Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Running In Distress?

Let's see... why is the title like that? Because the race organisation for this so-called Taiping "International" Marathon was a mess. Big one. There are plenty of hate comments abound over at FB and I won't get into too much detail about it.

I prepared and braced for the worst coming to this race, especially as I've read Doc Julin's post about last year's event a few times over. Despite that, I still registered for it and went to Taiping. Why? Because I wanted to visit Taiping for a "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia". Zaini is rather free this month so I took the opportunity to schedule this trip. If you know us, you'd know that it's hard to see us vacationing somewhere local other than the few places we always visit. KL, PD and Cameron Highlands. That's about it. @.@

Anyway, back to the race.

Let's start with the +ve first :
  • extremely well behaved Taiping drivers who are very patient waiting for us runners to pass through. Not a single honking was heard.
  • friendly people. The traffic police, the "letchumis" waiting for their bus to work, the race marshalls at check-points and the volunteers at the water stations.
  • They dished out nasi lemak to everyone. I mean everyone... except the later arrivals runners la.
Just three +ve? How about the -ves?
  • Chaotic race organisation. Took me like 15 minutes to get my race kit and there was only 2 runners in front of my queueing! Bored looking race officials to who told me I needed to be at the field at 4am when I asked the time for half-marathon flag-off time! 
  • They got my name a bit wrong and I think despite putting up a few categories for female runners during registration (I was supposed to be in Women Jr Veteran), they just lumped everyone over 35 into the Women Veteran category. So I was (and a few more other runners too, I bet) in the over 45years old category! Crazy! Crazier that they put the age category on the bib! I so do not want to advertise that I am anything over 45! Especially when I'm not! 
  • Late flag-off. Very late. Full marathoners were supposed to start at 4.30am and they were only flagged-off at 5.30am! Us half-marathoners were flagged off one hour later than what was advertised on their website. At 6.00am.
  • Water stations - instead of pouring drinks into cups, we were handed the 500ml mineral water bottles. Earlier runners got Pop drinks. I got mineral water. Later runners got nothing. Such wastage. Again, I fault the organiser and not the volunteers.
  • Absolutely no portable toilet available along the route. NONE. Wanna go pee? Run to the nearest petrol station lah. I thank my lucky stars I didn't need to pee at all before/during/after the run. *wipe sweat*
  •  Never was it mentioned that they are giving out limited medals so those late arrivals crossed the finish line and get... NOTHING. To make it worse, later arrivals full marathoners didn't even get their finisher tee!
  • Not even goodie bag because they put the goodie bag counter somewhere else and I saw that even the Ah So wearing floral blouse (and looking so obviously not running) got goodie bag(s)!
  • No road closure. NONE AT ALL. Good thing Taiping drivers and bikers are all a decent lot so unlike KL drivers so I somehow didn't feel like I was dicing with death running that day.
  • Traffic police presence were only at major junctions. When you see them, they are doing a pretty good job. Friendly too. Encouraging this "Rabbit" to run faster and not lose to "kura-kura" LOL
  • Crazy speech by the head race official blaming everyone for the fiasco that day except himself.
But despite all that, I had to admit that I had fun. I didn't have any expectation and with that attitude, I just had fun. Also, this run was just like my SCKLM run way back in June. Same kind of weather (overcast and not too hot) and lucky me - I had my first day of period on the day of the run... AGAIN! Boohooo!!!
At the starting line. We were sheperded to the MPT building and somehow was "locked-in" there. Can spot me, right?

I started off easy. Can't run fast anyway since the first few KM was congested with us half-marathoners and the road was dark! But despite the darkness, few guys (one in a tiger cap) hollered hi to the "rabbit" an urged her to run faster. muahaha

Immediately faced an incline not even into the first kilometre and was silently cursing those who said the route is relatively flat. An "ayam" - well, he's a barefoot runner wearing the Chap Ayam runners vest said hello at KM5 while we were climbing a flyover. *pant pant* I didn't stop at the first two water stations because I ran with a Gatorade drink. Maintained a 7min pace for about 10K, I think.

I was running with a strong wind pushing from the side before the KM10 (IIRC) and it rained a bit. It was rather hard to run when one was wearing something as un-aerodynamic as a rabbit's ears! Decided to took it and the cap off for a bit, but put it back on because I can't see with all the rain on my specs.

