 comments:

  1. Hats off to your wife for her spunk.

    I would pass this too. Hate hate hate stairs. LOL

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    1. She has my utmost respect for finishing this in one piece :D

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  2. Wahhh.. this is one very pretty medal... and you don't have it. Congrats to your wifey.. and urmm... i can lay claim that i have seen your mystery wife too :D

    my nephew was also running it.. with his uni buddies.

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    1. This is one race where I don't mind not having a medal ... LOL!

      Annyboo, of course you've seen her, you're an old friend of ours la. It's been too long, when we meeting up again?

      He was? Not that I would recognize him anyway ... hahaha!

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    2. June.. and you are buying coffee for both of us ;)

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    3. Sure, as long as it's at some cheap mamak under a tree somewhere, the water will also be on me ... hahaha!

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