Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year Newton Challenge Race Report

It was 4 weeks after SCMS but I am still struggled on my usual mood swing towards the end of the year. Whenever a major event is over, I normally felt kind of loss. Often, end of the year will posting the similar effect to my mood swing. That why I normally don’t schedule any major event towards year end. This year, this is unavoidable and SCMS is hitting me hard. Especially there the list of registered race is depleting fast and I can’t find any local race (oversea race will burn a hole on my wallet and may worsen the mood swing to depression) to fill it up.

During the Malakoff 12k, I don’t felt the usual excitement before, during & after the race. May be I took it too easy or I really got the over-trained syndrome (as described by Doc PuiSan in HERE). For time being, I am just following the 6months plan to tune myself properly for a sub-5 marathon (SCKLM) and hope I will soon recovered from the dipping mood. The New Year Newton Challenge is actually what I am looking forward to flip the mood.
The race is held at very challenging Bandar Kinrara Ammah Hill. There are lots of warning and sharing by experience runners about this route, so I will not really pushing for any dramatic speeding or PB. On the other hand, I am planning to run this race with slightly difference strategy, starting slow, pushing hard only if I felt like it towards the end of the race.

The race flagged off on time. I started at the mid of the pack and kept my pace at around 7min/km. The first 4km are ok, the usual settling period come and goes, and I can finally settle into the comfortable running mode. Then, the first drastic climb came right after the left turn at the traffic light towards the first U-turn point. My pace dropped but I pushed on and never stop for walking. Pushes my effort to conquer the peak, slow down when the Hearth Rate touched 160BPM, continue to push again when HR dropped to 150BPM, and then wait for the descending come. I hold back my legs during descending so that the HR dropping back to 140BPM zone. You can tell from my HR chart which it peak with the route climbs. After we took the U-turn and back to the traffic light, at 10km point with the dawn skylight, we can see the breathtaking Ammah Hill with 120ft climb for the next 1km. I went on and take down the Ammah Hill with the same push and hold strategy. I was only repeating the same thing for the rest of the course.
Towards the Finish Line, Photo by Louis Ong
Finally, I am at the second U-turn clocking 15th km (average pace 6:50/km). I felt like I wanted to push more, so I kicked in the high gear and pushing all the way back to finish line. Btw, the hilly route limited my effort; I can only do 6:23/km on average for the balance 10km. I took the advantage of the final 2km which is rather flat to push to sub-6 minutes pace and finished the race in 2:42’36”.
I found that I really enjoy this very obvious up-down hilly route. If you look into the elevation chart, there are total of 6 continuous ascends that more than 100ft in 1km. So, on the bright side, there are also total of 6 continuous descends with the same scale. You can really looking forward a good rest after each tough fight with each hard climb. I guess the Ammah hill is highlighted as it actually lay down the total 1km climb right in front of you (without any turns and twists like other climbs on the same route). Overall, the race is well organized but some improvement needed in term of water stations manning (at 14km) and traffic control (from 4~10km, and the finish line area). I fully understand that some of the roads are the only access to some housing area and highway, but a better planning will sure helps to reduce the potential hazard to all the participants.

I am happy with my game plan which actually helps me to finish strong in this race. This valuable lesson will be great helps in my future marathon or other running events. This adds in motivation to my running, and I am now looking forward not only to races, but also to each training and long runs. I guess I had successfully flipped my mood. It may be due to the great run in Newton Challenge, or just because it is now January! I will not digging in further, now, time to enjoy the life with lots of running :)


  1. My utmost congratulations go out to you. You've improved tremendously in your runs. You're an inspiration, keep it up and you'll be flying soon :D

  2. You sure are flying Neoh. And like Nick mentioned, you are indeed an inspiration.

    Looking good in the photo, by the way. ^^

  3. Good form Neoh. Keep it up and we'll see more improvement for 2012!

  4. That's a great timing bro! Well done, and looking good for 2012!

  5. Thanks guys!
    Definitely a good race to jump start the new year!