Sunday, November 3, 2013

2XU Compression Run 2013: Race Report

I signed up for this race way back during the StandChart expo. Back then I was looking forward to running this cos I've only run one other 15k race in my entire life, yes, pathetic I know. This seemed like a good choice for a second try.

Due to the haze and postponement of the SCKLM, this race was also re-scheduled to this weekend from an earlier planned date. Back then not much info was forthcoming such as the all important route for the run. But then, how hard could a 15k be, right? Especially one starting in Padang Merbuk. Boy, how wrong I was.

The route info was only released a few days prior to the race which I thought was seriously unprofessional of them. Sounds petty I know but I like to analyze my race route and plan my strategy accordingly and please don't tell me to expect the unexpected. So with the route info only being released 3 days or so prior to the race, I decided to just treat this run as part of a training run. No expectations, no goals, no nothing.

My dog decides that a sexier pose is needed this time around ...
Arman did give a little warning a week earlier that it was going to be hell, so a day prior to race day, the wife and me took a drive along the race route and what I saw had me wanting to cry. I used to curse Ammah hill but not anymore. The incline that I was looking at around the 8k mark seemed to reach the heavens with no respite. The other inclines littering the rest of the route was no slouch either. It was going to be hell, that much was guaranteed.

Come race day, the weather was simply awesome with heavy rain just before the start which saw the start being delayed by 10 minutes. Any other day, I would have used the weather to my advantage and put pedal to the metal but not today. I was going to stick to my plan of a training run. I just didn't have the heart or energy to attack those monstrous hills awaiting me.

Started the race with the usual suspects from the GCAM Alumni, Choon Yuen, Kew, Piew, Yan Leng, Zane and YeeHoo. The guys and lone girl decided to take off on a faster paced start. I hung back and ran with Choon Yuen, who was nursing an injury. Like I said, I didn't have a target or goal. The only thing I wanted was to finish, head back home and sleep!

The scenery at the top of the second crazy incline.
Pic courtesy of the wife.
Both CY and me trotted ahead at an easy pace chit-chatting and making fun of people as we ran. Ok, ok, we were a little evil in that way but heck, I'm sure there were people making fun of us, so it's only fair, right? LOL! The weather was simply divine for running and we were pretty familiar with the first half of the route.

Skipped the first two water stations, wasn't thirsty at all cos of the cool weather. The first two inclines, the KTM station and the long stretch after that was easily tackled. Stopped at the 3rd station to get a quick sip before hitting the third incline just before the reverse double hills. Around this point, CY told me to go on ahead cos his injury was flaring up.

Was sad to lose the good company but I went ahead on my own. I upped the pace and thought of trying to catch up with the rest of the GCAM guys and gal but they were on a blistering pace today. No sign of them up ahead and I decided to tone back the speed, save the legs for the crazy inclines which were looming just a kilometer away.

I had a little spat with the guy manning the water-station just before the Jalan Duta stretch who was scolding runners and telling them not to pick up the cups of water which had me sarcastically telling him to just close shop and go home instead. A few other runners told him off too, some in not so nice words, which I thought he totally deserved.

Anyways, the crazy first incline leading to the heavens turned up and I ran up as much as I could, which was about halfway and walked the other half to the top. Then it was thankfully downhill but another incline was just around the corner. This one was manageable and I ran up all the way, which was where I met YeeHoo and then Andrew soon after.

Just at the top of this incline came a warning to lookout for steep down slope, which was actually really steep! Trudged downhill real slow cos it was wet and slippery and rolling down this hill wasn't an option. Just about 300 meters from the foot of this down slope came another killer incline with one kilometer up and another kilometer down. This was made worse cos it was a u-turn and seeing others run down while you were suffering was not a good thing. I managed to run up almost all the way but had to stop to walk up towards the top.

Pic courtesy of the wife ...
Took a sip of water at the water station there and seeing that I was surprisingly still fresh albeit a little out of breath was my cue to ramp up the pace. So it was a sprint downhill and all the way to the finish which saw me hitting a 4:30 - 4:45 pace for the final 3K. Even then, I still couldn't catch up with the GCAM fellows, so you can imagine how fast they were running today. Kudos to all of them! Everyone of them has improved tremendously.

I crossed the finish in a respectable 1:38 (to me anyway) to cap a satisfactory run for only my second ever 15K race, though no PB for it cos the first one was done a lot faster than this one. Caught up with the gang for our usual after race banter while waiting for the rest to arrive and also for the wife who was still gamely slogging it out on the route finishing her run.

Would I run this crazy route again? Nope but then, ask me again in a week or so and I just might say yes ... LOL! As much as I hate this route, I just might agree to getting Jamie to plan a training run session here again one day!

Aside from the water-station incident I thought it was a well organized event. The medal looks cool and is one of the better medals I got this year. Hope to see this around again next year cos as much as I bitched about route, I did enjoy the early morning run along with the rest of the equally insane bunch of runners who wake up at ungodly hours, look for very limited parking and run in the cold early morning rains.

Now to go de-stress with a nice long run along my now favourite Ammah hills this Tuesday :D

8 comments:

  1. Wow! This is fast!

    Pebbles looks great, BTW ;-)

    Nice job there Capn! I bet you'll turn this route as your training ground pretty soon. :-P

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    1. Don't know what angin masuk Pebbles today ... hahaha!

      I probably will but not so soon la, the nightmare of the inclines still fresh!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kew but you were simply on fire today man! Good job to you too!

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  3. No mention of the 'ironman'? And thanks for the first 7km I would probably walk earlier if not for your company

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    1. Hahaha .. forgot about her la. That 'ironman' did provide some good entertainment for a while with her antics, didn't she? LOL!

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