Sunday, 12 January 2014

Running In Melaka

I had not wanted to run the Skyhawk Nature Run, initially. 

I was so under-trained for any running event for the past few months. The last "LSD" that I did was during Watergate 16 hour but that was done very much at jogging pace for 25K and walked the last 25K. Before that, the "LSD" was done in November at Putrajaya Night Marathon.

Running on weekdays nowadays is limited to 20-30min sessions, 2 times a week. Maybe get a run on Saturdays. I walked though, and walked a lot too on Sundays with hubby and son. I probably could choose to run instead, but that meant not spending time with hubby and son. So yeah, that's it for training for me. It's not something I'm proud of or something I'm happy about, but there you go. 

So, with just the occasional runs and once a week long walks for the past few weeks, I had a simple game plan. Run at a comfortable speed and finish with no tears. 

I told hubby to give me 3 hours. I told him I'd make it under 3 hours and hopefully it won't be a PW (personal worst) timing for me.

The run has only one distance. 21K. Men & Women. This is the first time the Skyhawk Nature Run was organised, as a matter of fact.

We went to collect my race kit on Saturday. Hassle-free and painless. Actually, my race-kit was ready for me when I reached the table.
Macam VIP! Muahaha

Thanks to the lovely people manning the race collection counter. ^^
Pre-run goodie bag with race bib. 
Flag-off was at 6.30am. On the dot. 

If I'm not mistaken, there were 800 runners in this event. It was capped at just 500 runners initially but response was good so the organiser added a bit more quota to allow more runners to join.

I chose to start among the last ones, with a very easy pace. A runner said hi and we chatted for a  bit before he went off in front. I stuck to an easy effort run. The morning is still young. ^^

1.2K later, we faced our first incline. From there onwards, runners went through a rather undulating route. Up, down, up, down...

As announced on FB by Skyhawk Nature Run, there were limited water stations. At KM4.5, KM8 (though it was actually at KM9; after an incline), KM12.5 and KM17. It was a big gap between the water stations and I guess some runners "suffered" as some may have been too used with water stations that are placed 2K apart in other races. 

Skyhawk Nature Run organisers made a request for runners to ensure used cups to be thrown in designated bins too at the water stations but I guess some runners might have missed the "memo". I saw paper cups strewn as far as 200m away from the water stations (WS), at WS1 & WS2. Thankfully, it weren't as many at the rest of the WS. It's a nature run peeps. Respect nature. If you can stroll drinking a cup of water, why not just stop at WS instead? Because you'd think there'll be someone to pick up your trash?

We started to enter into a Malay Village area after KM6. I noticed two toilet signs here, both were at some villagers home. No, we didn't need to use a portable loo. We "tumpang" villagers out-house. ;)

Anyway, it was lovely running through the village. At first, we passed through some rubber trees on both sides of the road. There was this Singaporean guy who went looking for rubber seeds for his daughter. A fellow runner went and helped him and he was so happy, the other runners (including me) just couldn't help feeling his joy and laughed with him.

We saw durian trees, rambutan trees, ciku trees, kelapa sawit and plenty of runners (we're a bunch of city-slickers so most of us can't help being excited, right? heh heh) stopped to take photos. It was a nostalgic moment running this particular section of the run. It felt like I was transformed to my childhood and walked in my kampung. 

Reaching the village, I first saw kids standing by the roadside looking-on at us runners. Further up, I saw more villagers waiting in front of their homes watching and supporting us. You don't get this running in Kuala Lumpur, I tell you!

By this time, I was already kicking myself for not having my handphone or my camera along.

Some runners were joking and chatting with the villagers at a stall. I myself even greeted villagers and they all replied warmly. Even the makciks! 

Saw a family of three (a lady, a man and a little boy) waiting to support someone (a family member, I suppose) at around KM11 and I kinda missed the support of my own boys. Saw them again afterwards at KM14. Their presence supporting helped lifted our morale too. ^^

At the third WS a nice surprise was waiting for us, in form of two mini lion dance heads. Of course most of us stopped, drank water and then played with the two lion heads. Cute photo opps what! ;-)

I didn't take any photo there but I lingered there and laughed looking at some runners antics. 

