My destination this Christmas Eve morning was Ostrich Farm, Bukit Tangga 12 KM Run organised by the Youth & Sports Department of Negeri Sembilan.
Not knowing where to go, I headed to Seremban where I got directions from a taxi driver parked in front of Seremban KTM station. At 7AM, after a 20 minutes drive along the Jelebu old trunk road, I reached D’Pantai / Ostrich Farm – race gathering point – where I could make-out several runners in the dark, darting from carpark to the registration counter. Without much waiting time, I paid my rm10 race fee & collected my race bib,
Having suited-up, I made my way to the open space of the Ostrich Farm where some runners were already warming-up. As day broke, I could admire the beautiful natural surroundings of a meandering stream and a majestic backdrop of lush greenery-lined hill-tops. AMAZING!
At 7:45AM, the participants shaked their tailed-feathers to the beat of an aerobic routine.
Then, the runners were briefed on the race guidelines by a race marshal who I suspected fancied himself as a bit of a comedian – “Do not push each other”, “We do not want any excuses if you do not collect your wrist bands at the checkpoints”.
The “Boys” of B category was in good mood, “Datuk don’t point the starter gun at us”.
8:35AM BANG! OFF WE GO!! My pace for the first 3 KM was good as we ran along the Jelebu Road passing the villagers as they ate their breakfast at the “high-street” stalls. After the 4 KM drink station, we started our long 6 KM ascend up the hilly road: My hamstrings ves were well tested. As a female African runner was about to pass me, I kept up with her for a good 500m before the steep gradient slowed me right down.
1 hour and 35 minutes later, I crossed the finishing line. There was no medal given-out, but my ranking of 29th position had more than made-up for it.
Feeling restless, I did not want to wait around for the coach to take us back down to the Ostrich Farm, so I started walking down the hill. I passed several runners still heading for the finishing line, and they kept asking me, “how far more to the finishing line?”.
After 2 KM into my descent, I was able to flag-down a city-liner bus. As I stepped unto the bus in my full running attire with race certification in hand, all the passengers were starring at me.
Luckily, I had enough cash to pay the bus driver, and it took the bus a good 15 minutes to take me back to the Starting Line. This marked my last race in an amazing first year of 9 races ran.
I am looking forward to my next race, Newton Challenge 25 KM Run on the first day of 2012.
Now, it’s time to enjoy Christmas holidays & New Year holidays.