p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Der_Pacemakers Anniversary Run (PAR)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Der_Pacemakers Anniversary Run (PAR)

If one has the passion for the sport and if one puts that passion to use, there's nothing one can't achieve. Case in point the PAR which took place last Saturday. While the country's King was enjoying his fly-bys, a small but super-passionate set of runners were congregating at the KLCC Park eager to kick off the inaugural PAR.

Who are the Pacemakers?
Der_Pacemakers are a group of runners originally formed to take part in the 2004 Penang Round Island Relay. However due to another race in the Klang Valley on the same day, the group could not make the trip north. Fortunately the cadre didn't disband. Continuing to meet at the training grounds of KLCC, Kg Pandan Track, Tasik Permaisuri and Tasik Perdana strengthened and grew the Fellowship exceeding the initial handful of "members". Today, even though the group headcount stands at 27, friends of the group has grown very big.

Most of its "members" are members of the largest running club in the SEA region (arguably in Asia), Pacesetters but in true spirit of running, there are also members of other running clubs as well as those not-affiliated. There are some really fast runners in Der_Pacemakers as well as beginners, recreational runners and reformed smokers. What brought these folks together is the love and passion for running. Group "members" are scattered as far north as Kedah and down south as Johor, with many establishing their blogs to record their adventures online. Many colourful characters even meet online daily to chat.

The Seed Has Been Planted
So it was unsurprising and appropriate that the group's founder, Ronnie, thought up this event to celebrate the inception of Der_Pacemakers one year ago. All participants were required to pay - RM15 for "members" and RM20 for "non-members" and friends. In true testament to the supportive nature of runners, individual and corporate sponsors stepped forward to foot the costs of trophies, refreshments and services. For an event of just 32 runners, the amount of support garnered was astounding, to say the least. If nothing else matters, I felt damn proud to be part of this group of friends.

How Not Too?
I had been unwell and under medication for 2 weeks prior to this run. Indeed up to the eve of the run, I was unsure if I could and should make the run. But deep in my heart, there's really no way that I could let Der_Pacemakers and all the volunteers and sponsors who had done all the important job down. So packing wife, kid, running gear and cough, I got to the park just when the participants, 32 in all, were just about to be let off. I had, unfortunately missed the group photo session.

Things Were Not What They Seem
While on the surface most, if not all, would be taking this run relaxingly, I sensed an undercurrent of pre-race tension surging through the crowd. So what was my plan? I intended to see if in my depleted state (battered more like actually), I could still sustain a good pace, and if so how long? The large gathering had attracted the gaze of the morning walkers/joggers at the park and with much laughter and bantering and a wave of the flag, we were let off! The "seeded" runners blazed off in front and the mid packers followed behind. Half-way through the 1st lap, I had Newton and Kevin for company and I told Kevin that the pace was just too fast. He agreed. True enough, I finished Lap 1 in 6:05 (4:40), which I believe to be my fastest lap ever done at KLCC. Then I made a mental note to slow down for the next few laps. I placed 11th going into 2nd lap and I held that position for the next 3 laps.

Sick Man Can't Run
Things went south from the 5th lap. The periodic coughing knocked me off pace and I eventually came to a walking pace. For awhile I considered DNFing but by doing that I would not be honouring the efforts of all present. So I trudged on with Kenneth briefly as company. Yaziz and CM had been handing me water every lap and on one, I gestured to Tey not to take my pathetic picture. Justin must have seen how bad a shape I was in. I was only able to jog without walking for the remaining 2 laps when most had completed and felt chilled. A few friends remarked that I looked a little pale.

The Runners Were The Winners
The post-run atmosphere was simply wonderful. While nearly half the field had PR'd and I'd ended up second last, I wasn't upset. In fact, I was downright glad to have finished. The skies threatened suddenly and I quickly gathered my wife and kid from the playground and left after the prize giving - beautiful trophies courtesy of Yaziz - to escape the impending rain. Regrettably we could join them for breakfast as the food would not have been appropriate given our condition. The three of us were coughing badly.

No Psychological Damage
If I were to state the state I'm in presently, I'd say that I've lost 70% of my fitness, of which my endurance factor the most severely battered. My speed somehow was left largely intact which is most surprising. My "loss" to my peers are no means an accurate measure of my ability. Psychologically I'm completely confident of it not to be alarmed and I'm patient (I've always been in my approach to running) enough to take my time to heal - coughs these days are extremely persistent in nature. And patient to the point of willing to forgo workouts and races in order to recover fully. If I may say so, with the exception of laps 5 and 6, my splits were not too bad. So it's perfectly all right.

Going Forward
Hopefully Der_Pacemakers will continue to play an active role in spreading the good vibes about running everywhere we go. The number of "members" may not grow beyond the present 27 but one thing's for sure, our circle of good friends will certainly will. That's the most important thing, isn't it?

My splits: 6:05, 6:40, 6:40, 6:43, 9:03, 9:56, 7:41, 7:08
Total time: 59:58.93
Average lap: 7:29

3 Comments:

  • Do not let an illness dampen your spirit and your passion in running. In everything there are ups and downs, but if you know your capability, I believe you will eventually bounce back in vitality and a stronger person.

    The most important thing now is to rest well and all will be taken care of in due course. Take Care!

    By Blogger John, at 7:39 PM  

  • Rohaizad
    I know you have the right stuff in you and will be able to recover back your fitness.
    For now, treat the layoff as rest and recovery from the stress of running.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 PM  

  • Thanks for the supportive words guys!

    By Blogger Carboman, at 9:44 AM  

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