Monday, 19 January 2015

Kampung Run In Melaka

Skyhawk Nature Run to me, is one of the highly anticipated run/race for the year for me.

Photo credit : Ben Swee
And I truly enjoyed both the 2014 & 2015 edition of Skyhawk Nature Run.
Organised by Skyhawk Marathon Club in Melaka, this is one of those “for runners, by runners” race and they do understand runners’ need.

OK. Let me get one thing straight first.

This is not an event for runners who want to see their results and rankings because there is no timing chip. They had a big Seiko timing watch set-up at the finish line though.

They do give out finisher medals but don’t pout about not getting a “finisher” half-marathon tee.

Do note that for RM55.00 registration fee, this has got to be one of the cheaper half-marathons in Malaysia that has no big corporate sponsors backing it! Even those with sponsors charge more. Most 10K races cost RM50.00 and upwards nowadays!

But what one gets while running in the Skyhawk Nature Run is a great running experience and the experience was not only shared with runners but also the community along the route we ran. And you can feel the teamwork between the volunteers in this race too.

And that’s why, despite some initial drama of probably not being able to run at all last Sunday in Melaka, and with me already contacting the organiser for a transfer of name for my bib (yes, they let me do it) and then suddenly the transferee was unable to run and I had to again inform the organiser that I’d be running (sorry for all the hassle! And thank you for accommodating to all my nonsense. ^^) and only making the trip to Rumah Melaka in Bukit Katil on the morning of the race day itself; I managed to run again for the second year in the Skyhawk Nature Run.

With the whole family down with the flu bug (me for about a week and a half) and hubby and Son caught it (from me lah, I suppose) last week, I guess I was being rather selfish in still wanting hubby driving me over to Melaka. Well, I did say that we can put up in a hotel but he wasn’t keen.

So at 3.10am, we started our journey to Melaka from our home. Traffic was smooth and we arrived the race venue shortly before 5.00am.

A kind friend had agreed to help me with my race kit collection the day before so we had that sorted out. While waiting, we took a nap in the car.
My kind, gorgeous friend. I owe her a big cuppa expensive, artisan coffee! Hehehe

Hubby decided to sleep in the car so I went to the starting line and roam around the race venue alone.

Flag-off was at 6.15am and I decided to wait and took my time starting so I was amongst the last to start.

Bumped into a few friends and we ran together and chit-chat for a while before they all sped off after the first incline. My plan for this race was to enjoy my run and run as much as I could but not really wanting to push it that much.

Just like last year, the Skyhawk Nature Run is kinda my recovery run after Watergate 16-hour. The difference was, I was feeling OK and strong in 2014 (I did 2:44 despite much goofing and walking) compared to this year where I was obviously not fully recovered from the fatigue of running in Watergate 16-hour 2015.

But it’s OK. I’m using Skyhawk to gauge my fitness anyway and how much I can cope. Verdict : not that fit yet.

There were more water stations this year, compared to 2014. I was actually OK with the previous year’s 4-5KM gap between each water stations (WS) but I was also relieved that 2015 had less gap between each WS because my scratchy throat sure appreciates water.

My bad, knowing my own body condition and not really bothering to bring my own hydration. It’s that “ala, it’s just 21K attitude”. Arrogant sangat! Bwahaha
But I got this as a replacement power gel.
The highlight of the run is running through villages. Kampung areas and best of all, you meet a whole lot of kampong folks sporting enough to cheer you on. That is so priceless!
The second water station at KM7.5 was a big hit. We were served with generous servings of fruits – papaya, watermelon and honey dews along with fluids. Not in those cut fruits served at the buffet style, but generous RM1.50 cut like that are sold at stalls.

You know I sure cannot resist but to stop and enjoy lah, right? Despite my doctor’s reminder for me not to eat any fruits until I get better. Eih… food. Free food. Cannot resist. Although afterwards, chest felt cold and made it a tad hard to enjoy running and breathing. Padan muka lah... Hehehe
Dr Liau who is one of the “orang kuat” of the run was there greeting runners along with Mr Lau, the “Ketua Kampung” of Kampung Tiang Dua.
We were not only served with fruits, the Ketua Kampung also handed out free caps!

I took one which I later passed to one of the children sitting in front of their house/shop and told them to take care of my cap. Hehehe

There was a big number of runners coming in from Singapore and well, it’s not only them who loves the change of scenery and running in the city. I love being able to run around kampungs too!
And for a change, we get to receive support from villagers who some, went out and stood by the road to see us run. A few salams to the pakciks and makciks and chosans to aunties and uncles as well waving to kids. We don’t get this in big city run in KL!
At some WS, which were located in front of villagers’ houses, we get to be served by the whole family, it seems.
It sure is nice for the organiser to get the villagers roped in and be a part of this run too instead of just being inconvenienced by us runners “terrorising” and blocking their road.

The problem with this kampung route is however, we get to pass a whole lot of food stall serving breakfast and I was sorely tempted to stop and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or teh tarik! Thank goodness I forgot to bring along some cash as I probably would’ve stopped and enjoy a morning drink there and probably finish my run in 4 hours! LOL
After about 15K, I bumped into a fellow Watergate 16-hour finisher (there were quite a number of them too, who did both events) and we chatted and walked together for a bit; I think up to the final 5K of the run. Then he took off, after we snapped a photo together with the champ of Watergate 16-hour who was a marshall for Skyhwak Nature Run and I did a half-arsed attempt to start running again.
Saw a couple of traffic police manning one junction up ahead and well, cannot resist taking photos with them and their motorbikes. Gotta say, they were very sporting.



