4 days before race day, I received an invitation to join this run under a free-pass. I accepted this fortunate invitation because it so happens, I had earlier tried to register online for this event but I it was already closed. 2 days before race day on Friday, I took the KTM train to Klang station and collected my race bib no. B186 together with a fetching yellow running shirt.
On the race day itself, the participants, proudly adorned in their new yellow shirts, gathered at the Sulaiman Stadium. There were several white tents pitched near the grandstand for trophies, goodie bags, refreshments, VIPs, and luggage storage. To my despair, there were long queues for the toilets in the stadium and the portable ones too. Anyway, there were many participants sitting in the grandstand, and some were either loitering, stretching & warming-up on the nice stadium track. Around 6:30am, the grey skies opened-up and the rain started pouring. Many runners found shelter from the rain in the grandstands, and some others like me decided to brave the cooling rain by dancing to the moves and music of a Fitness First instructor. Soon after the 12km runners were asked to assemble at the start line outside the stadium, and we promptly left behind the 5.5km runners to wait their turn. As we huddled together in the rain, impatiently waiting for the start, the VIPs arrived with their blare-horns. After a 15 minutes delay, we were flagged-off at 7am. Many happy feet followed the route which lead them past an upmarket residential area before heading on the main road heading towards Pandamaran. The road was nice and straight, and I had to stop myself from diving into one of the petrol stations to relieve myself as I did not want to risk losing-out on a medal later.
There were some nice elevations during the main run, and soon after we had U-turned at the midway point, there was a drink station waiting for us. In total, there were 3 drink stations along the route, and as far as I know there was enough water & 100plus for all runners. Strangely, after the halfway mark, the urge to relieve myself had disappeared and I could increase my pace, and I even managed to past some slower runners ahead. I did make it a point to shout, “Come on, you can do it”, to the last runners who were running in the opposite direction. During the last third leg of the race, I saw a young boy walking in his soaking-wet socks holding his shoes: I asked him, “Are you alright?” He was too tired to reply me so I told him, “Take it easy and enjoy the run”. After a steep incline to the last drink station, my pace picked-up knowing that the finishing line was nearing soon. As I approached the stadium, I met my friends Dodo & YS Lee who had already finished the race. I stopped to pose for some photos with them, before legging it into the stadium and cross the finish line.
After receiving my medal & goodie bag, I posed for a couple more shots with Upai & Marc. Once I collected by sling bag from bag storage tent, I bypassed the Vico hot chocolate tent
because the queue was way too long. Instead, I settled for a couple slices of juicy watermelons for instant replenishment.
Looking around at the yellow crowd, I noticed that many of them were made-up of happy families and friends from the local community who braved the rainy conditions to enjoy the fun run.
This occasion highlights the fact that holding local running events is a very positive way for the community to bond among themselves and keep fit at the same time.
Overall, it was money well spent by the sponsors and MPK to promote a healthy and caring community. Finally, what I would like to see next time, is for the route to go across a bridge or two, and if I’m not wrong, there are some nice parks along the River Klang which could also be featured in a running route.