Putrajaya Night Marathon Race Review

You might have heard Frank Sinatra’s famous number “Singing in the rain” at some point but to some, running in the rain is where it’s at.

Last Saturday night, this was what happened at Putrajaya Night Marathon. Bad runs happen way more often than we would like for them to. It’s a frustrating part of a runner’s life. We learn to take the good with the bad. While we row to move onward and upward every time we have a bad run, we still sometimes beat ourselves up over it.

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Last Saturday, I was primed to have the most awesomest run ever.

As runners, we take pride in the fact that we complete regardless of the weather. Rain or shine or anything else that Mother Nature throws our way. However, racing in cold and rainy conditions can be debilitating and dangerous. Taking some precautions can mean the difference between a fast time and a detour to the medical tent.

Running in the rain involves your senses more. This, some feel, gives you an edge in focus and concentration. To me, when you are running through or around puddles or uneven paths, it makes you more conscious. It becomes a different kind of workout and get to recap the benefits of that.

It was a pretty crazy scene at the starting line for the 21km half marathon. Athletes fitted bandanas ponchos and trash bags, and it got worst after that, watch your steps, runners!

Runners for the Putrajaya Night Marathon battled freezing downpour, lightning and thunder and fierce headwinds last Saturday, about 11,500 runners on the streets in bone-chilling conditions.

Severe storms hit Putrajaya the moment the 21km half marathon was flagged off. Rain lashing down on our faces and bodies. At the 2km marker, runners faced hazards ranging from water cascading down the running routes, thunder, lightning and rain.

As the storm gathered it’s fury after the flagged off, downed frees, inundated roads and strong winds caused runners to battled on even though, we were looking for shelter and a safe place to huddled but we could not find any….None….

It wasn’t long before my brains told me to just quit. It became clear to me, that this situation is just to dangerous and extremely to risky to proceed. While I was having this serious thoughts and conversations between me, myself and I, I reached the second water station ,which I almost crashed into due to the arrangements by the organiser by putting tables filled with water and 100plus opposite sides, somehow the 100plus was tasteless due to the heavy rain. At that point of time , I was ready to called it-Quit!

Somehow, there were no signs of the event being cancelled. Runners were still battling in the rain, lightning and thunder and moving forward. I too kept running, not sure running to finish the race or running for my life. I was desperate and worried, knowing that my ‘sole’ mate-hubby, a fast runner who was also somewhere out there. All I could do was pray and have faith. Then I saw the light … ‘a torch light’ flashing, by one of the marshals, many runners stopped @ the 7.5km,so I too, being Ms KPC a.k.a. ‘Kay-Poh-Chi’, wanted to know what was the commotion about, only to finally been told that the race was officially cancelled (FYI-my Garmin showed 1 hour after flagged off time)

Many runners didn’t know the race was cancelled until the very end. It was raining pretty intense. Conditions worsened. Most of the course was covered with water and runners feet were at all time in the water.

I was a little confused, I took the turning and followed the marshal’s instructions, however, there were hundreds more runners just kept running into the other direction- the other way.

What perhaps wasn’t so positive (but ultimately maybe is in the hands of the organisers) a contingency plan:- to inform the 11,500 runners about the cancellation of the event/run A.S.A.P because, time is the essence – how to convey the message promptly and A.S.A.P!

Runners who were still on the course were told by the officials that the race was called off and to take shelter. Heavy lightning was moving in and skies were opening up. Officials closed the course and diverted and re-routed runners to the end.

Although race was called off but there were still marshals directing us to the right direction in the heavy rain. Thumbs up to all the volunteers!

The organisers should understand the anguish and huge disappointment that this has created, runners truly understand that safety comes first and we accepted that the race was called off, however, prompt information and quick action and response should have been taken immediately to convey the information to all the runners that the event was cancelled.

No matter where you live in the country, rain can happen on race day. Well, we have races that are called ‘Rain Run Half Marathon’ for a reason. Racing in the rain is not ideal, but it certainly is reality!

We learn something from every run we take on and usually that lesson is the importance of perseverance-and other times, we learn about letting go and trying again.

Running a marathon or half marathon in the rain isn’t an exciting thought, what worst, the event being cancelled. However, you can’t change the weather, so best strategy is to be prepared. Expect the unexpected!

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