We went back out to the main road at around KM14. AT KM15, I was initially relieved that we needn't face the long incline straight ahead as we needed to turn right instead but the relief was short-lived. From there, it was a 600m incline too! I decided to walk the incline. 

From here onwards, it was a mixture of jog/walk for me. Just couldn't stomach the idea of running up inclines so I decided to just walk. Thankfully, it wasn't that slow. The long walks I had with hubby had helped improved my walking speed. 

I again "lepak"ed at the last WS, eating my gel (yeah, I finally took the effort to eat my gel at this run. I don't really like gels) and drank two cups of water. There was a small boy helping out at the last WS and he was so cute. Good job, kiddo! ^^

4 more KM of running and walking, with lots of laughter while chatting with fellow runners, volunteers and marshalls and when hearing passengers in passing cars complimenting other runners with cute head gear. Even the "abang" traffic were nice. 

I almost had a seizure when a two-door blue Audi stopped and turned out a fellow runner was driving it and he shouted encouragement to me. I think the rest of the runners near me got surprised too! LOL

More encouragements followed by runners who had finished and I super-super appreciate it. I actually slowed down to walk but with some of them aiming their camera at me, I just had to fake a run. Hahaha
Everyone runs happy when there are photographers and there were a whole lot of them in this run!

I did managed to complete my 21K in under 3 hours. In under 2:45 and I'm happy with my timing because I ran happy. Sure, it wasn't my personal best (PB) but I wasn't aiming for one anyway.

After doing 50K last week at Watergate 16 hour and doing the 21K today, I think I found back the motivation to run. Both of the events were organised by runners for runners and they both excel.
The kids helping out at the finish line, handing out finisher goodie bags. They were up since 5am! Respect!

Collected my goodie bag, ate ice-cream (they served ice-cream and it's free flow), cups of 100-Plus and Milo later and it's time to harass friends for photos.
I had a very fun morning.

I realise now that I don't need to run in big races to enjoy myself. This boutique kind of run suits me just fine.

To Skyhwak Nature Run, great job! Thank you to race volunteers, marshalls and everyone involved in this run. You guys and gals are awesome!

I hope there will be another Skyhawk Nature Run next year. If I may be selfish a bit, please continue with this format. Well, for at least another year? 21K is just nice for me. And the crowd too. Not too big that it got unmanageable. I love the cute medal too! Save medal space in my mooncake box! hehehe
Thank you too for the generous goodie bags. Where else could we get a before and after race goodie bag? ;-)

See you in 2015? I'll run with a camera next time!

36 comments:

  1. Very good run. Same time can enjoy the nature too.

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    1. Yup, definitely! Makes a change from running around the city too :)

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  2. So many goodies!!! Normally I heard only few goodies for a fun, and this has a lot!!!

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    1. Goodie is a bonus but not a pre-requisite for a run. :)

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  3. wah, just back from Melaka and this post is up!! so efficient lah this Mak Glam.. i also just drafted my post for tomorrow, quite slow lately lah.. so after this post, please give me your SONG LIST wokay?? :p

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    Replies
    1. Aiyoyo lupa again about the song list!!! :-P

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    2. quick lah, i have already sent out 7 and 1 at my custody to be delivered by hand later, only left you and Anay.. so VVVVVIP lah both of you~~ :D

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    3. Can procastinate till before 16th or not? Hihihi

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    4. aiyoh, you also need to give me time to make your CD mah..

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    5. Hehehe

      Sowi Ah Boy!

      By tomorrow OK? ;)

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    6. fuyoh so efficient!! dapat already.. this time easier right, just pick from the list~~ :p

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    7. Yala... wanna pick the Chinese one, I don't dare though. Tarak boleh baca. LOL

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    8. be bold and take challenge!! hahaha.. just blindly pick and enjoy what i enjoy.. anyway, nice list of songs you have!! :p

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  4. aiyah, no proper training never mind lah.. you kan just join the races for the sake of having the fun of running and not really about winning?? as long as you can still run then you are in!!

