Running Into Philippe Mavic
It was the Tuesday after the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2016, and I was walking along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee when I thought I heard a tourist enquired, “Did you complete it?”
I stopped in my tracks, and looked back towards the foreigner who was holding a map, looking in my direction, and pointing to my new SCKLM 2016 Finisher T-shirt.
It took me a couple of seconds to register what was happening. Then, I deduced that he was referring to whether or not I completed the recent marathon.
He says, “I got the same T-shirt.”
I asked, “Did you run in that marathon too?”
“Yes, but I was disappointed with my timing,” he shot back.
“What was your time?” I queried.
“It was 3:30, my worst timing to date”.
I retorted, “If that was your WORST, what is your usual FM finish time?!
The Frenchman replied, “3 hours, but my I have a good excuse for my poor performance here.”
After we introduced ourselves, I learnt that his name was Philippe Mavic, and he had flown in from France just to participate in the Scklm 2016. Unfortunately, his original flight was delayed for 2 days in Dubai, and he only flew in on Saturday morning, without his luggage or shoes. At 10:00pm Saturday night, Philippe bought himself new running shoes, and after just a couple of hours of sleep, he found himself at the Start Line in Pen number 2, waiting for the 4:00am flag-off.
For the first 25km, Philippe was running comfortably with another female French runner who he met coincidentally at the start. With 7km to go, his female co-patriot sped off to claim second prize in her category as Philippe was left with the first signs of cramps which made him lose 1 minute every subsequent kilometre. On hindsight, Philippe declared that the 20 climbs which he counted were tough, and he a added, “Maybe next year, I will be back here again to beat my timing with better preparations and conditioning.”
Well, under the circumstances, I thought his accomplishments were much better than what he was willing to accept. I admired how Philippe refused to make any excuses for his poor performance, and he obviously felt that he could and should have done better.
We adjourned to a nearby cafe in Central Market for a chat, and I was happy to receive some valuable running tips and listen to anecdotes from a sub-3 French Marathoner.
Despite his delayed arrival to Malaysia, Philippe still managed to complete his first marathon in a city and something tells me, Philippe will make up for the lost time at his next destination… Langkawi Island.
About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance writer, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner, and
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