Sunday, April 29, 2007

Malay Mail Big Walk 2007

This morning's Malay Mail Big Walk was rather interesting. I arrived at the Dataran Merdeka on a cold and wet Sunday morning at around 5.45 a.m., having parked my car at Central Market. I don't know about you, but why does the pre-start ritual of every marathon/race event I've attended so far involves the announcer screaming/shouting instruction to participants via the PA system?

I guess some participants don't understand plain simple English that there is no registration on race day. Simply report yourself at the starting enclosure and get inside before the race starts.

The race started at 7.10 a.m but not before the start of the National Men and Women events. My friend registered me under the Men Senior event, instead of the Men Junior event. Both events start at the same time and cover the same distance (10 kilometers), the only difference is in the qualifying time (Senior - 1 hour 50 minutes, Junior - 2 hours - If I remember correctly).

The first part of the course took us along Jalan Parlimen and Jalan Duta and this first stint was pretty long. I developed a bad cramp on my left foot after 3 kilometers and I had to stop and remove my shoe for around 10 seconds (before putting it on again) as it felt like I had a plank tied to my foot. Places of note: Tun Razak Hockey Stadium, National Sports Council.

That stop actually helped alot in diminishing the cramp and I was able to continue at full speed right into the 2nd part of the race, which brough participants into Taman Tunku. Alot of rich folk live in this area, as it was evident in the number of lavish bungalows and houses. This was the half way mark of the race and the water station was situated there. Places of note: Water station :P

It was up and down again during the third part of the race as participants walked into Bukit Tunku. I enjoyed this stretch the most and was able to carry most of the momentum of the second part of the race into this stretch. Training at the Taman Rakyat in Klang paid off with the snake like road providing some much need variety compared to the long highway stretch in the first part.

The final part of the race brought us back into "civilization". Upon exiting Bukit Tunku, I was in a part of KL that I'm not familiar with. The landmarks of note however are a University Malaya City Campus, and the memorials of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn. This stretch brought us to the vincinity of Bank Negara and the end of the race at the very muddy Padang Merbuk.

I finished the course in a time of 1 hour, 38 minutes and I got another certificate of participation to add to the KL International Marathon certificate. I find that a walking race is much more streanous compared to that of a running race, and I'm practically in pain after the race. However, this is a pretty good experience and I hope to join the event next year.

Note to the Malay Mail: Next time, end the race at the Dataran and do have more people to distribute the goodie bags.