As with every adventure, there is so much I want to share. The race details needed to go up while still fresh in my mind.
Night running is a unique experience. Physically, mentally and in terms of your senses, it is another world. Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to be part of the first ever night run in Seremban, The Seremban Night Run 2018 together with 2,200 runners.
Nonetheless, I was thrilled at the idea of a large group of people forgoing sleep for their passion-running. I just had to be part of this experience.
The morning of the race day, while I was in the gym, training for the 10KM Seremban Night Run, I received a devastating text message, my friend, a good friend of mine who stays just the opposite of my house, whom I usually share my “makcik bawang” stories during events and gatherings at my Taman, she informed me that her hubby, who was only 42 years old, who suddenly got a stroke on Monday night, took his last breath at 9.13am on Saturday, 6 October. My eyes filled up with tears as I read her text message. It never occurred to me, how precious life was and how life is short! I find myself wishing it wasn’t real because he was young and my friend will be alone with her six year old son. She called me and said, “Chrisy, Saya redha, I am okay! I will be fine. See you when I get home”. She sounded strong. I truly admire her strength and courage! I picked up the pieces and pain and I shifted gears in my head and tried hard to focus on life! Yes, Life and tonight’s run, the Seremban Night Run. To me, it’s more than just a run, it’s the people and the opportunity to change lives! So, Abang Mus, I dedicate tonight’s run for you! Rest In Peace Bro-“Al-Fatihah”.
The night race was on, I felt strangely alive. There was something about having a group of strangers united through running, I even had the chance to bumped into my ex- student from Zenith International School, Yee Chee at the starting line, despite the late flag off timing, we were all in high spirits. The darkness of the night race also somewhat gave an atmosphere of fun and excitement. There was some jostling for position at the front and I was glad I was in the middle with the “fun” runners.
The course was enjoyable, it was a nice way to see Seremban town at night. As with all races it was packed at the beginning but thinned out slightly as the race went on, it was never lonely. After the first city section, I gracefully passed my old school KGV and ran proudly with my head held high. Then we passed Royale Chulan, where I saw a familiar face, Edward cheering with his team as the runners passed by. There was a slight incline near the Lake Garden. As the race proceeded, the path winded into several choke points, where some runners faced several problems of walkers holding up the way or fast runners trying to jostle their way through the narrow passages near Jalan Rahang.
I was not really watching the ground at all and it’s a good thing the route had been so well chosen, with good quality paths and roads of very footing or I would have been in a ditch with a broken ankle til’ morning! Well, that’s not true either- it was also excellently marshalled and I’m pretty sure the PDRM’s patrol car would have picked me up and got me home had I needed it! Kudos to all PDRM/traffic police/RELA! Thank you for keeping us, the runners safe all along the route.
There were two hydration points at intervals 5KM and 8KM, which I felt was just sufficient. Each hydration point had both options plain water and isotonic drink. Volunteers did an awesome job! Although people became a bit pushy around them which is never nice. I got a few unwanted elbows in my sides but nothing serious, thankfully.
This is a funny time where you are not really sure who is in front of you and who is behind. The next 5KM, I actually got a decent pace going. The organisers did a good job, roads and routes were well condoned, marshals were on standby and traffic police/ PDRM/RELA were placed at every traffic lights and junctions, routes and the course were bright and well lit.
Once I got over the 4KM mark, the route led us to Klana Resort Hotel, things started to look better (a.k.a down hills arrived) I started to pick up speed. The support was excellent though and the atmosphere of the runners and spectators was that of overwhelming joy and admiration. This was a fun race and I mean in the best way possible.
When you run long distance, you learn something very quickly……there is a lot of time to think. Tonight’s race. I had a ‘mixed feeling reaction’ kinda thing, thinking of my good friend, Ita, who just lost her love of her life. This race was the first race where I felt my mind didn’t really want to think or overthink, but instead just be right there, with my breath, and the strides for the moments. But after, I returned to my thoughts and they all came down to the fact that running is a metaphor for life. “One run can change your day, many runs can change your life”.
There is no such thing as perfection-just improvement. The best…….the worst…….thing about running us that you will never master it. You will never be perfect at it! You challenge yourself every time you lace your shoes! That is a gift!
You will have awesome runs when all the planets align and everything goes your way and you will have awful runs, when your feet feel like blocks of concrete and you just can’t catch your breath. On some runs, that voice in your head will tell you to stop less than 1KM in; on other runs, that voice in your head is cheering you on as you pass the 21KM mark. All you can do is just keep your eye on the prize, know that there will be setbacks and just keep running. Because in the end, running is its own reward! And like life, you get out of it exactly what you put into it!
Having the home-court advantage gave me the extra push I needed to finally get to the finish. And finish I did! I got my awesome medal, took the goodies and some photos and went home.
Overall, I think the Race Director and all who have been involved can be very proud of a well managed, enjoyable and safe event. I wasn’t able to “race” it, just running it was such a gift!