The route we ran was marked with distance markers, not to sure how KM apart but if I’m not mistaken, at every 3K? Well, after the 16K mark, it was a countdown of 5K to go, 4K to go, 3K to go and so on… and the organiser had also placed a few inspirational signs.
Photo credit : Jk Suah
At the last KM, I was encouraged to run by a Singaporean TNF finisher and sure loved her spirit and cheers to other runners.

Mustered the last bit of resolve to run, I ran the last 500m, seeing hubby waiting for me and friends cheering me on. Made it to the finish line at a marvellously slow 3:23:09 (gun time) but I was completely fine with it.

I still encountered a bad knee pain (this time for both knees) and I somehow can pinpoint the culprit. So yeah, this run is an experiment and a learning run for me and I got to do it in a nice, scenic route with great support.

Is there any complaints for this run?

None for me. I’m easy to please.

Just give me an interesting route with friendly faces along the route and I’ll be OK.

And oh, being served ice cream, boiled eggs, putu piring apart from other “normal” snacks such as bread, banana and drinks is good too. Oh yeah, note to self. Do not drink the free Dutch Lady milk when one is not feeling well. I almost had the urge to throw up after that! Huhuhu

Anywys, see you in 2016. Let’s hope I won’t be causing any more drama and “kacau” the organiser again next year! Hahaha

The only thing I felt a bit lacking for this year was the intimate feeling we got at the finishing line in 2014. I guess the run has gotten big to feel that now. But it's OK. No biggie lah.

Thanks everyone for being so friendly to me. ^^

39 comments:

  1. Coffee! Hehe.
    I loved this run. And the nice wear helped a lot....I really enjoyed the route..and I don't feel like that always haha. Next year punya kena register cepat2!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really nice weather tapi I pulak was hoping it'd get warmer. Sejuk. Chest pain. Lol

      Lps ni kena set date betul2 for our coffee date. ^^

      Delete
  2. Putu piring! Fancy seeing that in a run event!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... we got taufufa, cendol and nasi lemak too at other races. One even served durians! Lol

      Delete
  3. I love the first photo of Mak Glam!! you smiled so beautifully!!!

    aiyoh that Nin Jiom can be power gel??!! unbelievable!!!

    but I like the melons more, wakakaka!!! ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a sarcastic humor for myself lah... I don't take power gel but I had to take that candy for my cough that day. LOL

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    2. same kot?? with Nim Jiom your cough and breathing is better, and hence you run better!! so indirectly also "power candy" lah~~ LOL

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    3. Hahaha maybe so.
      I like the way you think. :P

      Delete
    4. Yeah! Yeah! I agree with Semut Karamel that Mak Glam smiled soooo beautifully and happily ever after!... Wakakakaka

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    5. Aiyoh, dua orang ini mulut manisnya...

      Delete
  4. Loves the 1st & last picture of Lina, hehe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the ah soh in the wheelchair most. ^^

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  5. You all really hardcore. Sick also go running. But that kampung run is really interesting. I wonder if they are volunteers or they get paid one, those families at the water stations..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dunno lah...

      But all the volunteers from the running group are volunteers.

      Delete
  6. What a nice run in the kampung ! Fresh air and fresh food!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and great kampong people hospitality to. :)

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  7. How you and the family today? feeling better from the flu?

    Bravo la to the organiser to be so helpful transferring the bib to and fro. If not mistaken saw some race, they don't allow transfer.




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why this run die-die also I support. :)

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  8. aiks..I thought fruit is good when one is having flu. Got lot of water in fruit ma. Can hydrate the body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to doctor, fruits will only aggravate the itchiness of throat. Tak mau la.

      Hydrate can be by way of water anyway.

      Delete
  9. So no regrets la in the end or deciding to run after all. Fresh air and friendly faces, sure cure the flu fast

    Get well soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh, sure no regrets.

      If I feel I might regret it, I probably wouldn't have insisted in going anyway. LOL

      Delete
  10. I can see the joy in your face! Wah, got free food some more, nice :D You've got a great hobby, keeps you fit. Mine keeps me fat muahahahaha....

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  11. Love the first photo of yours, your smile is very contagious, hehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contagious enough to entice you to join a run or not? Hihihi

      Delete
  12. Each time reading your running post, I feel motivated. I am back to run on treadmill now , but I go rather slow and steady. Not intend to abuse my leg anymore, doctor said it takes 100days to get my tendon recovered till 100%.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Way to go Lina! This seems like an interesting marathon. Wow.... would love to run through the village hehe.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it's just a 21K run ECL, not a marathon.

      But yes, interesting and fun.

      Delete
  14. Wow. This by far sounds like the most interesting run with the support of orang kampung and all. Nice ler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one is FUN!

      And quite a number of friends just run easy and have fun instead of running chasing for timing. :)

      Delete
  15. I like the first and the last picture, like symbolized the beginning of the run and ends of the run!! =]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually. I put it the other way round.

      The first photo was taken at the finish line and the last photo was in the middle of the run.

      LOL

      Delete
  16. I like this concept tagline of "for runners, by runners!" They make the perfect organizers! I will remember this line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a number of race organisers that promote this.

      Their events are low key and doesn't have the glitz and glamour of bigger races.

      But they do take care of what runners want most.

      A good run. :)

      Delete
  17. I can fully understand why Singaporeans love to visit as I asked all my cousins there. They said the greens, smells and strays roaming everywhere is so nice! Adoi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky we saw no strays when we run in Melaka. ;)

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    2. Melaka has little strays or none I guess. My silly cousins got excited to see push cart hawkers on pavements and cats & dogs lying on road sides like havens in Penang and Ipoh. They even screamed when they saw cows crossing the roads! We should appreciate our natural habitat.

      Delete

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