I wanted to finish up my year with a weekend every run; but the last few weekends of December looked blank. I thought that the holidays would deter anyone from organising any runs… but I was pleasantly mistaken.
The information about Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon was released a little late, but it was quite quickly snapped up. This was because it offered a full-size marathon, which is quite rare. Runs are so popular nowadays that sometimes there are a few runs scheduled on the same day; but most of them are short-distance runs, ranging from 3km to 5km to 10km at most. Half-marathons (21km) and full marathons (42km) were less common, so the moment a long-distance run is available, many hardcore runners were quick to sign up.
I wasn’t so ambitious yet; I had only been doing 10km so far, and since I wasn’t training in any way, I decided to stick to the closest distance to 10km, which in this case was 12km. This was in line with my lazy training towards a half-marathon (which I was aiming for in March – already signed up and paid!). I was going to gradually increase my running distance until the big two-one in March!
RUN DAY 21 DECEMBER 2014
My running buddy Farah had helped me collect the race packs, so I didn’t know that the 12km runs would be untimed. If the runs would be timed, each runner would receive a timing chip, either attached onto the running bibs or to be tied on the shoelaces. No timing chip was included in the race pack.
I got there before Farah did though, and I found out that the 12km run would be untimed from the start/finish lines. There were two arches – one for the full and half marathoners (42/21km), which had a digital timer on it, and another for the 12 and 5kmers, which had no timers, indicating that they were the “fun run” categories. This wasn’t indicated on the website, and to be honest I wasn’t used to it, because all the previous runs I had participated were timed for 10km. Only the short distances like 3km and 5km were usually untimed.
My morning started with a couple of unfortunate (and amusing, in hindsight) incidents… I had lined up to go to the portable washroom, and stood in front of one of the closed cubicles, thinking someone was already in there. However many other people had come and gone in the other cubicles, and it was after my knocks when unanswered that I realised that there was no one in there, but it was locked from the inside. So I had to go the back of the line of one of the cubicles. I had inched forward in the line, and I was the second in line when it happened… the person who just used it let the door slam behind her, and the guy in front of me went to the door… only to find that he couldn’t open it. Try as he could, the door wouldn’t budge. The door was locked from the inside!
That was twice in one morning, for me!
One of the girls in another line let me cut in front of her, as she felt sorry for me… and I let the guy who had been in front of me cut in front of me. This time, when we exited the portable washrooms, each of us held the door for the next, to make sure that the door did not lock from the inside!
The 12km runners were flagged off at 6:30am.
It had not been a good month for me because in spite of it being the holidays, I was suffering from continuous fatigue – not because I wasn’t getting enough rest, but because of a hormonal imbalance. Yes, I’m getting old (sadface), and no I won’t go into detail because I know nobody wants to read about that!
So anyway I took it easy during this run and finished slowly at 1h39m.
Medal distribution was really awkward. After I crossed the finish line, I didn’t know where to go, but I saw a line of people. I figured that they were in line to collect their finisher medals, so I got in line. I did check by asking the people in front of me – one guy said he didn’t know but he assumed it is! Fortunately the guy in front of him said yes.
There was not much else happening at the run as there was no carnival or such fun things organised (not that I stay back for that). I finished the one banana and water bottle that was given, and then went off for an early lunch with Farah.
If this is an annual thing from now on, it is not too bad if you are looking for a full or half-marathon in December. But not great for mid-distance serious runners since there are no timing chips or results list. And hopefully the medal and banana distribution would be planned better, and a goodie bag thrown in this time (there were none this year!).