p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Sanity Check

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sanity Check

I gathered up enough courage to turn up at the Platinum car park this morning. The silence in the car as I drove down to KL - for once I didn't turn on the car stereo - was indicative of the apprehension and dread I had. But the run was something that I had to get in, since the GE30K race is just a couple of weekends away. Given my level of fitness it would've been wiser if I'd registered under the 20K category but then I'm sure I'd be harboring a feeling of regret if I don't do the full monty. So no matter how hard it's going to be, 30K it is.

The menu for this morning called for a 28K-ish long run covering most of the race route. The route is modified this year to include several loops around the Income Tax Building while removing the additional loop around the Hartamas Petronas station. The race organizers also see it necessary to heap more miseries onto the runners, the Matrade link was included into the course.

I'd preferred that it rained like yesterday but it didn't. I made sure that I ran very conservatively so that I can last the distance. For this morning we had several guest runners for company - Suhaimi and friend and Vicki, an American training for an ultra Adventure race, among others. By the 3rd K, I was already huffing and running alone. Frank and Lynn would soon disappear ahead while Lawrence and Vicki were pacing ahead together as well. If anything, my pacing were pretty consistent at 6:30. John who arrived late predictably passed us after the 4th K. I would only get to a level of comfort close to 10K, so I was pretty much focused on the moment of the run and dared not think too much ahead.

To cut a long story short, I'd like to warn fellow runners on how difficult the course is. While many may have run 30K training runs as part of training for the race, not many have run the actual course. All I can say is that it will surprise you. It will hammer you, if you start too ambitiously. There are very little sections of respite from the hills. The start itself involves a climb up the Deer Park. Before long you'll be tackling the long incline just after the Central Bank before doing the reverse Double Hill. Your quads will take a pounding as you run down Double Hill and your legs will immediately be taxed with a climb towards Mahameru (7K mark) and the IRB Building. Then the double climb of Matrade awaits, then Duta Tropika (10K) before the long and familiar length of road towards Desa Hartamas. After Petronas, you'll be running behind the station - a steep climb, a downhill before another uphill curve towards Plaza Damas. Then it's back to Matrade and the IRB before heading back to the dreaded Tijani slope.

A brief respite comes as you run down Kenny Hills and you'll need to drag your legs up to the Central Bank loop. At this stage you'd be mistaken to think that it's time to hammer the pace but wait! There's still the long trek to the Selangor Palace before exiting the hill at the National Monument. And if you're still "fresh" at that point it's 800m to the finish at Tapak A in Lake Gardens. What I'm getting at is "Underestimate this course at your own peril!".

Having mentioned what I did, I'm not complaining about the route. Afterall, if one feels that it's too tough, simply don't sign up. But since runners are generally suckers for pain and are up for the challenge no matter how foolhardy it is, the race is most likely fully subscribed.

I ended up completing just 26K of this morning's run (average pace of 6:16) and was I glad. I decided that running the Selangor Palace at this point won't make much of a difference to the state I'm in, except perhaps to inject a little bit more confidence. Now I won't sign off this posting by presenting everything to be difficult. Check this guy out - if everything goes according to his plan, we may just yet see the world record for the marathon smashed again this year.

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7 Comments:

  • Not forgetting that the up and down terrain causes the liver and diaphragm to act up causing me massive stitch.

    By Blogger Runnerz Circle..., at 1:37 AM  

  • Now you're really scaring me. I'm oredi terrified of the old route, for me that was grueling enuf. But will crawl if that's what it takes to finish. Made the bed so I must lie in it (seems like dug my grave so I must jump in!).

    By Blogger haza, at 9:54 AM  

  • I was running with Lawrence and told him just to look down the road instead of looking forward. That way you dont see the hills ahead. Just trying out some psychology and mind games methodology. which ever way we still have to tackle the hills. good luck.

    By Blogger C-CUBE, at 10:48 AM  

  • The route is really tough and unforgiving. But, in the end, all the finishers will take home one priceless experience i.e. they took the challenge and they DID IT.

    By Blogger Loke, at 2:19 PM  

  • My legs are protesting today. Will probably feel the soreness for the next few days. This is by far the toughest 30K route bar none. Disrespect the distance and terrain at your own peril.

    By Anonymous Lawrence, at 5:44 PM  

  • Completely tested the route and man, it's real tough! Go and apply for a MC for few days after the Race Day....hehehe..!

    By Blogger John, at 10:03 PM  

  • Thank you for your report (: As if my bunch of friends and i from slightly down south are not already worried about the old route, the organisers have gone one up with attempted murder! (:

    Looks like all of us, regardless of whether from Singapore or Malaysia, are in for some fun. (:

    Cokiee

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 AM  

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