Report 4th Penang International 12Hour Walk
By Aiman Cheah Tiong Chap.
It has been two consecutive years for me to be in Penang in the month of November and December to take part in three events, namely, Penang International 12Hour Walk, Penang Round the Island Relay and Penang Starwalk. Like last year, I have good and bad results for the events. Good simply because situations are favourable and bad due to lack of training and preparation.
Last year I completed the race with my best ever position – 4th, completing 70 laps of the 1.078km circuit. It took me three attempts to achieve that. I abandoned the race after 8 hours in the first attempt due to muscle cramps. In 2005, I completed 69 laps and was ranked 7th. I had intended to go for the Men Junior Veteran category although I knew that it would be more challenging based on past records. I would not have the ghost of a chance to be in the top 6 even if I could complete 72 laps. 72 laps was a realistic goal that I had set for myself since last year.
I was more prepared this year compared to the previous years where I normally walked about 10km each session three times (on alternate days) before the competition date. This year I put in extra effort, doing 10.5km (1hr 15mins), 16.8km (2hrs 03mins) and 14.7km (1hr 47mins) in the quest to achieve my goal of 72 laps.
First 2 Hours
I started off quite fast because there were fewer competitors and I was not blocked in the early laps. I completed 14 laps to be ranked 6th after 2 hours. I was on cloud nine and hoped to maintain that position.
The nightmare began after the second hours. Felt hungry but unfortunately, food had finished. Only fruits were available. Took some papaya and watermelon but my stomach began to complain. I had to slow down as I felt like throwing out whenever I stepped up my pace. Two laps later, I vomited but felt better after that. However, the hunger pangs kept me uncomfortable. Took some papaya and tomatoes and the problem began again. Threw up for the second time and then I decided to consume my power gel. I dropped ten rungs to 16th at the end of the fourth hour. I only managed to complete 11 laps.
Opted for boiled red bean and it did help to quench my thirst. But perhaps, I took too much of it and it must be taxing for my stomach to digest it. Took a long break and finally threw up for the third time at the rest area. Rejoin the race with Mr. Jamie Pang and Mr. Chin Phoy Foon. We were left biting the dust after about a hundred meter. Before the end of the lap, I decided to take my second packet of power gel. Felt better and step up the pace a little bit. By the end of the 6th hour, I dropped two placing to number 18. I only managed a dismal 8 laps in two hours!
I was impressed by Mr. Jamie’s performance this year. He had completed 32 laps. I was only a lap more than him. Feeling better, I tried to catch up with the rest. I had to borrow RM2 from the race official, Mr. Yu Song to buy a can of soya bean. Certainly could not take 100 Plus because each time, I took it, my stomach complained. Stopped for food at the 7th hour and what was left was only a morsel of fried koey teow. After food, get my money to return Mr. Yu Song and bough 3 cans of drinks – chrysanthemum and soya. I managed to complete 12 laps and my position improved to 16th.
I was lucky because Power Bar was served by this time. The fried koey teow would not last me for more than an hour. Each lap I would take a small piece without fail and I felt good. I did 13 laps but was penalized a lap. I wonder why because I do not think I litter or flout with the walking definition. I managed to improve to 14th position.
I finally conceded defeat. It would be impossible to fight for the top 10 finish. By the time I stopped at the food tent, there was none left. Took time off to massage my legs and did some stretching. However, the pain did not go away as I had gone ‘too fast’ earlier in my excitement to catch up with the others. Trudging all the way to complete the final part of the race, I managed to complete only 8 laps.
65 laps and 15th position may not look good but personally, I felt that I had achieved the ‘72 laps’ that I set out. I had contemplated to abandon the race a few times when I was suffering from stomach discomfort but managed to hang on and hoping for the best. It also gave me a psychological boost because I ‘had the ability’ to maintain a faster pace at the later part of the race. For the first time in such race that my feet were free from blisters and I did not feel feverish. Perhaps, because I did not drink 100 Plus as much as I used to do. Also, I find that having a longer practice enable my body to recover faster after the race. There was minimal pain on the legs two days after the race.
Next year, I have to be wary of the food. Unlike the previous events, the food served is much less. As usual, I will only ‘pit’ for food after about 2 laps when food was served to avoid crowding at the food tent. This year, the strategy went awry!
There is no one who can be at their best all the time but there will be certainly many who can be at their best most of the time. Harun Tee finished 2nd with 77 laps in the Men Open. Alexander Vanden Hoeck, Abd Wahid and Thomas Kok were among the jubilant competitors this year when they had had problems last year. Certainly, we take cue from them.
|Year||2nd Hour||4th Hour||6th Hour||8th Hour||10th Hour||12th Hour||Total|
|2005||15 laps||11 laps||12 laps||11 laps||10 laps||10 laps||69 laps|
|2006||14 laps||12 laps||12 laps||11 laps||10 laps||11 laps||70 laps|
|2007||14 laps||11 laps||8 laps||12 laps||12 laps*||08 laps||65 laps|
Haris: Full result can be download here and many thanks to my guest blog writer for the report.