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Tuesday 26 August 2008

Report: Shape and Men's Health Run

By Aiman Cheah Tiong Chap

Date: 24 August 2008
Venue: Tapak 'A', Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

This is suppose to be my last race before the month of Ramadhan and I will normally take a month's break from any form of exercise.

I was eager not to miss this event, so I contacted Mr. Kevin Chow(pm32) to see if he would run. Unfortunately, he did not. So I called Mr Raiei, my fellow FTAAA friend for a wake up call. I could not bear to miss the race and I had just missed the Kuala Dungun Bridge Run last week.

Although I did not have a good preparation for the race, I was quite confident of doing reasonably well. I was lucky in a sense that the weather did not disrupt my preparations. I managed to swim on Wednesday and Thursday (1800metres) and run 10.5km in 53 mins on Friday.

On race day, I was awakened by my son at 5.00 a.m. Oh, that was too early. I went to bed after feeding him because I still felt sleepy. My handphone alarm sounded at half past five. So, it was time to get up and be prepared for the race. Shortly, I got a wake up call from Mr Raiei.

I started at the back because I did not expect to do that well. A 5-minute per km pace would be just wonderful. I have not been able to sustain that pace for a very, very long time. I used to run faster than that before Akmal was born.

Starting from the back was a blessing in disguise. As I started slowly, I was able to warm up my body slowly. For the first time, I did not have to stop for a breather because I had not surpassed my stamina threshold. It was almost a perfect race for me almost until the end. There was a signal for muscle cramps on my left leg about 2km from the finishing line as I tried to increase the pace. I had to slow down.

Once I entered Lake Gardens, I tried to step up my pace as two runners from my category had overtaken me. The calf muscle on the left leg became tense. I slowed down again. It would be very frustrating if I had to stop to massage my leg because I was hardly 100 metres away from the finishing line.

I had actually limped to cross the line! I was happy to clock 51 mins 40 secs and was number 33! Before I went home, I went to see the official result which was pasted on the board at the prize tent. I was number 31 - 2 runners were disqualified! My time was 51mins 38secs. That was good enough to secure the last medal in Men's Open category.

If I were to run the Kuala Dungun Bridge Run, I think I had a chance to fight for the 20th place if my performance was like this race.

I am taking the opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends "Happy Fasting"
and be leaner, meaner and faster after the month of Ramadhan.

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