2009 calendar updated!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Kuala Lumpur International Marathon 2008

Date: 30 March 2008
Time: 4.30am (Full), 6.00am (Half), 7.00am (10k), 8.00am (7k & 3k)
Runners: Full - Alang (Champion la), Half (the rest)
Chicken: Halil....hahahahah

SUNDAY'S KL International Marathon 2008 was my first marathon after a lapse of 21 years. Coincidently, my final marathon in 1987 before the hiatus was the KL Marathon - my worst moment in marathon running coz I quit with just two kilometers remaining. At that time I was physically and mentally spent, could hardly stand and end up taking a ride in the sweeper bus to Merdeka Stadium.

Since then, I could never erase that failure from my mind. I was ashamed and hoped to have another chance to redeem myself. I did just that last Sunday by finishing the marathon in 6hrs 44min. Never mind that it took 21 years, now I'm really at peace with myself. I arrived at the venue at about 3.45 am with Suriati and Fairul. Met Running mom Haza as we were walking towards Dataran Merdeka from Bank Negara. The rest of the Slow Movers arrived as the full marathon was about to start.

At 4.30am sharp, I waved goodbye to my gang and started running. For the first 10km I was relaxed, still felt fresh and energetic. Perhaps eating a Powerbar and swallowing several spoonsful of honey before the race helped. I was still running comfortably when I reached the 20km mark. Wah, this is good, I have never been able to run non stop for 20km ever since I rekindled my interest in running by participating in the 2006 Merdeka Run.

However, the presence of runners from other categories at Jalan Bukit Bintang distracted my momentum, and my energy level sort of dropped from then on. I ran and walked until the 25km mark, when the race official looked at me and suddenly shouted "full marathon runners, 17 kilometers to go!" His voice jolted me and I began running a bit faster until the u-turn at Jalan Raja Laut.

Thankfully I have been spared the dreaded cramps sofar. Maybe the leg stretching and cooling the calves with ice and water at every refreshment and sponging station did the trick. I would later finish the race with not a single cramp.

After stepping on the red mat at the 30km mark near the Jalan Raja Muda Ab Aziz-Jalan Tun Razak junction, I checked my time - it showed 4hrs 35min - which meant I have 2hrs 25min to cover 12km. Despite feeling fatigued and sore, I was confident I could finish before the 7hr time limit if I run and walk.

To urge my tired body and legs, I thumped my chestand shouted: "Twelve kilometers to go! You can do it!" My action startled a motorcyclist and he slowed down and stared at me before continuing his journey. Sorry brother! Didn't mean to make you angry.

From the National Heart Institute until the last 4km, I had a Singaporean runner, Naveen, for company. He was running his fourth marathon and would later finish the race four minutes behind me.

By the time I passed the PWTC (about 9km to go), I could no longer persuade my legs to run. So I walked until the u-turn at Jalan Duta. Saw Running mom on the other side of the road and we waved at each other. With 3km to go, perhaps because of the heat, I felt a bit dizzy near the Parliament building. Oh no, I don't wanna faint when the finishing line is only 3km away! I quickly poured water over my head, and the dizziness disappeared. Phew!

I was really struggling now and depending solely on the mental strength to carry me all the way to the finish line. At the 40km mark, one Chinese male runner passed me and encouraged me to start running. "Come on, we will be going down hill soon. Just a bit more." Ok la, I told myself, better limber up now so that you can really run without stumbling and falling flat on your face at the final stretch.

Checking the watch again, it showed 6hrs 25min. I felt bit emotional here as I know I will make it in time. Finally the ghost of 1987 will be buried! As soon as I passed the '1km to go' mark and saw the Bank Negara building in the distance, the tiredness disappeared and I began running normally. I was felling so happy and excited I got goosebumps!

At the final corner, I saw Angah dan Iylia waiting by the roadside. They ran beside me until almost 100mto the finishing line. The rest of the Slow Movers were there to witness their first member to finish a marathon. Ok, I've started the ball rolling, when will the rest of you Slow Movers run the marathon eh?

By Shahrizal Sanusi


fyrul said...


excellent report alang!
syiok laaa baca.
rasa mcm tak sabar nak start my first 42km run pulak.
banyak pengalaman bleh dpt masa tengah run tu...
the crowd, spectators, passers by...
the challenge to control the mind & figthing with the tiredness & pain.. fuhhh.. very the syiok & challenging one...
tak sabar nyerr...

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's all in the mind. Once you give in to your tired body, it's over. And along the 42km, your body and voice of reason will do their damnedest to make you stop. So, hati & minda mau kuat. Congrats...(wah, ini betul2 lambat punya wish!). Hope to see more of the smovers clan running the marathon.

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions

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