Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Races Report: Men’s Health Night Run and Seremban Half Marathon

Often we saw some hardcore runners doing back to back races, some even packed in Full Marathon in the combination. I though it will be fun if I can try it out. Further more, it is July and there will be no race during the fasting month. We raced like a bear that preparing itself with food before the hibernation in winter :p  I took part in both races 2011 editions.

Men’s Health 2012 took a difference route, but it is still rounding the similar Putrajaya Night Marathon route. Missed the limited medal last year, but as this year there are 500 units allocated for Men-Open category, so I am not worry at all. Game plan, hang in the race and flow with the crowds’ pace at about 6 minutes, conserve my energy for the big game next day. Seremban HM is the same challenging route like last year. Limited medal too, but I am not very worry to miss that cause as usual it will be not many runners running in this event as there are lots of other races in Klang Valley. Game plan, trying my best to sub-2.

Yes I planned big for these two races, but there are some variance came into picture later. I got an urgent training assignment to Pakistan, and need to travel until 14 July morning. My coughing and phlegm conditions are still moderate, yet to fully recover from the flu I got since end May. This means I will have very minimum training before both races and will run in sub-optimum conditions. When I touched down in KLIA on Saturday 11am, I felt to DNS both races. But I got some sleep in the afternoon and decided to follow the plan for the night.

Reached the starting line around 6:40pm, still had lots of time until the flag off. Met Nick with his new handsome running shoes (GoRun Ride), and then just did my routine warm up until the starting pen open. As I had no intention to push for speed, just took a place about 30+ m from the line. Lots of people tried to get closer to the line, but obviously some of them are none runners. Started in the few meters closer to the starting line but walked from the first few km on the race? I find it hard to understand the logic behind this move, but that is usually happened when the race is too commercialized. You will found more of these people in coming Adidas KOTR or Nike WeRun.

After few races last year in Putrajaya, I become very familiar with the route. We headed out to PICC, then turn into the dreaded final stretch of the Putrajaya Night Marathon (30km onwards). If you kept your eye on the asphalt, you will notice some distances marking. Btw, the route is very quiet this year. I am actually looking forward to be cheered by those cheerleaders like last year or any other races done by Twenty-first Century. Further more, I maintained a very boring 6 minutes pace all the way from the start. I start to felt bored after the hilly part of the route at the final 2km. Saw GusGhani running in Barefoot, have a quit chat with him on the BF experience, and I started to cheering the walking people around me. It is a great experience! But I think I annoyed some of them :P   Charged to the finish line after the last turn. Finished the race at 1:11’48”, got my limited medal.
Didn’t stayed long, I left the venue once collected my goody and cool down. Straight to the bed after cleaning up myself. But heck, the adrenaline still active, I can’t sleep very well and the alarm clock sounded as it was already 4am. Left home around 4:50am and reached Seremban around 5:40am. Got another book from Melvin before the flag off on 6:30am. It started to drizzling around 6am and we had a wet flag off. Eventhough the weather is superb for running, but I knew very well that I will not able to achieve my sub-2 HM. The body felt refreshed by the drizzling, but its’ still tired from the flight and the 12km earlier. Tried hard to start and maintaining a 6 minutes pace, but hit by the climb right in front of the Seremban Carrefour and the pace start to drop to 7 minutes. Decided to run this as another LSD at 7 minutes pace. Used the same trick last night and start to “encourage” (i.e. disturbing) other runners who started to walk. Btw, I was started to run-walk-run strategy from about 16km. Caught by Melvin after about 1km run-walking, got my new energy source via chatting with him and avoiding the school boys & girls. Completed the race at 2:21’48”, got the limited medal too.
There are lots of race reports talking about the pro and cons about these two races, I will not repeat them here. I will only focus on my key learning,
1. It is not fun (at least not now) to do back to back races. May be this is due to my lack of training, other commitments or the total distances (covered 33km in total). At my current condition, I am obviously not ready for this.
2. Game plan is great to ensure a comfortable race and achieving the preset goal. But the execution power is also importance. I had a relatively easy and enjoyable race in Saturday night, but struggle on Sunday morning as there is nothing left in the tank to execute the plan.
3. Talking to others and cheering others up in the race is very enjoyable experience, and it’s helped to divert the stress (and sometime focus) from the race.

After 2 days off from running, I restarted my training this morning. There will be another race next Sunday (4x3.2km Relay @ PAR8), then we will break for Fasting month and Hari Raya. And the rest of the year will be focused to the sub-5 Marathon target.


  1. You da man, Neoh! :)

    Back to back races, after that trip to Pakistan too. Salute!

    I'm sure you were not disturbing the runners with your support. I love them. When we were approaching the final 2K, got this guy who gave us support, and I very much appreciate it. ^^

    Plus, good luck achieving that sub-5 marathon. You can DO IT! :)

    1. Looking at my registered events, I got 3 more FM after the PAR8. To achieve sub-5, there are about 12 minutes to kill from my previous FM result. I think as long as I have no injury and recovered fast enough without over-trained, I will see the finish line in 5 hours :)

    2. RJM, PNM & PBIM? :)

      All the best!

  2. Good job on your back to back. I decided that my body just wasn't going to hack a back to back and slept in. Don't want to risk injuries, much harder at my age to recover from injuries.

    I'm sure there will be loads of cheerleaders during PNM. I'll bring it up with the race organizers when I see them ... LOL!

    See you at the PAR8.

    1. Thanks for bringing this up to 21stCentury. We really need that as the FM route in PNM is very quiet.

      See you at PAR8 next Sunday.

  3. Well done Neoh! Next time can try 3 events in a weekend pulak heheh...

    1. Hahaha, wait until I sub4 in my marathon like you, then I will try :P