We arrived at Bidor at 6.15 am and to our dismay, most of the parking spots were already taken. We had to park behind these shop lots and before we knew it, they were announcing for runners to be at the starting point. Hubs forgot to put his vaseline on so he rushed back to the car and left me walking behind. I was stopped midway by these two dogs who looked like they came straight from Nightmare on Elm Street, and avoided them, trying not to freak out or make eye contact. I quietly prayed I wouldn't be chased by stray dogs through the race.
While waiting for gun off, we met our friend Bakri from ENR. Now let me tell ya, this guy is really something. He lets his long hair down, literally throughout the race and runs with a ski cap on. I don't know how he can stand all that hair flailing while he runs ( it would drive me out of my wits), but he's one fast son of a gun. He did FM in ENR in 4 hour-ish and by the pace he went through Bidor just now, I betcha he finished sub 2.
We also met fellow bloggers Ijam and said hi to Yim. Thank goodness the group photo we took was pre race, Ijam. Post race would see me a shade darker! And Yim wasn't hard to pick out from the crowd. He's tall and fair with a mustache and you could spot him a mile away. Haha.
So the race started at about 7 am. There was no digital clock near the starting point but rather an everyday household clock hanged at the gantry. Old school, kot. The first few kms, I was struggling a bit as my left calf suddenly felt stiff. We met our first incline while running up a bridge, but it was all good as it was only a few minutes after starting.After 4k, my legs felt normal again and everything was pretty easy up till the first 10K.
After that, we were all introduced to THE BIDOR HILLS. It went up and up and up and up and well, you know me with hills ; I went slower and slower and slower and hating every minute of it. I was so jealous of those leading runners who were on their way back at the opposite side of the road, and were going downhill all the way. As I was going slower, hub who was running in front slowed down and proposed that we ran at my pace. I shooed him back to the front to be my pacer on the hills. I visualized a line between me and him, and him pulling me up those stupid hills with the imaginary line. It helped a bit.
By the time we got to the 2nd turning point, we were met with this small dirt road scattered with pebbles and mud puddles. It was like trail running for like 500 m and I was left running and tippy toeing trying not to fall flat on my face.
Turning points are good as it means that we were about to run all the way back to the finishing line. Hubs called out that we had like 3 miles to go and I called out , " I hate these frigging hills!". By that time, the sun was scorching on our heads and I felt a bit overheated in my running gear. And the stinking smell along the running route didn't help either. I saw a cow dung in a perfect shape of a kuih semperit at the side of the road.
Saje je nak bagitau.
Along the way back was slight torture. We still had to go trough some incline though. Although it wasn't as bad as before but with all that heat going on, it was really a struggle. I had to talk my way into not walking.
Don't walk, I'd tell myself. Or you'll suffer longer in the heat. Don't walk, I'd tell myself. You forgot to put on sunblock this morning, remember? So with that in mind, I wogged on.
The last 1K, we went into a housing estate and although the route to the finishing line was all the way downhill, I seriously couldn't muster enough strength to hasten my pace like I did in ENR. Hubs was calling out from the front, " Give it all you got, only 0.1 miles to go!" ( he uses miles instead of Kms like the rest of us), and I pumped my arms macam apantah. The finishing line was a surprise cause one minute it was downhill and after a turn, there it was smack in front of you.
So I finished my 2nd HM with a new PB! And I was pretty happy with the timing as I'm pretty much sure I couldn't have done better. Not in that race. Not with those hills.
2: 24 19 secs. Timing on my 10 ringgit watch. I was handed a 34th placing card in my category.
All in all, Bidor Half Marathon was a good race. I love the freebies and they gave away plenty of food ( nasi lemak, bread, watermelon and a bunch of weird looking kuihs). And they had Vico. Sweet, thick, cold Vico. Heaven.
Had a nice chat with Yim at the end of the race. We all agreed the hills wasn't expected in Bidor. But he did it with excellent timing. I presume Ijam did great too as he was already making his way back when we weren't even at the 2nd turning point yet. Congrats, guys.
I'm a bit tired now and not to mention hungry ( still ) so I can't decide whether I'll go ahead with my next race in Kuala Kangsar in 2 weeks time. The starting time will be at 8 am which is pretty late and unless I can finish the 12k race in 1 hour ( which I seriously doubt), I'll be baking in the sun again. Argh. Tak sanggup.
Ye, saya memang manje.
And yang, I know you could have finished faster, but until I take my brief break from racing in the next half of this year, you're stuck being my pacer.
Oh and p/s : Nasi Ayam theory worked! Well..err..in a way.