Monday, 15 October 2012

We Run KL 10K 2012 - A perspective from "behind-the-scenes"

Wow... Wow...WOW~!.... That was all I can say during last week's "We Run KL 10K 2012". It was an amazing experience and very educational on my part; NOT as a runner that is. ;)

I've never got to register for the run nor did I actually planned to in the first place. I missed last year too but I manage to do it on the first ever Nike KL 10K. It has always been my plan to work "behind-the-scenes" of a run as a volunteer. It's good to sometimes take a break from competitive running and cheer on for friends who are participating. So when Kenny asked me whether I was alright to assist him for the setup at the startpoint on race day; I was all on board. 

Our morning started pretty early around 9am. It has been raining cats and dogs for days and Padang Merbok was damp and soggy. But the setup was well planned and the work has been going on non-stop. As for me and Kenny, we are in charge for the setup at the start point at Jalan Ampang. We cycled from Padang Merbok all the way to Saloma (where the start point is) and arrived about 9.30am. Our work is about to commence from 10am onwards. 

Arrived at Jalan Ampang. All set up and ready to go!
 As many would know (especially the frequent clubbers at Zouk), Jalan Amapang is pretty a long stretch. We had to start erecting up stages, banners, tents and etc on this entire road; starting from the British Council all the way down to the traffic light crossroad at Renaissance Hotel. That is LONG!

We only had the full road closure from 2pm onwards, so we gotta work real quick. Like Speedy Gonzales quick. Then, the dreaded weather..... At sharp 10am when we were suppose to start hanging up the banners, that dreaded rain started. The downpour lasted for at least 5 hours and it was heavy for most of it. BUT the show must go on!

Massive effort even during the rain.
Kenny is supervising the backdrop for the main stage.
The main stage is up!
Since we do not have the complete road closure by 2pm, doing all these is a massive undertaking. For a moment I thought I was a little overwhelmed. We were all wet even under our fragile, skimpy raincoats. The first 4 hours was really a challenge.

Come by 2pm, the rain slowed down a bit but not showing signs of stopping. But at least we had 3/4 of the road closure done. Everyone was frantically setting up but all is well organized. At least I still haven't been showing signs of cracking under pressure. I was jokingly telling Kenny, that probably this rain is a real challenge to prep for future event setups.

We only had 2 hours to completely finish up everything before the first runners arrive. So entering Speedy Gonzales Mode 2!

Road closure done. Barricades up!
A quick pose at the main stage first.
With Sharon; also a volunteer on that day. 
 Till today, I still couldn't believe how fast we were moving the last 2 hours. Kenny's brilliant organization and leadership sure pulled us through. The main stage, the main arch, the barricades, the tents, the banners, everything done within that time frame; UNDER the rain! Of course since the both of us are on bikes, it was pretty quick and efficient for us to move around the entire stretch of Jalan Ampang quickly to supervise things from one end to the other.

And when the first wave of runners came, the rain has stopped. By then, we were 95% complete and putting up the finishing touches. Everything was in order.

The volunteers were also in position ready to greet the massive strong force of 15,000 runners.

Sharon, Lum Oldman and gang are ready to go.
All done, just in time.
Please head to startline.
 Although we were done with the setup, we were not winding down yet. We still had to dismantle everything as soon as the last runner has passed the starting point. So we relaxed a little (well, technically Kenny did not as he still needs to coordinate with the organizers on the music, cue of gun off and etc). I cycled around assisting as much as I can and meeting up with a few friends along the way. I'm pretty surprised that most of the participants were lost and ended up at Avenue K or Jalan Yap Kwan Seng. Had to guide them to the start point but hey, I ain't complaining. It's good to help. I would appreciate it if I was lost too.

