Score Run Conquer the city Race Review

Everything is awesome! I finished. That was the goal. I did it! I feel so awesome about this accomplishment. It wasn’t easy and the race was a lot harder than I thought but I persevered!

It was nuts. At the Score Run Series races there are sooo many people. I think the estimate was 13,000 people. I know. That is a ridiculous amount of people. Not surprisingly it was super organized and run like a well oiled machine! You can expect that with SCORE RUN. The half marathon started at 5:30am. We had to be there at 4:30am so we left the house at around 3:30am and got up at 2:30am. I couldn’t sleep that night anyways so it didn’t really matter because I was soooo nervous. The race was going to be different from my training, I mean all of those people and the adrenaline of the race was going to change my run. I didn’t realize how awesome it was going to be.

The day of the race I woke at 2.30a.m. to get ready and down a cup of coffee before my a.k.a ‘sole mate’- hubby and weekend running partner drove about an hour to Dataran Merdeka, chatting nervously about our kids and pre-race dinners (we broke the golden rule- “do not eat anything new before race day” ( But we had ‘makan besar’, a new seafood restaurant with the family and ordered new yummy-li-cious dishes only to realised that tomorrow was race day!) and arrived at the race site with just enough time to snap and take some awesome pictures and there were we, at the starting line. Then we were off, jogging on the streets of Kuala Lumpur in a crowd of nearly 13,000 participants.

Finally, after a bit of milling around when I thought I was going to be sick with nerves, the countdown began and the air horn goes off. There was some jostling for position at the front, with the pacers and their balloons Thank you pacers, you guys are awesome! however, I was glad I was in the middle with the ‘fun runners’. As I suspected the excitement had me setting off a bit quicker than I would usually and I was glad that my muscles were already warmed up.

The route led us through Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur Train Station and into Jalan Cheras. What was simply awesome was, the roads were completely and fully closed and the organisers truly prioritized runners’ safety! Kudos and well done!  For the first 2 KM, the group I was running in stayed more or less together. A few people passed me. I passed a few people. We were finding our own race to run. I even spotted a runner dressed in a ‘Dead Pool outfit- what an amazing sight! LOL

At about 5 KM, my group started to separate with some falling behind and others pulling ahead. There was a water station at this point with most runners gulping down a quick drink. Hydration along the route was plentiful. Runners could grab cups after cups of 100 Plus or water. However, throwing so many of these cups on the floor became a hazard for many. I noticed a lot of people just threw the cups (even bottles) anywhere they like and not be very considerate to throw into the rubbish bags provided. So we had to be careful and not step onto any of the rubbish. Note to runners, have some running etiquettes okie….Terima kasih.

So, I continued trying to conquer the city………ehem…..What perhaps wasn’t so positive but ultimately maybe is in the hands of the organisers-the lack of proper signages/marker course for the 21 KM runners or should I say, there were extremely non-existance, only after the 21 KM and 13 KM route were separated, then only I noticed, there were a few markers for the 21 KM runners.

I was particularly impressed with the amount of manpower/traffic police invested to make sure there was help when needed and to ensure the runners’ safety. It was truly enjoyable to run on the road that we drive on every day. You can’t run freely on KL roads without running the risk of getting run over or arrested for insanity.

At this point, 16 KM we were out running on a pretty main road in KL City. The route led us through Tugu Negara- iconic landmark in Malaysia, which was awesome! Then putting no thoughts into what lay ahead, all I thought about was this was my day. I had done the hard work and deserved to be there and it was absolutely splendid! I see the big hill coming up leading to the KL Bird Park and felt like I could take on anything the world through at me. Another of those realizations I may have made a big mistake is right in the path. The course literally went up that hill so I mean it was right in my path. It wasn’t that steep but it just kept on going. I noticed a lot of people had to stop and walk at this point. I told myself just clear the hill because it’s all downhill from here. And like a lot of others around me, I had to stop and walk. Breaking laws of physics, the top of the hill somehow kept getting farther away………..

After that Mount Kinabalu climb to base camp, we come to a water station. I noticed there were no more portapotties. The number of portaportties dropped at every station and the lines grew longer. I was very happy I had trained to be able to handle this.

Everyone was beginning to look beat down and yet smiling cause they know after having come this far they will finish with a time to be proud of!

As for beat down, the best I can describe is what I went through. My feet began to hurt. It felt like I was barefoot running on hard cement. Not walking, hard pounding steps.  But the wonderful thing was, I did not hit the wall. Humpy dumpy did not have a great fall…LOL!

