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Wednesday 23 December 2009

Report: 2nd Putrajaya International 12-Hour Walk

By Aiman Cheah

Venue: Dataran Putrajaya, Putrajaya
Date: 12-13 December 2009
Distance: As far as possible
Organiser: Race Walkers' Association of Malaysia

Informative report from Aiman. Useful for long distance walkers especially those take part in Penang 12Hour Walk this coming January 2010. Hopefully the organizer take note on walkers needed. Well done Aiman! – Haris

This is the event that I was looking forward to, to end my last race of the year on a high note. I had sought help from my student to be my helper almost 6 weeks before the event. To my surprise, not one but two wanted to help. I took both of them, afraid that one might get bored waiting for me for 12 hours. At least, with a friend, they could talk for the whole night.

Training was inadequate as usual as I only did about 40km per week, 10km on Monday, 20km on Wednesday and 10km on Friday (done on following day if it rained). That was only done for two weeks. The only difference was that I did the training at night instead of morning as I had done in the past. The weather was also on my side as most of the nights prior to the race was good.

I was rather confident of achieving my target of 80km on race day. I was quite prepared physically and mentally. No injuries and was in good shape. I picked up my students at school at 5.30 p.m. I was half an hour late.

I reached Putrajaya Square around 6.00 p.m. and collected my bib and goodie bag. Then I returned to the van and had 'dinner' - Domino's Pizza. Forgot to buy bread, so I told my students that the pizza would be their breakfast too! After that, I took them to check out the route.

I was quite disappointed that there were no mobile toilets. There were 3 when I went for World Diabetes Global Walk. We chatted while waiting for Maghrib prayers. After prayers, I changed into competition gear. Planning to do 15 laps for the first 2 hours and average of 13 laps for subsequent 2 hours. I put my things nearest to the water station, after the last tent.

First 2 hours
I did stretching and a little warming up as usual. The participants were not that 'excited' about the race. Just before the flag off, I managed to walk to the 'front' row. Not really front, about 6 rows from pole. That gave me the 'advantage' as the flow would be smoother compared to starting at the back which I usually do. At the end of the first lap, I enquired at the H2O tent if plain water would be served. The girls politely told me that only H2O was served.

I got panicked. I don't quite like to take carbonated drinks. When I saw Mr Muregesu before completing my second lap, I asked him if plain water would be served and he told me he would check with Mr Khoo Chong Beng. I asked my student to get me my mineral water on the third lap.

I took the first packet of power gel at the end of fourth lap and a glass of mineral water. By then, there was mineral water but only chilled water! Oh dear, not my cup of tea again! I told my students to add hot water so that I get luke warm water. The plan to walk at between 7 mins and 7 mins 15 secs per lap went according to plan and I felt good. I completed 16 laps in the first 2 hours. Pitting at every 4 laps for power gel and plain water. On the 16th lap, I took power bar (one third of the bar).

2-4th Hour
My left thigh had started to signal for possible muscle cramps. Naturally, I eased off a bit to prevent from total cramp. Completed 20km in 2:24:08. That was pretty fast as I usually did about that time in Malay Mail Big Walk. Then, in the latter race, it was time to rest but now I still have to slog for another 10 hours. I massaged my thigh while taking power bar. Asked my student to put the bib on a new shirt while I rushed to the toilet. The time taken to go to the toilet and return was about 12 minutes!

After changing my shirt I quickly resumed my race. This time I was much slower as the pain increased with speed. I made an unsheduled stop at lap 23 for a short massage. Then another stop at lap 24. Ate a little bit of rice because I could get into trouble with empty stomach. Hard to swallow as it was not appetizing..... I only ate the egg. Gulped down a glass of oral dehydration salt (ORS) and wheat grass.

Took the opportunity to massage my thigh as well. I had cramps a few times while massaging my thighs. I thought the race would be over for me. Then I resumed my race once I felt better. It was such a torturous walk and at snail's pace. I just hoped I could sustain that pace albeit very slow.

At the 28th lap, I stopped and took porridge, wheat grass and ORS and then continued with my snail's pace. At lap 32, I stopped for instant brown rice and ORS.

Courtesy of RWAM (open with windows photo gallery)

4-6th Hour
Stopped at lap 36. Took brown rice and ORS and headed to the toilet again - another building which is nearer by 2 minutes! My pace dropped to another level. Stopping at lap 40, I took porridge and ORS. I was still right on target for 80km for 12 hours. Actually it was a tall order. The second 6 hours would always be tougher.

6-8th Hour
I had run out of brown rice by now and I needed power bar. It should be available by the 6th hour. Unfortunately there was no sign of it when I completed lap 42 at 2.18 a.m. I asked the FTAAA official and my 'complaint' was quickly looked into. I stopped at lap 44 and had ORS and begining that lap, I took power bar every lap. I made an unscheduled stop at lap 45 due to cramps but it was quite a short stop of about 3 minutes to massage my cramps. I had intended to stop at lap 48 for toilet and Isyak prayers.

