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!