Took a bottle of mineral water at the water station near Giant, threw my empty Gatorade bottle and ran with the mineral water bottle all the way back to the finish line. I was looking forward to isotonic drinks after KM12, but they served Pop drinks. I didn't know Pop is an isotonic drinks. @.@ Such a waste though giving runners full bottle like they did for this Taiping International Marathon. I saw plenty of unfinished bottles strewn all along the road.
Decided I was going to have fun despite the chaos of the run and went all stupid, disturbing unsuspecting people. Took photos with these ladies at a water station because they said I was cute! Bwahaha!!!!
Arrived Taiping's prison at 8.00am sharp and was greeted with a very loud siren. That very ugly photo of mine was the first attempt to take my photo with the Taiping prison signboard. I really need to learn how to camwhore. LOL

Second attempt - without me in the photo proved to be a much better success.
Found this en-route the run. It wastaken because of nostalgic reason. I was an MRSM student. Not Taiping's but my bestfriends (who are all smarter and more hardworking than me) went to Taiping after finishing their SRP (younger people now sits for PMR. Me old already). The creme de la creme of MRSM students all over the country were selected to go to MRSM Taiping while the rest of us continue on studying at our school. 

Trivia : I went to three MRSMs, all in different states! No... not because of indiscipline, wokay! What's MRSM anyway? It's short for Maktab Rendah Sains MARA or MARA Junior Science College. I was in one from Form 1 - Form 5. 5 years of boarding school and I had enough!

Anyway...
After the second flyover climb, we turned left (a police traffic encouraged me to run faster as rabbit cannot lose to tortoise. Thank you Abang trafik!) and it was shady route all the way and on to Taiping Lake Garden.

Met more friendly race mashalls giving out the second check-point ribbons and bantered a bit with them. Also had nice support by the nice lady over at the mat check-point. Thank you for saying I'm cute! Muahaha And encouraging us to go faster. ^^

Hollered hi to a few dog owners walking their dogs... because the dogs are on leash! Dog owners at my place just let their dogs loose to chase me, while they talk on their handphones. Yikes!

It was during the final kilometre that a Kenyan lady marathoner ran past me... leisurely. By this time, I was already run-walking but perked up and made a semblance of running upon reaching McDonald's as I saw many photographers there and they are all pointing their lenses (perasan!) at me! Heard people cheering for "rabbit" and I can't help but smile and pickep up my pace.

And here's the finish line photos. Happy!
  |             
First two photos - unprepared for photogs. LOL
A cramped-up face. Senggugut on full force! Ugh.
All in all, despite possibly running in the worst organised running event; not that I entered a lot though - I had plenty of fun going to Taiping for this. I told Zaini I definitely want to return to Taiping again next year but for another race and not this one!

We stayed at the field until almost 12.00pm, cheering for full marathoners making their way back to the finish line. There were a group of runners who bought drinks for the later arrival full marathoners seeing that there is nothing for them at the finish line; not even race officials! Respect!

Full marathoners, despite their timing deserve respect and of course cheering, clapping and all the support to make it to the finish. It's a pity the race officials didn't see it thay way. I was glad that Zaini humoured me and let me stay and lingered to cheer. ^^

Later, I got another fun! I met with the super generous, exteremly friendly Y & Y sistas! That... soon! :)

104 comments:

  1. Oiii...they sure messed up your spirit and shall we call you Nek Lina for being a veteran runner?? kakakakakaka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought this gadis can beat those grannies and grandpa easily under the veteran category :D but she got #19, not bad either!

      Delete
    2. Don't underestimate those running in Veteran categories. A lot of them have been running for years and can totally smoke younger runners!

      Delete
    3. The old runners are like old ginsengs! More valuable and seasoned with the rough weathers already!

      Delete
    4. or like aged kimchi. Lagi old, lagi kick! xD

      Delete
    5. so nenek also run faster than you? hmm they say that if nenek run faster then must got something wrong...

      Delete
    6. nvr look down on nenek and don't worship youth too much too.

      The women category runner up for king of the road last week was a veteran runner, old enough to be your mom. And she competed in open category!

      You shld read about Zola Budd. She can beat collegiate athletes in her age! :-D

      Delete
  2. KL runners are so fussy until organizers are so scared to make any mistakes like the recent KL Stanchart run. We just have to close one eye sometimes and you still had so much fun anyway! Taiping folks are naturally very warm and nice people! Must be the abundant rain that keeps them moist and friendly. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SCKLM is good what. Granted the kids dash was a mess but it was good. xD

      Runners are now spoilt for choice. Can be fussy and demand for more.

      I guess nothing wrong for wanting the best. No? ;p

      Hahaha I agree Taiping people are moist and friendly. wakaka

      Delete
    2. Or maybe I can say Taiping peoplel have lower requirement and expectation. We seldom complain much, but we love cheap and freebies stuffs, kekekek!

