p pol The Adventures of Carboman: New Year, New Hope

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year, New Hope

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's been a challenging year - plenty of ups and downs. The year unfortunately ended with the tsunami disaster which swept over a large portion of north-western Sumatra, parts of Penang and sunny Phuket, Sri Lanka, Maldives and other surrounding coastal towns. The total death toll stands at over 120,000 at this time with much more anticipated as rescuers recovered more and more bodies. The number is astounding - I can't imagine how many that number represents. Maybe if you picture this: a fully packed Maracana Stadium (the largest football stadium in the world) in Brazil can "only" hold 100,000.

That wasn't the only catastrophe to hit this planet. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, perished as a result of armed conflict in Dafour, Sudan. The level of aid granted to the African nation didn't reach the amount raised for the tsunami disaster. Perhaps the Sudan case presented a greater political challenge. In any case, it was really tragic that the people of Sudan have been forgotten.

So besides having a get together between us runners on New Year's Day, I thought it was a good opportunity to dedicate something meaningful in memory of those perished. A 20K run it was.

On my drive down to Bukit Aman, I encountered the usual party "kakis" comprising of Jinjang Joes, A2A9s, Scooter Gangs still roaming the streets at 4:30am and I thought how silly they were to have missed enjoying a beautiful Saturday morning.

It took awhile for everyone to turn up, so we took off only just before 5:30am. The morning was quite blustery and chilly. I found that I was huffing and puffing harder than usual and thought that my missed week of workout was taking its toll. I only realized that I had been running harder than usual when I checked my watch at the halfway point - 58 minutes, a full 8 minutes faster than my usual pace. I took a shorter return trip as my left knee was acting up forcing me into some short walk breaks and a slight limp. I completed the second half in 59 minutes.

As it was still early and with my Mom accompanying my Mrs Carbo and Carbo Kid at home, I could join the guys for some breakfast and to view Tey's amazing photos from his awesome marathon adventure. It was also nice to have caught up with Azwar and getting to know a newcomer Howard.

A nice cool and cloudy morning, a nice start to the year. Another long run beckons tomorrow!


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