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Wednesday 15 December 2010

Report: Penang Starwalk 2010

By Aiman Cheah

Date: 12 December 2010 | Sunday | 7.00am
Venue: Jalan Mahsuri (PISA), Penang
Category: 10km - Men Junior Veterans (35 - 44 years old)
Result: 1:00.55mins and 5th position

This event is the 'final' event of the year for me. I was in good shape after all the 'hard' training for the Asia Masters.

It was raining heavily when I wanted to go out of the hotel at 6.00 a.m. I waited until around 6.10 a.m. and was lucky because the rain had reduced to drizzling.

There were not too many people around the assembly areas like usual due to the rain. After reporting, I went to the mobile toilet. Luckily, I need not queue. It was still too early to warm up and I waited until 6.40 a.m.

Could not really do proper warm up because of the drizzle. Just do some brisk walking and stretching with the umbrella opened! I don't quite like it if the shoes get wet before the race.

Some 15,000 walkers brace the morning shower in Penang to accomplish a common mission - to complete a 10km exercise. have fun and possible walk home with trophies and fantastic prizes - courtesy of Star Online Metro North

I was a little unlucky because I queued at the wrong place. The barriers were not totally removed and it took me some time to get to the starting line. I was about 20metres from the starting line and it took about 15 seconds before I reached the line after the race was flagged off. It took another 2 minutes before I could make my move.

When I stepped up the pace, my left hamstring hurt. That was it. I might not complete the race this time, I thought. I slowed down and went with the flow of the crowds. I had to adjust to the speed not to worsen the pain.

I had planned to 'pit' at the water station and when I slowed down, my right hamstring felt hurt. I took my power gel and a cup of 100 Plus. There was no mineral water provided. I guessed I stopped closed to 30 seconds.

I had to go after those who had overtaken me, but I could not go fast as both my legs were in pain. I endured the pain and maintained my pace. It was a great relief after I successfully went over the 'hill'.

There were many D and E walkers ahead of me and I tried to match their pace, at the same time I was also worried if I had to abandon the race if my legs refused to move!

I went all out and overtook one walker just before the finishing line. Looking at my watch - 1hr 01mins 55sec, I was very happy as I should be at least in the 10-15 finishers.

I came to know that I was 10th and the person who talked to me told me that he was 9th and I was just behind him. I was happy with my performance considering the condition I was in.

I went back to the hotel to freshen up and then returned to PISA for the variety show.

I must thank Peter James Back of Singapore for motivating me towards the finishing. He even offered a few tips to help me improve. He is very passionate about race walking and certainly enjoys competition as I am still very very far away from his level.

D'Starz group from let's Dance Studio grooving to the beat - courtesy of Star Online Metro North

Samba dancers heating up the stage during the variety show - courtesy of Star Online Metro North

I think it is high time for the organizer to acknowledge the boys' and the veterans' effort in the event. I think the senior veterans and diamond veterans deserved a higer prize money and an increased in the finisher medals.

It will be quite frustrating when we do better than the others but do not get the reward that others get.

Boys result

Click here for all men category result in pdf - courtesy of Yu Song

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