Monday, April 18, 2011

Energizer Night Race / Nightmare…

There are just too much of complaints and bad comments on this event. I wrote “Worst Event Ever” on their FB wall too… No point to focus on the bad things (Google it if you interested to know more), I will just update what is related to me and running on the event.

I had my dinner earlier @ 5:30pm, hit the road earlier and reached the venue by 6:15pm. Like all other runners experienced, the horror story start when we arrived at the car park. I should skip that and fast forward… I walked around the mall area, snapped some photos, before heading to the “tunnel of death”. And again need to skip and fast forward…

After placing my bag into the baggage handling area (yeah… I walked into that area and place my own bag, not volunteers or crews insight), I proceed to the starting line. We shared the joy and excitement during the flag off of the FM. I really feel my spirit raising and eager to start my 11km. Proceed with my warm up stretching and slow ran, then enter the race circuit for 11km flag off. On the starting line, the annoying headlamp flashed everyway. I don’t put on mine and don’t think I need it to run with ~5000 people on the race circuit. It is only necessary to have that if you are running for HM or FM which need to run outside the circuit. Anyway, I think it will be a challenge for me as I have astigmatism, the flashes really disturbing my vision.

At 8:15pm, the horn finally blew and we are off and going. As predicted, the runway is packed as many people are walking instead of running. I had a hard time to keep passing people safely. Only after about 1km, the track started to ease up a bit. I am ready to zoom to my target pace, but then I felt my dinner… I regretted to have dinner at 5:30pm. Whenever I want to speed up, my stomach wont allowed, I felt the cramp inside. This is the first time I ran with my dinner (or after a heavy meal). Most of my routine trainings are in the morning which I only down a cup of coffee and some biscuit/snack, then go. And my perception of a flat course in F1 circuit is WRONG! I am not a F1 fan so this is the first time I really see how the Sepang F1 circuit is looked like (how moron I am to assume this…). The first up climb caught me off guarded. But this is not really a big deal compare to the overall 11km we need to complete. I kept looking at my pace, and passed the one and only water station at 4thkm without stopping. I finished my first loop in 35 minutes, and thru the finish line like headless chicken. There are not traceability on how many loop we completed… I should claim I had finished my 11km by then with a super fast pace and don’t think the inexperience officers will even border to challenge me. But running make good people, and serious runners are well self disciplined. I kept my honesty and continue my 2nd loop. Finally finish my 11km by 1:16:30 hours.

Asked few “officers” at the finish line, but no one seem to know what’s next. Then I walked back to the pit stop area and saw the looooong queue. I then decided to rehydrate myself and collect my bag first before joining the queue. Baggage counter finally have crews/volunteers now to get my bag. Heading to the Gatorade station at the stage area (no way closed to the finishing line) and gulps in many cups of Gatorade (loss count, may be 10 or more) and walk to the end of the 500m queue… skip & fast forward again… in short, the run ended with no Certificate, no finisher medal, no rehydration station at finish line, no goodie bag, no light refreshment. Everything at the stage area needed to pay (except Gatorade).

500m Queue after race, taken from the end of the final hair-pin turn...

To leave the padlock area, you need to gone thru the dreadful “tunnel of death” again. Good thing is the walk before the start made me mentally buffered and stayed clam on my way back. Any normal person can easily freak out by packed and stuffed tunnel when the event is over, lucky we all are self disciplined runners. Walked another 2km to collect my car, what a night packed with tough challenge. Traffic heading out from the area is bad; traffic police are regulating the traffic flow as the FM runners have not finished their 5 loops. Its not ease to run in such condition, and I am glad to know some of my friends are actually made it thru and survey the FM with few water station missing/malfunctioning/ran out of water.

Lesson learned:
1. I should go without dinner or have it earlier at around 3pm, and take a PowerBar or banana before the race start.
2. Bring more water; pack them within reach and some spare inside the car. Although I gulped in plenty of Gatorade after 11km, I still feel thirsty especially queued for 1 hour and ended up with nothing.
3. Think twice before joining an event which ran by some “events organizer”, which isn’t a running club. We are not cat-walking on the route, we need some one with better sense on what runners are “doing” on the route.
4. Practice more; my current state is definitely not sufficient for half marathon, more LSD to 18~20km over the weekend.
5. Focus only on the good things during race (and properly in daily life). The bad things on this event ruin my weekend too. I felt really guilty and regretted I didn’t push myself out of the bed on Sunday morning for some run and let the bad taste stay on until now. Guess if I ran yesterday, I should have regained the passion of running.

Before & After the 11km, sorry for the darkness in the After photo

Update (22/4/11): Got email confirmation from Energizer, please update your personal detail (if applicable). They will arrange the refund and postal of the Certificate, Finisher Medal and the rest according to the updated database after 5/5/11.

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