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    1. Must train. Must also respect the distance otherwise, it'll just be half-baked efforts. Like what I'm doing now.

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  5. 21km in 2h44m (i saw on your FB but here you said 2h45m) is very good dei.. i heard someone only runs 7km in an hour lah.. so you are almost 25% better lah, hahaha!! but then once again, it's the fun of participation and supporting the spirit of running, who cares fast or slow??

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    1. I wrote I did it under 2:45. 2:44 tu under 2:45 la, hihihi

      Doing 7K for one hour, then I'd do a slow 3hour 21K wor. Tak mau la. ;-)

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    2. hehehehehe, sorry lah, you know lah, running post i no read in details word by word mah.. * too frank *

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    3. No worries la. This race recaps sure are boring for non-runners. Maybe boring even to runners ad well! Muahaha

      You all so nice still come comment anyway. ^_^

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    4. of course.. i sayang you like you sayang me~~ :p

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  6. aiyoh, OHSEM even right?? luckily you went else you will regret!! and goodies bag before and after the run?? holy nice!! and i like that one after, you know lah, uncle like me sure likes sundries more than those running stuffs mah, hahaha.. the cup noodles nice lah, and a yummy packet of chips to go with it as after-meal snacks!! muahahaha~~ enough carbo loaded after that..

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    1. auntie like me also like! LOL

      The organiser is very generous and yet, they still worry that they could not provide the best for us.

      For me, they did great. I know of more expensive races, with shorter distance that's not as good or as fun as this.

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  7. How I LOVED this event so much... Really exceeded way beyond my expectation like totally... It was nice to see you and Zaini just now... Good to see some familiar faces too... ;D

    I loved the free flow Milo, 100 plus, ice-creams (Vanila n Choc) n Mamee too... Bole bantai minum makan sampai lebam...

    Most important of all, we waited at the finishing line to cheer the incoming runners... The feeling is priceless! ;D

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    1. Sometimes, in our excitement to get medals and arrays of finisher tees, we forget that a run is just basically a run. It's all about running. Don't you agree?

      That's why I do prefer to go back to basics.

      Waiting at the finish line to cheer other runners at all races are a great way to motivate and that's a practice I respect and learn from all the faster runners. It's always good to be able to wait at the finish line to cheer on people. Pity I'm such a slow runner to cheer on more people tho' :)

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  8. Under trained but still ...well...you do your best and enjoy the race will do right?

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    1. The people manning the counter looks sporting.

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    2. First time organising the run and it start on the dot and good people manning the counter. Sound good one. Not like last year what UPM or what run ah...late by one hour right?

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    3. agree with you on that. why buang sampah merata.

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    4. jahat you...tempoting me with durian trees...got durian under it or not?

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    5. I think it's great all the volunteers helping like that and with kids doing their party too

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    6. I looked but durian trees no durian. LOL

      Rambutan & ciku banyak. Was tempted to go to the houses and ask permission to curi buah a bit. :-D

      It's organized well because the organiser understands runners as they are runners themselves. For that, thumbs up to them :-)

      For me, I know I'm undertrained so instead of racing this, i treat it as a long training run instead and tried to maintain a relatively easy effort. That way, i can run and still enjoy the scenery & feel happy.

      Maybe next year, I'll try get a much much better timing at this event. ;-)

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  9. Very interesting Lina.
    We surely needs more exercises before running but too bad, u didn't bring your phone to take photos of the beautiful nature. But glad that you had fun.

    Have a nice day Lina. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Well, I don't have any but other runners have lots and they posted it up on FB and shared it for all to see :)

      Thanks Willie.

      Have a great day too!

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  10. I want to join this next year!!!
    I am already kicking myself sebab tak register utk ni dulu. Huhu.
    Great job Lina! Next race, please run with my childhood friend tu ye ;)

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    1. Jom jom!

      Erk... lari dgn your childhood friend? Takotttttt HAHAHA

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    2. Jangan takotttttt....dia adalah baikkkkk....haha...c'mon Lina ukenduit (MWM) :P

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