After that, I saw what I needed to see, the 2 KM marker- yes, just 2 KM to go and I will have finished! The true moment where I realized no matter how bad I may hurt, no matter how tired I am, I will be crossing the finish line. Just run! It’s a personal taste of freedom only a runner knows when you have crossed the hump and will know that you have finished strong. Perhaps it’s called the runner’s high.

Grinning like an idiot and just loving every second of it and yet letting every second go by in a blur. All I knew at that point was just to keep running. Then I saw 1 KM to go, I really wanted to kick up the pace and let Hell break loose. My legs disagreed and we kept a nice even pace. Around the corner and there it was. I was staring at the finish line maybe about 200 meters away and I never had such an urge in my life to just stop and walk. But no way in hell was I going to give up now! At this point, I was just hoping I didn’t trip right there at the end…..

I crossed the line and I felt truly victorious. Sun beating down, fatigue increasing, but I was focused and motivated by the fact that I just crossed the finished line! My race, my pace, my medal, my city- Yes! I have conquered the city!

Overall, SCORE RUN was well organised!A good city road course Safety was truly the main priority of the organisers. Marshaling and water stations were ample in number and well stocked as I went through. The duty marshals were very well-drilled, a great bunch of happy and encouraging people. There were plenty of resting areas available and all medical requirement were well placed even for the medal names engraving was smooth without any hiccups. The full results were available in a very timely manner, yes full results! I think, to my opinion, the Race Director and the organisers and all who have been involved can be very proud of a well-managed, enjoyable and safe event.

At first, they’ll ask you why you are doing it? Later, they’ll ask you how you did it? See you next year at the SCORE RUN 2019 in April!

Advertisements

Seremban Half Marathon 2018 Race Review

Recently, I ran a race- The Seremban Half Marathon 2018 and I was hoping to finish in a specific time. I trained pretty hard and I was confident it was going to happen. Before the race, I even said, “ I’ve got this, It’s in the bag”.

However, very early on in the race, I knew there was no way it was going to happen so I changed my agenda from trying to run my fastest race ever to enjoying a leisurely, fun run. And even then, I was huffing and puffing and never wanted too see a finish line so badly in my life. Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t.

When we got there we saw all the runners, in many shapes, sizes and ages which was pretty cool! There were ample of parking spaces.

There was a fantastic atmosphere at the Seremban Half Marathon, probably due to the fact that this was the first time it was held in a new different venue and route and it’s so inclusive, with runners ranging from elites through to joggers and walkers. I even bumped into Sunny Wong..

Unsurprisingly the first mile or so was spent trying to get past quite a lot of people. People say this course is quite good for achieving a PB, which it probably is if you’re an elite runner, but back in the main pack lots of people seem to stand closer to the start line than they should. Why? We all get our own individual chip time, so you have nothing to gain by getting in the way of faster people! Not that I’m fast, but I’m far from the slowest at this type of mass event, and it is a bit annoying when you see people who started near the front begin to walk after about half a mile. You can waste a lot of energy trying to get round them, as well as groups of friends who want to jog along five abreast. Note to self – get up and in the pen earlier next year!

The route of the race was lovely, taking runners past some of Sri Sendayan’s finest sights such as the Army Base Camp and the residential areas, then along the International Matrix Global School. The sun also managed to break through after a while, which I knew it would as I’d decided not to wear my shades! The event was very well organised, with two water points.

My only grumble would be that the people giving out the water couldn’t keep up with demand, so anyone wanting it had to stop and wait to get it. There were some tables with bottles laid out on them was useful. As it wasn’t too hot and I’d hydrated well beforehand I didn’t bother, not wanting to waste valuable seconds.

I always like to have an aim on race day to keep me going and have a dream of completing a 10K in under 50 minutes, just to get a time with a 4 at the beginning! As I get older I realise that’s less and less likely to happen, but it’s still a good motivator. My first few mile splits were pretty good at around 8:15, but I find it hard to keep that up over six miles, so did fade a bit towards the end. But I still managed to grab my finisher medal. Woot Woot….