      Delete
    3. I guess Lina didn't read all the worst complains about the last SCKLM in internet. I was not there but read them in horrors! One of them was about bad traffic control with pollutions. Anyway Taiping's air is always so fresh that a single fart of yours could reach the neighbour's nose! LOL

      Delete
    4. SCKLM not that bad lah TM... I know there are complaints about the event but sometimes runners also can be so impossibly demanding. We should already know how KL is like, right?

      I was there. I had fun. Good control (not perfect but good). I enjoyed the run and am looking forward to my maiden full marathon in it next year!

      Anyways, any races here has its detractors. Sure got people complain so much one. Why? Dunno. All want to be treated like a VIP I suppose.

      Delete
    5. i think it because people in Taiping is slow and steady.. maybe they will improve next time...

      Delete
    6. No more next time la... At least if the organiser this year again, ppl will boycott.

      Delete
  3. You always like to wear RED to be seen. Now you become like Kak Merah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sudah macam kinda becoming superstitious must wear red o enjoy my run. kakaka

      Delete
    2. Red is a auspicious color and easy to spot. Too bad I came out too late and this gadis had finished running.

      Most of the runners were spotted wearing blue.

      Delete
    3. Blue is the colour of the race's running vest. If you see yellow, the runners were given those yellow vests which was last year's stock. And then there's the white t-shirts for fun run runners I suppose.

      I never ever wear the official running vest to road races. NEVER. ;p

      Delete
    4. red is ong ahh .. HUAT ahh...
      but why don't wear official running vest..
      so i guess that you have a bog box putting all those jersey..

      Delete
    5. It's just my preference. Nothing wrong with having own preference right? :P

      Delete
  4. I believed that you were well pampered by the Y&Y sistas! They sure do sound very friendly online and I bet they are even friendlier in real life!! I am glad you had a great time there with sweet memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had super fun! Especially as we talked about you guys! LOL

      Delete
    2. Yaya, did you sneeze nonstop? Because we chatted nonstop and you were the main topic ;p

      Delete
    3. Aduhai!! Why me???? Shy! Shy! Blush! @_@

      Delete
    4. no wonder I berak also sneeze...

      Delete
  5. Welcome back, and congrats on surviving the chaos, with bunny ears perky and intact. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bunny's ears was a bit skewed due to strong wind that blew that day but yeah, the bunny & the human made it back in one piece. ;)

      Delete
  6. Ag, I dunno, over 45 ain't that bad, you know? We can't RUN anymore, but we can still WALK a mean distance! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who says You can't run? But of course walking is better suited to enjoy an excursion than running. ;)

      Delete
    2. I only run if there's a) lots of chocolate and b) hot young men at the finishing line.

      Delete
    3. You know, I actually told the lady H1349 to consider taking kit-kat or other chocolates for pre-run fuel. She was telling me it was her first HM and she wasn't sure about hydration and can't contemplate thinking about eating prior the race. Hey! Kit-kat got me a 2hr 31min timing for my first HM! kekeke

      Yes yes yes... hot men at finish line to chase. Definitely. Why do you think I was smiling so happily reaching the finish line. Muahaha

      Delete
  7. You have barefoot runners? Ever heard of a South African barefoot runner called Zola Budd? She twice broke the world record for 5000 m in her bare feet. (Because it was in the time of apartheid South Africa, the International Athletic Federation refused to recognize her record. She then started running for England - her grandfather was British - and her next record was finally accepted.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me google her up!

      Here's an October 2009 article about her (if anyone wants to know about Zola Budd) over at Runners' World.

      There are advocates of barefoot running here and you can see quite a number of them at every race. ^^

      Delete
    2. That's a brilliant article! Ta for sharing!

      PS: We all walked barefoot and ran barefoot and went to school barefoot. Little savages, all of us. Nowadays kids wear shoes. Spoilt brats. :p

      Delete
    3. Folks here aren't spoiled too much yet! LOL

      My son and his schoolmates still run around barefoot. ;p

      It was so nostalgic. I remember that I couldn't run with shoes on when I competed at school. Ahhh... memories.

      Delete
  8. Congratz Kak Lina Bunny 4 finishing the run n managed to grab that limited edition medal... That name is cute, suitable for otai runner like u, kak.. OMG, i didn`t know at all about that limited medal.. Gosh, bad bad reputation by the organizer... I`ve experienced that same chaotic fiasco during racekit collection too... Sooo slow n incompetent, not even reached the international level pun.. By the time i collect my vest, no more M @ S size for Men... Thank goodness i`m still wearing L... Me so fat.. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Otai???? Wakaka

      Otai as in age aje la. I'm not an otai runner. Just started last year. This month marks a full year of me entering road races some more.

