Monday, 22 October 2012

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012 - of threatening weather, easy relax pacing and running in the memory of a lost one

So PNM 2012 is done. Another tick on my list of runs to do this year. This will be my last HM for the year and there isn't any plans yet for another anytime soon. No worries; I ain't saying that I'm "hanging up my shoes" just yet. 

This is my 2nd PNM around and a few know that I have a small piece of "history" with PNM. Although I've been running for some time but my first real official running event that I've actually signed up for was PNM 2010. Albeit just under the "Fun Run" Category, it was this one moment that the running bug bit hard on me arse. This past 2 years seems like ages ago.

Driving to Putrajaya. Weird weather works going on.
 Technically speaking, I didn't really prepare myself for this run. I wasn't aiming for any PB and I just wanted to have a free and easy relax run with friends. Someone mentioned that I should further improve my current HM PB; but I think there is a time to do it. Just not now.

I just wanted to experience the joy of running long distance WITHOUT any worries of how fast/slow I should be going. It's not that I was aiming podium anyways.

With Patrick and the GNC girls. 
 Started my journey to Putrajaya at around 4.30pm;  hoping that I would arrive around 5.30pm to hang about and say hi to another who arrived early. For some strange reason, I decided to take MEX through KL town. Bad mistake cause of an unexpected jam along Jalan Tun Razak. Apparently a giant trailer with a crane was stuck on one of the lanes. After some maneuvering around and getting through the MEX entry lane, I was relieved but cautious about time. Nonetheless, I made it safe and sound arriving after 6pm. Though it rained cats and dogs along the way, Putrajaya was surprisingly dry!

This bomoh really working hard to keep the rain at bay.

A quick meet up with the guys and everyone seems very geared up and ready. Patrick seems ready; seeing that he is hiding behind his GNC booth. I usually like to poke fun at Patrick being that he is quite the someone at GNC Malaysia. I always introduce him as "The 2nd man of GNC. Any problems look for him!". Hahaha... no puns bro, I love ya man.

All thumbs up! 
 Of course this run also holds a special meaning this time round. Just a day before, the running community has lost a fellow runner, Cheah Mei Mei and many runners ran in her memory. Although personally I didn't know her, she is well known for her podium finishings and well praised in the running community. I couldn't believe the news myself, having just shot her podium pictures 2 weeks before during Salomon X-Trail. Her passing was indeed sudden but many of us felt her presence that night. Thank you for inspiring us!

In memory of Cheah Mei Mei. A good one from KK. 
 Sad notes aside, this relax run of mine was actually quite a thoughtful one for me. Since I wasn't concentrated on my timing, I had time to pace myself correctly. From my breathing, listening and aware of my strides and take in the whole experience. Mentally inside of me, I'm just thankful.

Alright, skipping all somber parts; let's just head straight to the race.

With Kelvin and Tristupe. Thumbs up means ok to go!
 In this race, I've actually decided to try a few things differently.

First was loss the water bottles. I'm seeing how far I can go without them and it does feel good without the extra weight. Besides the water stations were very sufficient.

Secondly was the contemplation of bringing safety lights. I have a bad habit of not bringing one during my night runs even though I was bugged for the millionth time by peers. But because of the recent incident involving Stupe's wife, I think I better not risk it. Took the safety blinker from my bike and attached it on my Fuel belt and used the spare Energizer headlight from ENR. This has proven very useful during the run where some parts were not very well lit.

Besides, someone commented that my arse is blinking red from a far. Good.... it means it can be seen; even when I went for a pee behind the bushes!

The start point.
The main stage with Orangeman. 
A grand startline lineup. 
 The starting of the race was indeed grand. All the light and sounds, all the cultural performances and finally that Gangam song. OK, I have to admit it's getting tiring now. I love the song but I think it's over-played too much. The DJ must have sense our groaning and quickly switched back to some other uptempo beats.

At 8.20PM sharp, the gun was off for HM and I slowly made through the timing mat. I told myself not to go off too fast like I usually do. First 2k was easy, breezy, japanezzy.

First cheer team of the day. Drums!
With Brain Ng. My fellow runner who always motivates me to push faster. 
 The organizers must have really put into a lot of thought for this run. The cheer teams were fantastic, especially it's really dull and quiet at Putrajaya. From what I gathered, there were cheer teams from each main sponsor and they were quite well spread. Very happening affair.

First in my eyesight was Brian Ng who always like to push me when he sees me in a run. His usual trademark is "Come come faster" and he zooms off hoping that you would catch him. Hahaha... not this time.

The marching band of Falun Dafa. 
The happening cheer team from BSN.
 Since I was on a relax pace, I took the opportunity to shoot any photo I could even with the cheer teams and volunteers if possible. Thanks to you all for making this whole experience wonderful.

The ever, EVER Forever Young Uncle Oliver.
 Next up I caught up was Uncle Oliver who is doing a FM. I always have the upmost respect for Uncle Oli who is also a regular Ultra-marathoner. It's just so inspiring and amazing to see someone like him still doing the things he loves. I salute you!

With Manson for his second ever FM. 
Keep it up! 32km to go.
 At the 10km mark and water station, bumped into Manson who is doing his 2nd FM. Congrats bro on finishing. Don't worry so much about the time. You are already a winner when you completed it. Keep it up for the next round.

Mohan at the HM/FM route split. 
 Further up caught up with the ever energetic Mohan just right at the HM/FM split. Can you believe that he has done more than 100 FULL Marathons?

From 12km onwards, things started to get quiet and number of runners started dwindling. It was quite a cooling night with just a slight tinge of humidity. No complaints but a little rain would had helped further.

Our route was mostly cheered on Superheroes (and Villains). I heard for the FM, they had clowns.

First it was the Villains who greeted us.

Boba Fett. Your visor is fogging up!
The Lord Vader. Besides his shortcomings of his lightsaber, he ain't my lim peh (father) either. Lolx!
 I was so tempted to ask "Vader" the "Lu si gua lim peh ah?" question but the poor fellow in the costume seems to be breathing very heavily inside. It's either he is maintaining character or he is suffocating in his dark cape. A quick look back, I saw him wiping sweat under his helmet.

Up next were the Super Heroes!

Spiderman aka Peter Parker. Has he shrunk cause that costume looks like it has seen better days.
Batman aka Bruce Wayne. Trying to look cool and I swear his body is radiating heat!
Ironman and Superman side by side. Marvel vs DC with me in between.
 Coming back into the run, all fun was over for the last 3km. I for one usually dreaded this stretch that is long, winding and elevating. It's a boring straight road with a U-turn heading back to the Palace of Justice. I seriously took my time on this part and I heard many complained getting cramps along this area. Yah, I share your sentiment and I had my fair share previously.

All pain and tiredness were gone 500M before the ending. Buddies were cheering on and I playfully skipped my way through the finishing. Vivian did not manage to capture a shot because she didn't realise I skipped by so fast. Next time dear. ;)

At the finishing line with Victor, The Real Ho and Brian.
With My trustee "Don't Think just Run " tee with my DR gang , Yvonne and Jamie Pang.
Congrats to Von on finishing Top 30. 
I was just so happy when they hung the medal around my neck. Although it wasn't finished at a great time or PB, inside of me I just felt great. I continue to count my blessings every time and everyday I get to do this.

Congrats to all who finished PNM 2012. If you didn't do well, there is always next year to look forward to!


  1. glad you took pics of the supporters in costume. they really made the run more secenic and enjoyable! otherwise, it would have just been road road road.

    1. I know, right? The organizers really thought this through. Without them, my slow run was really a bore.


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