Overall review:

I have nothing but amazing things to say about the Seremban Half Marathon this year! The course was excellent! Fresh air, new route. A mixture of flat roads and yes, a few hills. The support from staff and volunteers were awesome. Water station/isotonic were well organised and plenty. Markers and signages were well placed. This year, the organisers did a tremendous awesome job with traffic control and marshalling. Runners’ safety were their top priority, thank you! A huge kudos and congratulations to each and everyone of you for actually being out there running, walking or crawling instead of just sitting on your couch….YOU ALL DID AWESOME! A special ‘Terima Kasih” to uncle Robert Tio from Malproc- it was an honour to run the Seremban Half Marathon 2018.

Running is an individual sport. We each have our individual speed, stride, goal. It depends on us only to get to the finish line, to put in the miles. no one can do it for us. But, at the same time, the running community is one of the most supportive, most encouraging communities you will ever find. Where else will you find people of different ages and backgrounds supporting each other? We all meet at the parks, at the trails, at the start line and yes-at the finish line. When running a marathon, you often see runners helping and pushing each other to move on (even if it will affect their time). Because no matter how strong or fast one is, we all go through tough times, and we all need a helping hand, that encouraging voice that reminds us how strong and capable we are. This you find at the marathon course and yes, again, if you are lucky, in life.

Hari Raya Hi-Tea at Royale Chulan, Seremban

Hari Raya Puasa, or the festival of Eid, marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and the start of a new month on the Islamic calendar, Syawal. Hari Raya Puasa is a celebration of victory in completing the fast and the overcoming of personal struggles during the Ramadan, as well as a time of forgiveness and strengthening of bonds amongst family members and relatives.

Feasting is a “must-do” during this festive period, and much effort and time are put into preparing and cooking mouth-watering dishes, such as lontong, ketupat, rendang, curry ayam, sambal goreng, etc. The pestles and mortars, charcoal stoves, pots and pans will all be out in full force—most of the time till the wee hours of the morning! –

So, this year my family and I decided to go to the Royale Chulan, Seremban’s Hari Raya Hi-Tea.

5 Traditional Hari Raya Food you must eat this festive season!

No.1 – Rendang

IMG_20180615_122851.jpg

It’s everybody’s favourite Raya dish! Rendang is a thick, savoury gravy usually cooked with beef or chicken. It is served either wet or dry.

No.2- Lemang

IMG_20180615_123743.jpg

Made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and a sprinkle of salt, lemang usually takes the place of plain rice during the Raya season and it goes hand in hand with Rendang. This special dish is cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick with banana leaves and can take four to five hours of roasting!

No.3- Ketupat

Famously chosen as the symbol of Hari Raya, the ketupat is made of rice boiled in a diamond-shaped pack of handwoven palm lead strips. Once cooked, the ketupat is peeled open cut into slices and served in place of regular steamed rice and with other dishes.

No.4- Serunding

Serunding is essentially a Malaysian version of meat floss! A popular snack for Ramadan and Adilfitri, serunding is made of seasoned meat that’s cooked until dry, a method meant to help keep the meat longer. The meat that are usually used to make serunding are beef and chicken.

No.5- Satay

The yummy-li-cious perfect snack for this occasion. Satay is well-loved all over Southeast Asia. These skewers of grilled meat are usually dipped into crunchy peanut sauce and served with side dishes such as Nasi himpit (rice cakes) and raw cucumbers and sliced shallots. All complement each other.

There were 2 choices of satay, Beef and Chicken. Tasted so good, tender and easy to bite off from the skewer. Grilled to perfection with slight burnt and that added extra ‘kick’ to the already amazing taste of ‘Minangkabau’ spices being used for marinating.

Vegetables

The vegetables tasted good and maintained its freshness and sweetness!

The Salad Bar

-with condiments and dressing! Awesome!

Healthy choices

Kerabu Mangga, Beef Salad, Shrimps, Squid and ulam-ulaman

Ice Kacang

Choose you own favourite fillings, go as you prefer, it’s a buffet concept anyway!

My thoughts:-

I was extremely satisfied with the dishes offered to guests. The price was reasonable and acceptable. Simply put, Worth it! My sis and I agreed that the satay sauce/peanut gravy and the Mee Mamak was the best that we ever had! The gravy tasted so extremely good with the right consistency, not that watery and not too thick. Most importantly, it’s between not spicy and spicy, you get both which is the right combination for all types of customers.

In the midst of all the festivities, the best part about celebrating Hari Raya is the renewing of familial ties and bonds. Spending quality time with loved ones and is  ultimately what truly makes the busyness of the season so meaningful. Selamat Hari Raya to all our Muslims friends! –