      Yeah, chaos from start till end. Good thing we got our vest and all lah kan. Yang lambat... lagi kesian. :(

      Delete
    2. Hahaaa same with me la, Sis... a devoted addicted to running since last year also. This year full throttle all the way with my FMV attempt 4 this coming PBIM 2012... Ketaq lutut dah nih..

      I see, now wonder lah, some of the runners have to wear cheapo yellow vest compared to us, having the Newton one.. Aiyohh, so terrible la the organizer... I skipped the tempting cold Milo booth coz it`s freaking long Q and i`m too tired to stand in the line..

      Delete
    3. Good luck you on your first FM! Train well for it! You have 2 months to go. ^^

      Delete
  9. erk.. reminds me so much of that NER2011 fiasco.

    tapi paling penting KITA ENJOY the race, kan?
    and good job for that attempt to comwhore.
    kakakakakakakaka
    Cuba lagi di masa hadapan. heheheh

    ReplyDelete
  10. ops... ENR2011 lah. sorry major typo. keke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least ENR redeemed themselves in 2012.

      TIM had a bad track record in 2011 and some of us were hoping that it'll get better this year. It didn't. :(

      Pity.

      But hey! I'm not writing off Taiping for a great place to run! Just with a different organiser next year and Taiping will see me again!

      Yeyeye... saya akan cuba sedaya upaya training for better camwhoring in future! wakaka

      Delete
  11. I just reread my last year's post and realized last year's race was much much better than this year's.
    Kesiannya you all to face what they've got to offer this year.
    On behalf of Taiping town ( but not the organizers because they stand alone for this one), I truly apologize.
    Hope you had a great time nevertheless with the food and all. And we'll meet one day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll meet one day and I'm looking forward to it! :)

      Delete
  12. I think you practically covered the whole Taiping and Kamunting town, when I hear you mentioned about Giant hypermarket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salute and congrats once again for doing the half marathon~ I can cover your distance only by driving. There's no way I'm gonna run.

      Delete
    2. I did only 21K. Imagine how many places the full marathoners covered. All the kampung area kot! LOL

      Delete
    3. 21KM? Damn long route la. Sure sakit otot.

      Delete
  13. I'm so sorry to hear your encounters with the event organizers whom are totally unprofessional!

    Hope I'll see you returning to this small town for marathon or leisure or both!

    And it was so nice meeting with the bunny and her 2 handsome boys.

    ReplyDelete
  14. lina, looking at the first picture. I spotted a tall and well build leng chai who blocked you in the picture. He wore black singlet. Wah! Muscular man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Yan so easily "lau nuar" at the sight of any muscles!! I guess even a stocky buffalo can attract Mak Yan! Kakakakak

      Delete
    2. Yan,
      Come and join us running and you can "view" well-built leng chais from near. LOL

      Delete
  15. Glad to hear that you enjoy the run and Taiping trip, despite some complains on the marathon organizer. If you come again next year, I hope I can make my first run happen too. I will register for 5KM for my virgin run, kekekeke!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come down to KL la... every weekend also got. Then, got reason to meet with the hamsap guys also! ;)

      Delete
  16. Taiping is always famous with slow service one, so it is only suitable for pensioners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you Y&Y sistas move down to live and work in KL? Nanti pension, then move back there!!

      Delete
    2. Mak Yan also already uses to the slow pace in Taiping. Later, Mak Yan catch cardiac arrest or nerve system breakdown symptoms staying in KL.

      Delete
    3. Yeah la, the life in KL is quite stressful one esp the traffic and working pace of people trying to kill each other! The crime rates also SO HAIII and dangerous. Okay lah, I think we all should move to Taiping to work and live there!!!

      Delete
    4. Then, when all KL people come down to Taiping and bring over their kiasu attitude... Taiping will not be a laidback town already lah.... KLites create havoc in Taiping pulak!

      Delete
  17. Ah So in floral top receiving goodies bag without joining run, luckily not me. kekekek!

    ReplyDelete
  18. lina, i really enjoyed the meetup with you and Yvonne. I wish you can make it to come again next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder who will be the next one going to Taiping? Maybe the guys will not be so pampered like Lina Merah...

      Delete
    2. If you, SP and SK comes, you guys will be pampered differently.

      Delete
    3. but you guys make give me notice 3 months in advance.

