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Monday 25 January 2010

Report: New Balance Pacesetters 30km Run

By Aiman Cheah

Venue: Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 17 January 2010
Distance: 30km
Organiser: Pacesetters Athletic Club, Malaysia

It has been my dream to run the 30km run in 3 hours' time. If I could achieve that, then only I could consider doing my first marathon. I have run all the 30km run organized by PACM except last year because I was busy. This year, I was just as busy..... the first time ever to run a 30km race with only a 4.2km mileage in a week!

I reached Padang Merbok as early as 4.30 a.m. as I gave a lift for two of my students who were volunteers on that day. Started from the very back. It was kind of fun though. I had to keep myself to go slow as I did not want to get cramps. Having the additional 15 minutes qualifying time in the men junior veteran is also an advantage. So, there was no pressure and I was sure that I could meet the qualifying time.

I reached the first water station after 34 minutes. Not too bad if the distance was 5km. It was about 7 minutes per km pace then. However, the second water station seemed so far away. When the water station was within sight, I took my power gel. I reached there at 1:17. Saw Mr Kevin Chow coming back from the opposite side and about two minutes later Ryan Teoh. After going up hill and made a u-turn back, I was 22 minutes behind them when I reached the same spot.

I felt rather thirsty before I reached the third water station. I reached there at 1:57. Took 2 cups of water. However, that failed to quench my thirst as about some ten minutes later, I felt thirsty again. Caught up with Amelia Ang after the separate route for the 21km and 30km. I felt like giving up the race and was wondering if power gel would be supplied at the 20th km like the previous edition. When I saw a man distributing

something, I thought it he was giving out ribbons for check point. It was a great relief that it was power gel. I held it as I did not see the water station. Some runners took it immediately only to realize that the water station was still far away. I reached the 4th water station at 2:35. There was mineral water and isotonic. I took three cups of mineral water. I thought that there would be isotonic too at the last water station, but I was wrong.

Finally, I reacher the 5th water station at 3:07. By that time, I knew that there was no way that I could complete the race in less than 3:30 which I have never failed to achieve. After coming back to Padang Merbok, my legs began to give me signals of possible cramps. So I had just to maintain the pace and finally I was reduced to walking.

Fortunately, I still managed to alternate between jogging and running for the last 2km. It seemed such a long distance. It was a delight to get some drinks in the final 1km. It would have been better if there was isotonic drinks. As usual, I tried to go a little quicker in the final 50 meters.

My watched showed 3:40:40. Not too bad considering I had prepared so well for the race. The article I read in the Star about two weeks earlier helped. It stated that going slower would end up with a faster timing. I couldn't agree more with that specially when one is undertrained. I could have suffered muscle cramps if I had gone faster as going up Hartamas was no joke.

The most important thing is that, I recovered from the race the next day. had sore muscles after the race only.

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