I am full of doubt before the race started, but eventually I survived.
And to my surprise, I actually enjoy lots on this race.
Like the normal race, I prepared myself with plenty of shorter runs, ranged from 3~10km in December, all barefooted. I even went for a trial run on the route, but I only managed 8km. Stopped mid way before reached the Commuter station at Bank Negara, and walked back to the Bukit Aman car park. The route is so rough especially on the Bukit Tunku @ the Double Hills route. Also, the flu stacked with me for closed to 2 months and it basically took away all my long run, speed and stamina. I knew very well that I will not doing a fast race. It took away my confident and I seriously thinking to race with VFF. I was not able to decide until the Saturday morning. I saw this old slippers when I cleaning my car porch. So I decided to run barefoot with the slippers as spare.
Due to the race excitement and the doubts on my own decision, I was not able to sleep well. Reached the starting line with about 3 hours sleep, I walked like zombie around the Padang Merbok. Met some fellow barefoot runners, exchanged best wishes and good lucks (yes, lots of luck required for me to complete this 12km). At 7am, without too much of notice or count down, the horn blew and the ladies 12km flagged off. And now is our turn. Maybe the race is too early or the starting gangway is too narrow, the crown in Men 12km didn’t seem to move after the flag off. Anyway, I just took my time as I didn’t have any target to chase.
I carefully picked my way ahead. The stretch from starting line to the entrance/exit of the Bukit Tunku is relatively smooth and barefoot friendly. I kept a steady 7 minutes pace until the rough road and tough climb at Bukit Tunku caught me. The pace dipped to 8 minutes. Btw, I didn’t felt the same roughness at Bukit Tunku like I did during the trial. I guess we have the whole road to pick my landing. During the trial run, I can only ran on the road side due to the traffic. As the road was closed during the race, I was following mostly the middle white line, and this helped lots on my barefoot.
|The happy barefoot runner (by KahWai)|
Overall, I am happy with my first ever barefoot race. It builds my confident to run and race barefoot. The race itself was very well organized. Had been a while not getting so much of goodie from a race kit. Water stations and other supplies were plenty. Traffic control is great too. Not forget the effort of the series of running clinics organized since the registration opened. If you plan to start running but don’t know how, join this race and the running clinics. Running in a group will definitely help to get you over the starting barrier, and very soon you will addicted to this sport and ready to go on your own.
My next target? Barefooting in Brooks Half Marathon (it sounded weird to race barefoot in a race sponsored by a shoes company). This is another route with lots of inclines. No a place to speed or trial on my sub-2 half marathon target. So I will focus on barefooting only.
Btw, 6 weeks until the next race and my flu still lingering… any alternative cure apart from seeing the doctor?