      Delete
    4. Yan,
      Why need 3 months notice for the guys?

      Delete
    5. I am thinking of shedding off my belly fat in 3 months time, and then organizing a pool side party, all hamsaperors must wear swimming trunks, and Y&Y (if ah hua also agrees) flaunt in bikinis.

      Delete
    6. All the wolves will have their tongue out at that pool party! wakaka

      Delete
    7. I bet all the wolves won't dare to bare their skins to the ladies.

      Delete
    8. Itu wolves all tadak balls one. wakaka

      Delete
  19. Huh!!! What 3 months in advance??? We will give you 3 hours notice cukup! No need red carpets and evening gowns! "Come As Where Is"... and have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yalah, made me wonder also? Why ah?
      Ini yang I jealous ni! wakaka

      Delete
    2. I have explained my wild idea on the above comment.

      Delete
  20. Sounds like Josie Huang had a hand in it ... LOL! Congrats on your run anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are all so inexperienced (and clueless) about handling a marathon event. They do fine (maybe) if they just did a fun run for locals. ;(

      But yesh... I had fun running. Slow and all. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  21. lina, by the way, the pysla beans coaster, the lantern and the moon cake are from Ah Hua. The bag ,the container and the fridge magnet are from me. kekekeke!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe... thanks. :)

      BTW, Ah Hua... scones sudah habis kena wallop. How now? ;p

      Delete
    2. Ish, should have make 2nd batch for your journey home :)

      Delete
    3. hahaha... susah susah lah. You bake more, later I gain more weight instead of losing for running in Taiping! ;p

      Delete
  22. wah, such a looooong post!! i see also feel stressed up already, hahaha!! but then still, i read from top to toe lah.. and also click on every photo to see your pretty face~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yayaya... your biscuits still with me. heh

      Delete
    2. yalah, thought of collecting from you today, but you still on holiday pulak~~ :(

      Delete
  23. Oh no to the negatives! Menakutkan jugak ya. But hats off to you for participating in events, back-to-back! I rasa macam nak jual bib BSN-PNM because of my kaki. (actually I'm afraid of the possibly humid night during the run :P).
    BTW you masuk 3 MRSM..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better be safe than sorry dear. Take it easy and make sure the kaki heals properly. After all, we have a lifetime to run kan? ^^

      And yeah. Humidity. I am so totally not aiming for a PB or any timing for PNM. Lari saja. Penat stop and enjoy the night view (kalau ada view la...) kakaka

      Yeah. 3 MRSM. Crazy kan? Form 1 -2 MRSM Kuantan, Form 3 MRSM Kerteh (now jadi MRSM Kuala Berang), Form 4 -5 MRSM Terendak. I had the choice to return to Kuantan after Form 3 but I chose to go to an Army camp. I wanted to be a soldier. Mak tak kasi though. Booohoooo!!!

      Delete
  24. aiyah.. sorry, too busy until i commented and forgotten i was actually commenting.. too concentrated on my thesis lah.. ok, i am back now!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. OMG!! so many negatives compared to the positives.. but then i hope you have got your finisher medal?? and you seem to enjoy taking photo with those taiping makcik mah~~ :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taiping makcik and pakcik all nice to me. I was lucky. Some came back with stories about road marshalls. I didn't encounter anyone rude.

      Yeah I got my medal. If no 19 cannot get medal... habislah! How many medals they have? 10? @.@

      Delete
    2. because you so chantek with the bunny thing mah, so they all love you so much!! wakakakaka.. huh?? only 10 medals ah?? so pathetic~~

      Delete
  26. Wah! Poorly organized? Like that KL marathon some time back - can't remember the name - which was worse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ENR?

      I dunno. But at least the Energizer one - Energizer was responsive and accountable and refunded all runners after the fiasco.

      This one - the "kepala" blamed everyone and said someone was out there sabotaging him. *shrug*

      Delete
  27. Good thing you decided to have fun and not let the poorly organized run affect you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I run because I love to run and not because of goodie bag or medals (although getting them are nice).

      Running with like-minded people is a joy!

      Delete
  28. Yeah, I think the rabbit's long ears tend to slow you down, no? LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. ^^

      But it does make people friendlier to you and I like that. ;)

      Delete
  29. at least you had fun despite the shortcomings..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no point getting stressed out:-D

      Delete
  30. kakak lina lawak lah LOL!

    by the way why u put the bunny ears on top of your hat? wew . . . :X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. should really blind their eye by putting u at 45++ category haha

      Delete
    2. then put where? Buttock? ;O)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...