View from start point.
Everyone say hi!
A once in a lifetime shot. Look at that massive crowd!
Emcees for the day. JJ & Ean.
All awaiting in anticipation.
It's always a great honour to see Uncle Oli.
 As the gun off time (5.30pm) was closing, the crowd just got massive by the minute. It was really an overwhelming sight. Usually when I'm participating for a running event, I'm usually too psyched up to notice what was going on. But now viewing it from behind the scenes, it's just incredible (and a little intimidating). I really feel like a tiny ant. Organizing such a big event is such a massive undertaking.

Without yakking too much, below is a video I captured from our setup, the gun off and the concert for the night. Sorry, I didn't manage to capture Mizz Niza's performance. I was treading through with bike over the mud.

When the gun was off, it took about almost 15 minutes until the last runner ran through the start arch. It's really a sight to be behold. 15,000 runners running through is just so jaw dropping. Yes, my jaws dropped literally.

Once the last runner past through, it was no time to relax as we needed to clear the street ASAP. Enter Speedy Gonzales Mode 3. All our entire morning and noon hard work had to be taken down. And by Kenny's record, it was the fastest he has done. In less than 30 minutes, we cleared 3/4 of the setup. That was incredibly fast. The staging, arch, barricades and everything was cleared in a jiffy. A real great team work from everyone.
Everything cleared in a jiffy. Record speed time too!
When we almost done, Kenny and I still need to head back to Padang Merbok to see how the rest of the team are doing at the end point aka. The Main Stage. Along the way, we cheered on for the runners who were just coming down from Akleh.

All running to head back to Padang Merbok.
A great support cheer team.
Riding back was an adventure on it's own. Padang Merbok was muddy. It's like Salomon X-Trail all over again. Again I see runners looked panicky. I mean what is wrong of getting a little dirty. Jeez... some people are just too pampered. I would had happily crossed the mud and say it was an unforgettable experience to end a run.

I tread along my bike through the mud, not caring that I was gonna be wet and dirty again. At least, now I can say my MTB has gone down dirty.

Kenny and I parked our bikes and headed off to the festivities. Along the way, we met alot of our fellow runners and friends. Some were the usual pros and some were first time runner (first virgin runs). Thumbs up to you all!
With Jason Loh, 4th placing category below 25 Mens. 
The music pumping the night away!
With 2nd place winner Veteran Men, Jean Pierre Lautredoux. See ya at DPC 2012!
The ever loving couple, Kenny & Winnie. 
Jean Pierre receiving his prize. 
I just love this sandwich sign. Just brilliant.
All in all, it was a great event and definitely an eye opening and incredible experience for me. Although I was tired from the whole thing, I was glad that I was part of it. I'm sure by now most of us had heard of the fiasco that happened that night, but I'm not gonna go there. I'm here to talk about happy things.

Seeing it as a regular runner, I believe the event was a success. Perhaps a little over-the-top with the outdoor concert but then again it's something special. I'm sure the 10,000 youngsters were delighted with the taste of real live entertainment. Not many high school kids can brag they have been to an outdoor party with a live set of DJs and celebrity singers to entertain them. Dammit, you guys are so lucky! I didn't even have that when I was 15.

The party ended at 9pm sharp but we still had loads to clean up. Kenny's team and I retired about 11.30pm.  I was still glad to see some more friends working as volunteers clearing up. After our goodbyes, it was time to go home.

I went home with a smile on my face. Tired, but I'm happy. :)

The fab team I was working with for the day.


  1. Hi Andrew
    Thanks for taking two pics of us (the BWC.MY Cheerleaders & the pic above that) at Nike We Run KL 10K. Really had a blast cheering others on to the finish line and completing our run together as a group till the end.
    Can finally put a face to the invisible hands that set up the street on the day of the event. Just want you to know we appreciate the hard work by you guys which sometimes go unnoticed.
    Maybe we'll meet up since we'll be attending the GE, PBIM and Parkcity runs.
    Chanced on your blog while finding out about Dragon Back LSD. We may do that one route soon.
    Take care.

    1. You are most welcome. Yes, shall be seeing you for GE as I will be running. Organization will be done by the same team as well. Pakcity Run I will be on the bike. ;)


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