PHOTOS BY TEY
Good to back at the Rat Race again. Ran for Tricor for the 1st time. Had a great time with the cheerleading team b4 the race. Gave all I had in the race and collapsed at the finish line.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the pre & post race actvities with former and current colleagues from Bursa & Tricor respectively.
Started from the 3rd or 4th row, right behind those strong RHB runners. Very hot & humid compared to previous years. Was stuffy & hot and waited for almost 20 -30 minutes in the starting crowd for the preceding CEO race to commence & finish before we could get on with the main event of the day. Glad I had a bottle of water with me while waiting for the starting gun. Sipped and washed face in order to stay cool and hydrated before the gun went off.
I think Dato' Yusli (Bursa CEO) saw me among the crowd. He was standing on a platform with the Tun Chairman of Bursa to start the race. I waved at Dato' Yusli & he waved back and I thot that was cool.
Sprinted the 1st 100m or so after the gun went off to get away from the slower starters . In a short 4.5 km race, every second counts. My PB at the Rat Race is 20:23 in 2006. In training for this year's run, I clock 20:56 but that was done in a cool Saturday morning condition. But my previous experience thot me that I would usually go faster on race day (despite the hotter condition) mainly due to adrenaline rush from race crowd. Fresh from a good run in the PD Triathlon, I was actually aiming to dip 20 minutes.
As usual, I found myself amongst the 1st or 2nd chase group after we came off the ramp onto Jln Raja Chulan and settled into my target race pace. I remember seeing the RHB & CIMB runners pulling away fast. They were of a different class, so I made no attempt to follow their pace.
Approaching Wisma Genting, Mohamad Ali & Mathi from Bursa overtook me. Mathi is my old team mate during my Bursa days. He has improved tremendously & quit smoking. As per the results he finished 8th overall in 20:01 and I am very happy for him. Mohd Ali is the new kid at Bursa. Only 25 and has been clocking 18 minutes or so in training & last year's race. He finished 3rd overall in 18:45 this year.
I lost sight of the leading pack soon after Wisma Genting. I remember being overtaken by quite a number of CIMB, Maybank & OCBC runners. They were easy to recognise with their blue, yellow & red shirts respectively. Found myself running along side Vasu from RHB. I opted to keep pace with him because I came close behind him many times in previous races and i believed we were in the same league. He is one of those guys I wanted to beat that day.
Vasu - RHB
Glad I grab a bottle of water at the water station near Public Bank junction. Was so hot and humid. Fume from cars stuck in the jam due to the race didn't help. My throat was dried and I thirst. Had a quick sip (and disposed of the bottle), which I must have helped in the later part of the race.
Then, Jessica Tang (CIMB & regular runner) came up to me some where near Lai Ming school. She was matching my every stride and I was kind of worried she might beat me. Jessica finished 32nd overall but came out 1st in the women category. Kenan from SGX caught up as well. He beat me every year during my Bursa days. He is another whom I was dying to beat that day.
My race plan was to push hard after Shangri-La. The hill after Shangri-La and approaching The Weld is a good place to attack. My observation from previous races proved right when I saw many racers (some in blue, yellow and red shirts) reduced to walking. I made up some positions there. I must have dropped Vasu, Jessica & Kenan at the hill as I did not see them until after the race. Pushed harder after The Weld. By then, it was only some 500 meters to the end. The toughest part of the race was behind me and the last 500m was a gentle down hill.
There was a bunch of 5-6 runners some 100m ahead of me. They seemed to be running at a constant pace, as if conserving energy for the final dash up Bukit Kewangan (the short hill outside Bursa bulding). I found myself gaining on them rapidly, which made me more determined to catch them.
I caught them at the traffic lights just before Bukit Kewangan. I was almost spent by then. Told myself to hang in there for a few more seconds. I attacked hard up Bkt Kewangan, screaming out loud and overtook the whole bunch of them.
Girl in the background saw what I was up to
The Catch Is On - Too Bad This Bloke ended a second a head of me
Bad move, I reckoned. In a way, I think my scream made them more eager to catch me back. I remember yellow shirt and a red shirt caught be back at the finish line. A check at the results showed that I finished 3 seconds behind a Maybank guy by the name Azwan Nordin and 1 second behind an OCBC bloke by the name Jefferey Choong.
I gave everything I had and collapsed at the finish line. Stayed on the ground for a few seconds. The race officials picked me up and asked if I was OK. Got up with their help, thanked them and walked away by myself.
I finished in 21:13 (gun time & 21:09 net time) and ranked 20th overall (out of 705 starters). Am very pleased with my results despite missing out on my target by more than 1 minute. Very pleased with myself for not giving up at the base of Bkt Kewangan, and more importantly to finally beat Vasu (RHB) and Kenan (SGX)!!
Age have really caught up with me. Took me quite a while to recover. Had a couple of cans of 100Plus + some water and sat on the ground for more than 15 minutes feeling dizzy . Missed out on the cheerleading performance by Tricor's team ad I was still in a daze when their turn came. But I could hear the MC announcing the team and heard the screams from the guys watching their performance.
I was not the only one who collapsed that day. Arumugum from Maybank required assistance to finish in the top 10 & collapsed on the finish line.
Tricor team mate, Jamal
Tricor team mate, Kuan Yee