First race of 2013
Charity run for children's cancer...For sure I was starved for real road races, but than who isn't, that likes to run. Having gone bald for cancer during the SCCS (Sarawak Children's Cancer Society) fundraising drive last year, it was a no brainer that I would support them for the Colour Rush run. It was held in conjunction with the International Childhood Cancer Day 2013. Why did they call it Colour Rush? Well the Colour comes in the form of edible powder, representing our hope, faith, and strength for these children. The 5km run used the exact route as the two night runs of last year. I don't know about you, but just the idea of throwing coloured powder at each other was enough to get me all excited. They didn't even have to tell it was going to be a fun-filled, memorable, and meaningful experience. I knew I was going to have a good time! Sadly the run was held on a Saturday morning (23rd February). Thus many of my friends could not join. The reason being the next day was Chap Goh Meh
Me going bald for Children's Cancer
Yours truly was not taking the run as a serious endeavour. Was going to get into the spirit of it all. In fact even though Saturday was the day for my long run, I would later go to the gym to do a treadmill run. You see I am in training for another much longer run, 21km to be precise, to be held in very early March. My biggest victory was in persuading my friend Hendrick Foh to join the Colour Rush. Hendrick suffered a heart attack only days before my PBIM run last year. The meanie that I was I used to cajole him to walk faster on the treadmill all the time. It was not for me to know that he was doing his best with the (unbeknownst to him) faulty heart valve he had. Suffice to say I thought of his well-being during my Penang run. The fact that he was successfully operated on before I ran my first marathon was the best news any friend could hear. Hendrick has since gone through a complete lifestyle transformation. He now walks almost all the time.
My mobile phone has been flooded with stats from his walks. Hendrick has gotten better with each kilometer. To the point where I persuaded him to join Colour Rush. Yes it did take some doing, but he ultimately submitted the entry form. Me and my BFF even walked the entire route with him, with all our gizmos in hand to prove that it was not a difficult route, even if there were two challenging bits. Our gizmos told us it was actually 4.84km, but who is counting, right? The time was a respectable 62:27. Hendrick was as exalted as we were seeing him complete it. Just had to persuade him not to overdo it. Did tell him to rest on the two days before the race. He was going to walk it, and we would walk alongside him, but all the same, we wanted his legs to be fresh for the event. I confess this was part of my master plan to get him into even more races in the future. So my fingers were crossed that he would do himself proud.
Colour Rush run t-shirt
When I picked up my race kit the first thing I noticed was that there wasn't a race bib. So this is really a fun run. Am glad. The big plus was the t-shirt was comfortable to wear, very similar in feel to the last night run I participated in. As nice as the t-shirt was, I wouldn't want to use it during a serious run as it would heat me up really fast. However as things stand it's always nice to start the year with a run t-shirt I would actually like to wear and not keep in the cupboard next to my other nightmare run t-shirt collection. Last year the three t-shirts that I prized the most were: my Penang Bridge International Marathon 42km finisher, my Go Bald 4.0, and my Borneo Highlands Nature Challenge. I wonder what my top three choices will be this year. Those charity run t-shirts will always hold a place close to my heart. Yes I run for the joy of it but if me doing so helps bring joy to others too, then I am truly happy.
Let the fun begin...
All nice and clean before the colour bombing (Reuben Su in centre)
Some people started early... Wilhelmina Bungan and Nasa Zaidul (hat)
Minutes away from the run (Hendrick with Agatha, flanked by Nasa and me)
Purple hair amid the wristbands - mine!
Hendrick (running) getting into the groove
Fat Old Man Running
Hendrick and Nasa on the final stretch
After the run (To my left: Babara Chieu, Ryan Tay and Mike Cheng -
the most coloured of the bunch)
the most coloured of the bunch)
Nice day for a fun run. No rain heavy clouds nearby. The SCCS volunteers handed out plastic bags filled with coloured powdered. It didn’t take long for the runners to colour their friends with it. Face painting, hair dying and palm impressions were the order of the morning. In fact we were all supposed to bomb each other with colour in unison. However the eager crowd started the powder flying first. The rest of us joined in. Some were more coloured then others thanks to the over-enthusiasm of the runners. Others preferred to stay on the sidelines and watched. The air was filled with powder and soon the whole area was a sea of colours. Purple being the most predominant and it would later be the hardest of the colours to wash off. Pity those with multi-coloured hair.
Next time wear a cap or a hat. The bigger the better. We all started off behind the pack. We kept pace with Hendrick. The run route was marked by colour too thanks to those who could never get enough of bombing their friends. It was nice to see so many happy multi-coloured faces. Makes me wonder what the drivers who passed us thought. From pristine white to almost unrecognisable was how it ended. Hendrick took to his walk in fine spirits. His wife did egg him on. This was all done good naturedly. He even tried his hand at running. Some of the gang did run. They finished well ahead of us. The fat old man in me was saving myself for the gym that same afternoon. That would be my last serious training session before my first half marathon of the year next week. However 54:24 was a big improvement for Hendrick from his first taste of the race route. Keep it up buddy!
All told Hendrick had a great time. So did all those who joined. Am always happy to see fellow gym members (Ryan Tay, Babara Chieu and Mike Cheng) and serious runners join charity events such as this. There were so many familiar faces. It was like a reunion. Hi, hello, see you at the next run, sort of thing. Some were friends on Facebook, others were just people we recognised from previous runs. The support was tremendous. I think I heard the announcer say around 1,200 people participated. The youngest runner was a 6-year-old and the oldest was a 65-year-old. All told the first ten finishers in the men’s and women’s categories got medals. The veterans were just happy to have joined such an event. Who knows the overwhelming response might see more such charity runs in the future.
Right now the only other run I heard of taking place in the near future in Kuching is the High Heel Race on 7th April, in conjunction with International Woman’s Day. All I know is I cannot run in heels. Firstly, those shoes have to be big enough to fit my size eleven feet. However I am positive some of my guy friends at the gym would give it a go if there was a category for men in heels! We are indeed a crazy bunch. For those who think a 5km run is tough, just look at Hendrick. He walked the route on the most part. Not once did he complain of any discomfort. His wife was always nearby and so were I and my MBF. At the end of the run it was hard to say who was more elated. This is I am positive the first of many milestones for Hendrick. He now knows he can do it. The next run won’t be as terrifying. The way he was talking, there will be many more to come. We be happy participants. Thanks SCCS for a great time!