The entire event was under threat of a bad haze enveloping parts of the country. The situation was so bad that I was contemplating to skip the event but decided to play by ear and wait till race day to weigh my options. I didn't want to miss this run not because I was intending to try for a PR or anything but simply because me and the entire gang were running our respective races in support of a very good friend.
If fact, this would be my longest distanced run in nearly two months since recovering from my knee injury. A conservative pace was in order. This marks only my second time running the half in the Putrajaya Night Marathon, with the previous two installments being the full marathon. I simply wasn't interested in reliving the pain of running a night marathon in the humidity of Putrajaya. It was a wise decision.
Thankfully, the haze let up a little on race day and the event was a go, not that the organizers actually had any intention of calling it off that late in the game anyway. Too much was already spent for it to be called off. The wife (who was also running the half) and me made our way early to the race location, bumped into Arman and Suzie before meeting up with Jamie.
|The signature balloons archers of the organizer ...|
|Caught watching the girls ... errr, I mean runners go by ...|
Pic courtesy of the wife.
The first 12k was not too bad. I surprised myself that I could get into a 5:20-5:40 pace through that rolling highway stretch. The entire stretch though, even with a huge TV screen at the 9K mark (I think) was absolutely boring. Safe for the volunteers at the drink station, you were on your own with the darkness of the night. Mind numbing, I tell you.
|A percussion band belting out some catchy tunes ...|
At this point I remembered that I forgot to take my one and only gel and quickly pulled it out and swallowed it down and in my haste I failed to make sure there was a water station nearby. You know la how these gels are when you don't really have water to wash it down. With a sticky taste in my mouth, I continued, hoping the gel would kick it but realistically knowing that it wouldn't really happen, not with one gel at that late stage of the game.
|The half marathoners waiting for flag off.|
Pic courtesy of the wife.
As with most of the Twenty First Century organized events, you get the volunteers personally putting the medal around your neck. I thanked them, quickly grabbed my finisher tee, headed to the car to get a quick change of tee and headed up to meet with Jamie to help him distribute some race flyers. After practically bugging everyone to take a leaflet, I ran back to the 20km mark to wait for the wife and pace her back the final 2km plus to the finish.
|No one fights alone. This is for you 'Iron Man'|
And a big congrats also goes to my GC buddies who ran the SCKLM the next day, who did great in their marathon with a few getting some exceptional PR's and some on their virgin marathon attempts. Great job guys. 'Iron man' will be proud of all of you! As for me, it's time to work harder to keep up with these bunch of speedsters!