With only 6 training days left until my first triathlon at Kenyir Lake (Kuala Terengganu) on 25th March 2012, I decided to step-up my training intensity. So, since I was scheduled to run 7.5km for a World Kidney Day event held at Merdeka Square in central Kuala Lumpur, I decided to ride my bike 18km to the venue & make it an impromptu Duothlon.
It was 5:30am when I rolled my bike out of Subang Jaya, and I entered the Federal Highway via Sunway. This was the first time that I have attempted a ride to KL. Lighting-up the road, I was pleased with the effectiveness of the front lights which I had bought the day before. Nevertheless, I was taking a big risk of puncturing my tire as I was unsure of the road conditions of the motorcycle lane along the busiest and most dangerous major artery into KL, namely the Federal Highway. Fortunately, there were hardly any motorcycles around at that time.
When I reached halfway at Petaling Jaya, there was a spooky looking tunnel which made me stop to take a photo as the haunting green effects of the tunnel lights reminded me of a horror movie. Further up the road, as I exited another tunnel by the Telekom building, I noticed the smell of burning rubber. Soon, I discovered that the smell emitted from a wrecked car whose flames had just been doused by the fire-fighters. I stopped for about 10 minutes to watch the melee surrounding the crash scene. Later on, the news reported that a van driver had been hit and killed by a speeding car when he was changing his punctured tire by the roadside. The driver of the speeding car had apparently survived with severe injuries including two broken legs. In the prevailing darkness, I had to keep moving because I just received a text message from Gaby who informed me that he had arrived at the race venue already. You see, since my friend had dropped-out of the race last minute, I decided to pass his running number to Gaby who was running his first barefoot race.
Meandering through the back lanes of Brickfields, I soon found myself chaining my bike to a sign-post at Merdeka Square. I gave Gaby his race number, and made my way to the luggage area to drop-off my stuff, including my helmet & shoes for safe-keeping. There was time to greet fellow barefooters of FB Group”Bare With Me”, Cheryl Tan & Jason Thai. Another call came through from my friend, Dr. Bhupindar, who had just arrived. She was a little anxious since it was her first running event. We joined the crowd limbering-up by mimicking the moves of a hired personal trainer on stage. Soon, we were joined by our friend, Letchumi who wanted to know where the toilets were as I guessed Letchumi was nervous since it was her first run after a long absence.
Not long, we were all ushered to the runner’s pen next to the clock tower. There was a sea of blue shirts waiting patiently for the clock to strike 7:30am, and as soon as it did strike, we were off and heading to Bank Negara and thereafter, we raced up to Bukit Tunku.
Glad to report that the roads were surprisingly smooth along the whole route to the relief of my bare feet. Furthermore, the hill portions were kind. I took full advantage of the good racing conditions, and pushed myself all the way to the finishing line. Along the way, we did run across the red-shirted runners of the Vision Run event which was taking place at the nearby Padang Merbuk. It was good to see KL running scene thriving with many willing participants. Unlike the Siemens Run 2011, this time the finishing line was smack bang in the grassy middle of the Dataran Merdeka cricket pitch instead of the roadside. I was presented with a medal right after the Finish Line. Then, it was off to collect my goodie bags at a nearby tent. Fortunately, the queues to the goodie bag counter and the Milo van was moving fast. After the celebratory cups of milo, I was greeted for the first time by fellow barefooter, Kf, who is also hailed from Subang Jaya. Then, I had a chat with my fellow finishers Marc, Shanaz, Victor & Kaymelia with the awesome backdrop of the KL city centre on a clear sunny day.
A special thanks to BF Jason for taking a wonderful photo of me, Kelvin of LYN Runners with his girlfriend (sorry, I do not recall her name?!).
Thereafter, I ran into another member, Kahwai, of “Bare With Me”. Kahwai is our BF in-house photographer, and I was delighted to pose with him for another momento to mark a totally fun day all around.
Just as I was wondering, how on earth I was supposed to ride my bike back to Subang Jaya with the busier road traffic, my darling, Maryati called me to offer me a lift home. Naturally, I accepted her kind offer. While waiting for Maryati, the Deputy Prime Minister entourage arrived on the scene with his escort of bodyguards to present the prizes to the winners. TV3 cameramen were there to record the DPM’s speech & presentation which was to be aired on the news bulletin that night.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to say goodbye to Dr. Bhupindar & Letchumi before I left the scene. Later on, I learnt that both friends had a great day out, and they were happy with receiving their finisher’s medals for all their efforts.
Overall, I was very pleased with today’s outcome. Not only, I managed to enjoy a fun 7km run but I also managed to incorporate it with a cycling training programme in preparation for my first triathlon which was only 21 days away.
Enjoy more event photos here.
Special acknowledgements to photographers Kahwai, Tey, Kang & Sze.