My first Energizer Night Run on 21-Apr-2012 was also my first visit to Sepang International Circuit, and my first-ever run wearing a Sarong. Despite raining in the evenings for the past two nights, thankfully, the sky that night was clear & dry. The 15.5km route took us practically all the way round the smooth 5.5km F1 track. Thereafter, we ran on the outer service track for another 6km, before circling another 4km inside the hollowed ground.
Needless to say, my Sarong drew a lot of attention; some people just stared in bewilderment, some burst-out laughing, and there others made snide remarks openly. Everywhere I went, I overheard the words “sarong” uttered and shouted as I walked from the car park to the track, and even throughout the whole race.
Initially, I thought my barefoot running antics had attracted enough of onlooker’s curiosity and attention. However, nothing prepared me for the overwhelming attention my Sarong running kit drew. Unashamedly. I did enjoy watching the expressions on people’s face as they did a double-take. the expressions ranged widely from stares of scorned to outright shock. I could almost hear some brains scrambling to make sense of my unexpected attire.
I want to thank the many strangers who had approached me to specifically give me their words of encouragements and support for the Sarong outfit. I hope, in return, I managed to inspire some runners to relax and have fun with their run that night.
Some of my favourite moments came from the friendly event volunteers and cheering crew who gave me a big cheer each time I passed time. I believe watching me running along in my Sarong gave them a brief respite from their hardworking night. Cheers to all of you!!!
The best reactions and moments of ENR was when I visited the medic tent right after passing the finishing line. The whole medic crew, from the nurses to the doctors, were not interested in my Sarong run, but they were all amazed and flabbergasted that I had ran the race barefoot. All of them wanted to treat my blisters because it was their first time to meet a barefoot runner in person. I was a novel specimen, and they kept on asking me with disbelief. “You ran without shoes?!”. Then, one medic was not sure how to treat a barefooter and shouted “Doc, take a look a this guy, he ran barefoot!”
One Kakak medic asked: What’s your bib number?
Me: Pointed at my bib.
As this kind medic was looking for my name on my bib, I could see her turn-away and snigger. I looked down at my bib, and instantly blushed as I realised that the name printed was “POOKY BEAR”. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. Later, I realised everything was forgiven when the Kakak medic asked my permission to take my photo – PRICELESS !!!
After my virgin Sarong run, I can now declare that Sarong-running gave me an unexpectedly joyous experience which is unbeatable, and I will certainly recommend it to anyone as part of their 100 Things To Do Before I Die List.
Again, a Very Big Thank You to all Medic team & the race volunteers for making the night most enjoyable.
If you want to follow more of my escapades, please feel free to check-out my Facebook page.
See you at the Orang Asli Trail next weekend /