Men’s Health Women’s Health AIA Night Run 2017: Race Review

As a runner, your greatest asset- or sometimes enemy, is your brain! What you think and feel on and off the road has a tremendous influence over how you perform once you lace them up on race day!

Men’s health and women’s health AIA Night Run 2017, Hubby and I decided to signed up for the 21km half marathon, since it was scheduled to be held in Putrajaya (Nice route, flat and not too much of hills). However, we were informed by the organisers that due to unforeseen circumstances, the venue was held at MAEPS, Mardi- Serdang instead.

We arrived very very early, so we managed to get to a good and safe parking spot, quite near the starting point. Alright, let’s begin with a quick rundowns of the PROS and CONS.

PROS:

  1. It was a “Night Run”. It had a totally different feel than a morning race would have, which I enjoyed.
  2. It was a nice feeling to be running “in a farm”- closed to nature (Old Macdonald had a farm tune was in my head 24/7, while running this 21km route (LOL)
  3. I might be acting a little picky with this one, but I thought that the crowd was overwhelming, thousands and thousands of runners!
  4. Water stations were plenty (but it was badly manned and was disorganised)
  5. Porta-porties were sufficient

THE UGLY:

  1. The warm up session by Fitness First was demotivating.
  2. The flagged off was 10 minutes late, we could see the elite/veteran runners pushing their way to the front. At 8.10pm, the emcee did a countdown and off the 21km runners went.
  3. As far as logistics go, it was probably a disorganised race. To my opinion, there were too many runners. When the 21km runners were flagged off, runners were pushing, shoving into one another to be ahead/ in front. From the 1st km to the 5 km, runners were running in a bottle neck position.
  4. Certain parts of the route were pitch dark and there were lots of pothholes.
  5. To make matters even worst, the 21 km half marathon runners had to share the same route with the 12 km runners, and round and round and round we went….Lap one……..Lap two…….and all the runners were so confused that the 12 km and 21km runners were just running and slamming and crossing into each other. we were like a herd of cows running in and out of the “Kandang” to find our way home……OMG! It wasn’t a flat route, but on hills! It was like stairway to hell. At one point, this was pure mental torture for the 21 km half marathon runners!
  6. I could hear many runners grumbling and complaining that the route was dull, boring and unsafe. No proper lightings and roads were uneven and lots of pothholes.
  7. There were no proper signages and markers. Marshalls were busy on their mobiles, sitting in the corners, vaping and smoking and some were busy yelling and shouting “to the left…to the left..!” and “runners….21km to the right! to the right!” At this point, many runners were so confused and most of the 21km runners DNF!

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Bad runs happens to every runner. Yes, me too! But when a bad run is happening to you, it is horrible! But when the wheels start falling off, you can either focus on the pain or you can use it as a learning experience.

I was just happy and relief to complete the race and managed to grab my finisher medal!

Be realistic…was it really such a bad race? You are racing no one but yourself! So this time yourself lost, next time your other self may win…….See what I mean, take the good runs with the bad, remember the highs and don’t dwell on the lows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Expect the unexpected- P.S.P King of Forest

 

If you’re going to put yourself through hell, you might as well do it in heaven, eh? I took a brave decision recently to take part in the P.S.P King of Forest. All things have limits, but one should always go beyond them. I was pretty excited to be able to do this! Running a trail run is very foreign to me, and I am no way a mountain goat!

The start line was very overwhelming. Hubby wished me “good luck and see you at the finish line” and bang we were off! I was surrounded by over 2000, probably all of them were pro and elite runners.There was everything the seasoned trail runner would want-uphills,single track and stream crossing. It had rained the night before, so parts of the trail were really muddy.

I was grateful for the opportunity to be in that moment at that time. So grateful for a body that allows me to do this, for a mind that chooses to push on when it hurts. So grateful for my other half who also shares my crazy love for running..the feeling was breathtaking!

The rolling elavation gave the runners a climb and descent adventure as they navigate the different distances of the trail. P.S.P King of Forest attracted a drove of runners from the newbie trail runners looking for a comfortable place to start their journey into trail running to the seasoned elite runners looking for competitive ambiance and their weekly milage. P.S.P King of Forest is a scenic haven for a trail run with well maintained trails and its own share of the wild and forested trails.

The trail into the 5km was probably the most treacherous, with a big up hill that were coated in mud by the time I got to them. What’s a trail run without muddy shoes? My shoes were caked with mud and I thought I might fall. I held onto trees and roots, I made it! The view..oh wow! I could see the KLCC Twin Towers…magnificent…It was tough, and steep, but wow the scenery was incredible!Like being inside a painting. I stopped to catch my breath and continued my journey….

The crowd around me definitely wasn’t shy about walking the uphills. And none of us could resist taking pictures. I met Gunawathy along the way and we ended up being “3 sekawan”- we rolled and climbed and slided and glided through amazing scenery. Doesn’t get much better than that! Chatting with her helped the miles go quick and it was nice having someone there to help keep the pace strong!

Our trail was well marked and there were marshalls to guide us throughout! There were also signages the entire route. A good amount of shade and aid/ water stations were efficient and a lot of fun! fun! fun! We also had a few easy water/streams crossings which was really awesome to hear the sounds of the water flowing-just like in a spa…the sounds of nature…

OVERALL:-

Rate rating: 5

Well-marked, pictureque and above all else, challenging! Small waves helped keep the trail from becoming too crowded.

Organization: 4

Plenty of parking. (Thank you, dear organizers for keeping our cars and properties safe) There were lots of RELA and Marshalls on stand by and on duty. Friendly and energetic organizers got the start, finish and awards off without hitch.

Overall: Recommended Trail Run

The right amount of punishment and reward! Very well-coordinated for the first annual.

Off road running is just……different! Road and trail are pretty far removed from each other. I love both in different ways. Leave your headphones at home, take off the watch, ditch the phone and let your inner “Jedi” use the trail running force!

Trail running will change you for the better, and when you get home, you’ll feel the benefit of the trail’s nature therapy.

All in all it was such a magical experience!

 

The P.S.P King of Forest

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Bored of running on roads and fancy trying something a bit different?

Lace your shoes and stretch those calves. I am looking forward for my 2nd trail run at IJM ICE Gallery @ Pantai Sentral Park, Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi- P.S.P King of the Forest. Running trails is totally different to running on roads, and I know it will test my balance, strength and endurance.

Every trail is different and I need to constantly adapt my techniques as I encounter new obtacles. I know this will slow me down, but I am not going to stress about the time and just have an awesome time. There is no better feeling than running amazing trails and enjoying our amazing forest and nature.

Trails have so much to offer. The only requirement to run trails is to be up for an adventure. Experience, technique and pace will all come in time. Be smart and be open for adventure because the trails will give you only as much as you are willing to take. Never stop exploring!