Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Great Eastern Live Great Run 2012 - Running on homeground

Just over the weekend, The Great Eastern Live Great Run 2012 just took place. If this sounds familiar, it's actually quite like the Great Eastern Women's Run in Singapore. In our country, all gender mesti participate. ;)

Held at Martrade and route around the Dutamas area, the Dutamas Runners gang was of course pretty excited about it. After all, this IS our training ground. So when registration started, we quickly did it in a jiffy. 

The DR gang early bird registration : From left Seng Chor, Kenny and myself. Sequential numbers!
So you could imagine Seng Chor, Kenny and myself were quite surprised when our bib numbers were running sequential numbers. Talk about being kiasu! (ps: actually we didn't know we registered at the same time and it's purely coincidental.) 

I was pretty excited the day before but I tried to get as much rest as possible. I told myself not to get overly excited like other races where I loose sleep over it. For once, I decided that I should skip my compression wear and GU gels this time round. Probably didn't need it for a short race and not wanting to rely on it so much. 

The main stage area and gathering point.
Morning started out early as I calmly left the house and head to the venue. It was a short drive since I stay nearby. Already there was a large crowd of people slowly swamping into Martrade.

Clockwise from top : (1)The official photographers and photog buddies - Jason, Darren & John "Katak" Ling, (2)Sue Leng , (3)Part of the setup team - Winnie & Grislle , (4) Crystal & Alex.
 After leaving my bag at the baggage counter, I was ready to do some warm ups. Not before I met up with some of the guys along the way. Pleasantly surprised was to see Jason and John "Katak" Ling (my photog buddies). They were part of the official photographer team covering the event. I made sure they take my photos and checked where they were positioned at the run.

Walking towards the startline, met up with the setup gang that I've worked with during the recent We Run KL 2012. They have been working since the day before and they were still pretty energetic. Great job!

The startline already crowded.
I'm usually quite kiasu when heading towards any startline. I prefer to be close to the start rather than start at the back. From previous experiences, this was to avoid zig-zagging slower runners after the gun off. 

From top left to bottom : (1)My DR buddy - Kenny G , (2) Therese of Hivelocity, (3) The Real Ho & Weng Woo, (4) DR gang - Raymond T. (5) The ever fast, Edan Syah, (6) The Forever Young - Uncle Oli, (7) The ever fit - Herny. (8) Mrs. Moey of Ton Ton, (9) Michelle Eves as bike marshal
Being 30 minutes early before gun off, I'm bound to always bump into friends inside or outside the pit. Since I was in a "Korean" mode, I kept calling everyone Oppa (which soon I found out was a wrong term to use on anyone. Apparently only young girls can use it on slightly older guys). How embarrassing. (-_-)||

While inside the pit, I kept my legs moving so I don't cool down too much. Must keep the heart rate pumping. The gun off was delayed by 6 minutes, which felt quite like an eternity. The crowd began to feel anxious and the emcees were trying to keep everyone occupied with some music and some activities. I was beginning to feel worried as the sky is getting brighter and the sun rays can be quite glaring at some parts of the route.

Once the gun was off, I wasted no time overtaking as much runners as possible but conserving energy at the same time. I'm mentally prepared as I know what waits before me - hills, hills and more HILLS!

Bumping and over taking Sharon.
The first 2km was pretty easy as the road was going downhill. Loads of runners were speeding through. Part of me wants to go with them but I stayed with an easy pace. I need to conserve energy for the later parts.

Clear skies! After 3km mark heading towards Publika.
As expected, the glaring sunrise!
Capt overtook me around the 4km marker. I thought he was at the front being that he is part of the "elite". More added pressure as he encourage me to push. We were pretty close to each other for about a kilometer before he sped off. I had to slow down a bit (as expected) cause of the glaring morning sun. Even with my sunnies on, my eyes were squinting.

Next up was the turn heading towards Hartamas. This is the part that I started to speed up.

If this was the scene of "Sound of Music", better start singing "The hills are ALIVE....." cause this is where the terror begins. Jalan Sri Hartamas is a popular road for runners doing their training run. It's famous for it's continuous ascends and descents. KM6-KM9 is gonna be FUN!

