By Aiman Cheah
Date: 7th June 2009 (Sunday) | 6.30am
Venue: Setia Alam Welcome Centre
One event which I thought would be part of my preparations for the coming Ipoh Star Walk. Actually, I am still far from my best. The best will never come as long as the body does not have enough rest to recuperate. With only two weeks to go and I do not see any possiblity of 'serious' training, I can safely say that I can kiss the medal goodbye..... However, as usual, I will certainly put up a fight, albeit a losing battle.......
Quite disappointed that my students did not turn up for the event. One is the runner while the other just want to explore Setia Alam. Quite a waste of RM30 - late registration. Or else one could have run and get the finisher medal and enjoy the food provided by the organizer.
Able to woke up at 5.00 despite sleeping slightly past midnight. Got ready by 5.55 a.m and drove to school. As expected, none of the students were there. I had called them earlier but no reply. Anyway, waited till 6.10 a.m. before I finally drove off.
Reached Setia Alam at around 6.35 a.m. The 21km runners had just begun their run. RELA on duty did not allow me to turn into the Welcome Centre. Instead, directed me to go up the flyover and to get there from behind. Very stupid of me to follow his order. Should have just parked by the roadside like some of the other runners.
By the time I reached the 'car park' it was already 6.48 a.m. Thought it was still early and had time to warm up and do some stretching. How wrong was I. While walking to the starting line, the gun went off. The person with the hailer was telling runners that the 11km event had started. So, I put on my spectacles strap and jogged to the starting line - gave me reporting card in exchange of the ribbon.
Jogged slowly for warming up. Do not really have the mood to run. After some time, one runner called out "Uncle, Aiman". He went fast to catch up with the others. He had come later than me! If I am not mistaken, his name is Hafiz. I met him at the Walk for the Children event in Sunway University College last week.
At the first water station, I saw Runwitme. Decided to pick up the pace a little bit because I had had enough warm up. I stopped at all the water stations - 3 altogether. I think stopping at these stations would be better than stopping for 'rest' which I would normally do when I over exert myself.
I completed the race in 1hr 04mins 22secs. The actually time will be a minute or two more. I pressed my stopwatch only when I began running. I was given a slip of paper which showed that I was 104th in Men Open category. Many good runners were not here. With such timing, it would normally means more than 300 at Dataran Merdeka.
I must say that this is the first time a running event is started much earlier than the scheduled time. This is also the first time that I was misinformed regarding the collection of race pack. I received a call from The Gardens New Balance informing me that the race pack can be collect at its office.
My wife answered the phone as I left it at home to recharge. I felt weird and called the person and he confirmed that. Too bad that I did not ask for his name. Being busy and I hardly go to Midvalley though I stay just a stone's throw away from it, I went a week later and ask the worker there.
I was a little surprised when nobody own up and did not even want to admit when I showed the phone number that appeared on received call on my phone. I called using the number and true enough, the phone rang. My curiosity was answered. There must be something wrong happening.
When I went to collect the race pack at Setia Alam, the person in charge was very helpful and polite saying that there was some problems with registration at The Gardens. My name does not appear in the registration list while my student's gender had been changed to "Binti". Clearly written, category F. How can become "G"?
Before registration, I e-mailed to ask about the registration and guess what? I have not received any reply until today. I e-mailed twice on two occasions just in case I got the address wrong. Almost giving up to participate in this event, considering it is in the middle of the school holidays.
SMS to one of the persons listed in the entry form (those downloaded from the internet was not really clear) and got a short reply to get the form from New Balance outlets. Actually I wanted to know if I could just deposited the entry fees into the given a/c and collect the race pack on the scheduled date. Then, I need not go to The Gardens, which I hardly step foot at.
For Port Dickson Half Marathon, I just deposited the entry fees into the a/c and e-mail the bank in slip. Save time and money as I do not need to send the registration form by post.
Ipoh Road Runners was the best. I send them a self-addressed envelope with RM0.35 stamps affixed requesting for 3 entry forms. They used their own envelope and send my 20 forms! That's what I call, promoting!
Adidas outlet in The Gardens I registered 5 entries and requested for 5 entry forms (the ones downloaded from the internet was not clear) only to be told that I could take one or two at the most. I could make my own copies........... I returned them all except one. It makes wonder why they prefer to simply give the forms to runners when not requested and refused to give to runners who genuinely need it???
To sum up my experiences, when something go wrong, do we blame the organization or the individuals we are dealing with?
Labels: aiman, report