shouldn't really count on my cheap-o watch.
Anyhow, let's get started on the report shall we?
We arrived at Queensbay open parking lot at 1-ish am, I think. Mind you, before
that, we didn't get any snooze much. We tried sleeping on Saturday afternoon but
with little kids, it was lucky to get away with an hour and a half worth of
sleep. Then, at my parent's house, again we tried to catch some zzs after Isya'
but my kids were overexcited that my siblings were home for the weekend and it
was impossible to get them to sleep. So we figured, with all the adrenaline
pumping and not to mention the caffeine laden powergels we were about to
consume, we'll get away running without feeling overly tired.
A lot of participants arrived early due to the fact that the bridge was to be
closed at 2 am. Even the quarter marathon kids were already there. As usual,
pre-race, toilet time! -though Hub thinks I seriously should not make this a
habit ( like I can control it). It was my first time in a port-a-potty and it
was surprisingly clean and harummmmm. Haha. Made 2 other stops there later that
day and it was still clean. A big thumbs up to the organizers for that.
the race pack
Anywho, I sent Hub off to his marathon starting line at 2.30 am. Hub was
standing in front of this person who had 4 water bottles orbited around his
waist and I said to Hub," How come you not equipped like that?". There was also
this uncle wearing a sarong but I didn't have a chance to snap his picture, darn
While waiting for my starting moment, I decided to go back to the car to get
some light sleep. But all I managed was getting the car alarm screaming 3 times
due to my tossing and turning. So much for that.
When it was 3.15, I went to the starting point. As I wasn't much of a fast
pacer, I decided not to risk myself getting trampled on, so I stood in the middle
of the pack. Tried to scan for anyone familiar but failed, mostly I guess to
my poor ability to recognize faces in the semi-darkness.
The women's category started before 3.45 am because when the gun went off, I
thought, " What? Already?". And due to the MC's instructions to step on the mat
at the starting line to activate our time chips, everybody was practically
stomping on the mat like they were putting out a fire. It was hilarious!
Then, everyone started running. Some girls who planned to run together with
their men had them waiting at the side of the road with the ' Mana
awek/bini aku ni?' look. I don't know the relevance of that in this report but I
just think that's so sweet of the boys.
The weather was superb. No rain, just breezy and cool. But the first km for me
was weird because I had this unusual discomfort at my left ankle and foot. It
felt stiff and I couldn't imagine running the remainder of the race like that.
Then, somehow my left shoelace came undone so as I tried to the ends together
(double-knot) at a kerb, I did a bit of stretching and it felt a lot better.
After that, the discomfortness went away altogether. Rejoice!
Running the bridge was fun. Some people complained that the race route was
monotonous but I guess thanks to our usual training route, we were used to
monotony so I didn't get what the fuss was all about. It was okay, whaaat? You
can marvel upon the lights at the bridge's middle span, you can gape at the
black sea water, you can people-watch, you can awe yourself at the Penang's
skyline. Macam-macam ada.
At about a quarter way into the bridge, us girls caught up with half of the guys
which I guess sparked some of their egos.It was ridiculous to see some guys
getting intimidated when a girl passes them and they get themselves winded just
to overtake the girl back ( when a minute after that the girl would just
pass them again) . But it was the same too for some girls when they felt a bit
overly competitive when they see another girl passing. It's a bit annoying. I
say, run at your own pace and don't overexert that early into the race.
The water stations and volunteers were efficient enough. Sometimes at some
stations, human traffic jams formed, especially when our half marathon group
merged with some of the full marathoners, but I guess that's unavoidable. At the
beginning of the race, I contemplated whether 2 powergels were more than enough
for the whole of the 21ks. Phew, I was so glad I didn't bail on the idea because
I surely did need 2. And I am sure glad I brought my own tiny water bottle in my
pocket to wash the gels down at my own convenient time rather than wait to
consume them at the water station.
At the 10km marker, my cheap-o watch showed 1:08 so I thought, maybe I could
finish in 2:20 or so. Perasan betul, haha! Because after the 15th km, muscle
fatigue was setting in. I slowed down a bit but kept on running while most
people around me were already walking. Going uphill was a drag but I smoked the
downhill part. It was as if my legs were automatic ( cue lagu Tokio hotel in the
background). Best betul.
After the bridge part was over, the plodding phase set in. Only 5 km left and
I was just plodding along. It was like that with every step, plod, plod, plod.
My muscles were getting tired and somehow my neck felt a bit stiff (posture kot)
Almost 2 km to the finishing line or so ( I heard someone asked the St John
member at the side of the road), the Azan was recited at a nearby mosque and it
was the best moment of the race. I was so psyched up about it, I guess it made
me move faster to finish the race.
At 6.20-ish I finally saw the finishing line. As there were a lot of us there,
there was a line to get the finishing medal. When I was handed the medal, I felt
so welled up. My first half marathon, I did it! A year ago, I wouldn't have
imagined this moment.
But it wasn't over yet. Hub wasn't finished. I decided not to mingle and wait
Mahal ooo benda ni
Mahal ooo benda ni
for him at the finishing gate with my camera. I stood for an extra 2 hours for
him, waiting and waiting and waiting. But it was worth the wait, because when he
finished, I was so proud of him. Even though he busted his right knee in the
process, he smiled at me and said ," So, are you up to run with me in the next
Bring it on!
Next year, we'll finish together like this sweet couple
I'm a bit peeved that marathon finishers who exceeded the cut off time a bit weren't given any medals although there are many left after the cutoff time. At least give them a bit of credit for their efforts finishing. I mean, what were the officials going to do with the baki of medals? Melt them into spoons?
Tabik this uncle who finished his 21 k, okay.
This guy's haircut was only a bit cooler than my daughter's hari raya haircut.. hehe