8-10th Hour
I could not recover even after a long 'rest'. My pace dropped to another level. Stopped at lap 52 for a short massage. Another stop at lap 55. Took porridge and massaged my thighs again. Now that I had run out of ORS, I drank Drinho Hor Yan Hor and Chrysanthemum tea to quench my thirst at almost every lap instead of every 4 laps.

10-12th Hour
Came in for another massage at lap 56. The thought of giving up was so great at this time. This is my worst outing since 2005. I recalled how I battled to save my race in 2007 when I encountered with vommitting at the beginning of the race. But then, it was a different issue.

My legs were stronger then. I told myself to at least try for another 8 laps for the final 2 hours. 4 laps an hours should be bearable. I completed lap 59 at 5.59a.m. Headed to the toilet as my stomach had become uncomfortable. There it was again! Those who had called it quit took their own sweet time to take shower! Oh dear, I could hardly hold my stomach ache.

Took the opportunity to do stretching and massing my thighs while waiting. I guessed it took almost five minutes of waiting before I could do my answer nature's call. When I reached the surau, both my students had performed their Subuh prayers. I resumed the race after prayers.

The pace dropped to another level. Mental calculations indicated that I could do another 6 laps after completing 61 laps. I tried to increase my pace but it was impossible. I was surprised that many were still walking and many were much faster than I was! I just followed with the flow and hoping to be in the top 30 or at least top 55. At least can get Genting Holiday Card worth RM50.

The last hour was very challenging but I stayed focused. The medal that I missed during the ALC Run for Life came haunting me. I had to at least maintain my position if I could not improve it. Also, in case of a tie, completing the last lap at an earlier time would give me the advantage. Alas, I did manage to complete the 6 laps.

10:06:596:59 354:58:378:52
20:14:157:16 365:07:459:07
30:21:106:54 375:27:3419:49
40:28:066:56 385:36:038:28
50:35:297:22 395:45:018:58
60:42:186:49 405:54:179:15
70:49:166:57 416:08:4814:40
80:56:046:48 426:18:119:23
91:03:347:30 436:27:349:22
101:10:266:51 446:37:209:46
111:17:206:53 456:49:3712:17
121:24:176:57 467:05:1515:37
131:32:188:01 477:15:089:53
141:39:136:54 487:24:399:30
151:46:096:56 497:55:0230:22:00
161:53:117:01 508:04:369:34
172:01:558:43 518:14:4310:07
182:09:107:14 528:24:5310:09
192:16:437:33 538:35:2510:32
202:24:087:24 548:46:2611:00
212:43:2319:14 558:58:3012:03
222:51:087:44 569:20:0621:36
232:59:148:06 579:38:3218:25
243:07:278:12 589:48:5010:17
253:25:0317:36 599:59:2210:32
263:33:358:31 6010:38:3639:13:00
273:42:038:27 6110:49:3010:53
283:50:428:39 6211:00:4311:12
294:03:0712:24 6311:11:3710:54
304:11:348:26 6411:22:2510:48
314:19:418:07 6511:34:2511:59
324:28:188:37 6611:44:0710:41
334:41:0612:17 6711:55:5310:46
344:49:458:38 ---

I was 29th in the Men's group. Almost missed the boat to be in the top 30. As expected there were not 2 but 4 who were tied at 67 laps! Luckily I completed the 67th lap ahead of 2 other participants. Full result at

I must thank my students - Syafiq and Noor Fiqri. Without them, I would not make it to 67 laps. They took the food for me - imagine how much time would be lost because of the long queue. How much time for me to take hot water and prepare my own drinks. I feel in Penang, it is more participants' friendly - toilets which were just a stone's throw away from the race route.

In 2005, if I am not mistaken, there were mobile toilets by the race course. It was so much convenient for us. If it was not emergency, I would skip and come again in 10 minutes time. Also, the arrangement of food tent first before drink. One can manage on their own in Penang. I think that is not the case in Putrajaya. There were scouts at food tents and hot boiling water was available there.

I think drinking every lap as I used to do in Penang is better than drinking after about half an hour. I felt thirsty and actually one glass (200ml) of wheat grass and one glass (200ml) of ORS seemed to be not enough. In Penang I only took a mouthful of water every lap, probably around 50ml. Another mistake was less time was spent to massage my legs. In Penang, I would take around 2 minutes to stretch and massage my thighs.

I would return in future race to improve my on my 67km but then, this event is competing with Penang Starwalk. I would certainly say good bye to it as I favour Penang Starwalk.

Past Record

*After 1 lap was deducted – 2007@10th-Hour
**Putrajaya 1 lap = 1km, Penang 1 lap = 1.078km

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