First obstacle course - Climbing over Water Barricade.
 Arrival at Plaza Damas is greeted with the first obstacle course : Climbing over 2 walls of water barricades. If you are wondering, this is kept with the organizers theme of "Over coming obstacles in life". How fitting. It was pretty easy actually but somehow I saw some people cheating by bypassing them.

Made up a bit of time as I quickly jumped over the barricades as many were struggling. I need to quickly make it downhill and make a U-turn to catch up.

The rest of the route is pretty much straight forward. After the U-turn, the route was in reverse and we need to head back towards the finishing line.

Running pass the infamous coloured wall structure outside Publika. 1.5km to go!
 The last 1.5km I really pushed hard. Basically because I was hungry! A couple of hills and we were back at Martrade again. About 200M to the finishing, one more obstacle course to go.

CG guarding the last obstacle.
The last obstacle - Zig zagging through a "maze".
The last obstacle was a "maze" (or the lack of one). A quick left-right-left and you're out of it. A good and fun addition but could be further improved next year. The team of supporters (including CG) were at the obstacle course giving support and encouragement to every runner.

Out of the maze, a quick turn to the left and the finishing line is just a shot away. I quickly blast through the finishing and was very happy with my timing. At the same time, I was cringing cause the DJ decided to blast a certain "Gangam" song when I crossed it. Happy nonetheless. ;)

Ever cheerful Jolene. 
Walked through the welfare area to collect my finisher medal and was greeted by the ever cheerful Jolene. Dun play play. She has done more FM that I did.

After collecting the goodie bag and a quick change, it's time to meet up with friends at the staging area and finishing line.

From left : Yin Yin, Gilbert , Tan Wah Sing and me.
Cute little boy helping out to pass Tau Hueh for the participants.
Such a joyful sight to see young ones helping out.
With Ultra-Marathoner Frank Chong of Running Lab Malaysia.
Jason was so busy snapping away that he wasn't aware that I was calling him. Well, he needs to do his job.
Closing to the finishing line, Kenny G & David.
Showing off our sequential bib numbering. Except Capt's bib number was a bit later.

It was Uncle Oli's birthday, so I decided to do an impromptu birthday song for him. Please don't mind my suara sumbang la cause I can't sing properly for dear life. Happy Birthday Uncle Oliver. Stay forever young and continue to inspire! (ps: Uncle Oli does Full Marathons and Ultra-Marathons! No words can expressed how incredible his feats are). 

Top Podium Finishers.
Edan pointing out his winning results.
Group photo with all podium winners and the GE team. 
Mr & Mrs. Moey. Congrats to Moey on his 4th placing in the Men's Junior Veteran Category.
Congratulations to Mr. Tan Wah Sing on his 3rd placing in Men's Senior Veteran Category.
Edan and his 3rd placing mantle. Congratulations Edan!
A quick pic with the fastest Human Snail. Amazing costume bro!
All in all it was a great event and I honestly can say I enjoyed it very much. I'm sure many would agree. Everything was very well organized.

Later I found out that I did a personal PB for 5km by shaving off 3 minutes! I'm so glad. :)

Here are some breakdown points:

Pros :
1. Sufficient water stations and the sponging station was an additional bonus.
2. Excellent route with obstacle courses.
3. Race venue was huge and catered well with more than 5,000 people.
4. Finisher Medal - One of the best I've received. Very solid and well made.
5. Volunteers and support team were helpful in all areas.

Cons (not really but if I had to nitpick) :
1. Gun off should be on time. Not a big issue for me as long it's not delayed too long.
2. Obstacle courses could be more challenging. Always room for improvement.
3. Suggested parking areas may seemed a bit far from venue but a good warm up before the run.

The organizers definitely did well in this event considering this is the first one done by Great Eastern Malaysia. If ever there is a Live Great Run 2013, count me in! :)

The awesome looking and solid finisher Medal for Live Great Run 2012.


  1. What fantastic photos - these and your write-up really capture the great atmosphere of the event :) I agree that the gunshot should have gone off on time. It was nerve-wracking enough having to wait for it without having to wait even longer than planned!

    1. Thanks Johanna! Yes, it was quite nerve-wrecking. I was pretty alright with it. As long it's not on a major marathon event. ;)


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