Wet wet wet!
My cats weren't happy. Neither was I. It was raining big time when I awoke early Sunday morning. I was half expecting to see dogs fall out of the sky. I think my cats were worried the same thing would be happening too! We were supposed to report at 5.30am at MBKS complex for the first Momentum Run. Being a bona fide FMer I took it in my stride, preparing myself for my 15km run like usual. After the Penang Bridge International Marathon I hadn't planned to run again till next year. However the Momentum Runs had come along. Yours truly will support any run in Kuching, regardless of distance. I had put on weight and was definitely under-trained, no thanks to my pesky foot injury. Suffice to say I was feeling much better after testing my legs out a couple of days before the run. That though meant nothing, for come race day anything can happen. The rain only served to makes things worse.
Having run in light rain at this year's Putrajaya Night Marathon and again at PBIM, it basically meant I would be running without music again. This was supposed to be a sort of training run for those wanting to get some distance running experience to prepare them for next year's Kuching Marathon. Prior to this Kuching had quite a few runs that can be considered as fun runs. The ones where you can bring your toddler and grandma along too. Charity runs are usually exciting. Everyone is primed to have fun. I have been guilty of having too much fun at those runs too. Plus who can resist some of the t-shirts they give out. I must say the material this year is of a better quality and the colours are really bright too. So runners can actually use them to run. Till today I still look in amazement at my collection of running t-shirts and running singlets. How fast they multiply. I swear the cats must be secretly knitting them for me. I have not caught them at it yet.
The rain tapered off when I got to MBKS. Ate a chocolate bar and drank some energy drink. Knew there was going to be a water station so wasn't worried about hydration. Met up with friends at the building. Was told that the run would not start at 6am, The route would be shortened too. As if to make things even more exciting it started to rain heavily. We would be flagged off just after 6.30am. The distance was now 12.5km. We weren't told that of course. All we knew is that it would be shorter. After the initial shock of getting drenched, we just ran like we normally do. Me with my trusty cap on, more to shield my glasses than anything else. My shoes got wet inside very fast. Could feel the water sloshing around trying to get out. Since I was running on the road, grip was not a problem. There was no worries about getting wetter as I was already as wet as I could get.
Saw one guy actually walking the distance with a huge umbrella! Many ran without a cap. Pitied those wearing glasses. One person ran with a disposable raincoat on. It mattered nought. The rain got worst before it got better. Luckily there weren't many cars on the road. We got splashed by our own feet when we ran into puddles of water. The going wasn't that tough. It was just that I was heavier and also my legs weren't ready to run long yet. So what I did was take things easy. Just treated it like another LSD run with lots of people around me. Saw one guy wearing a yellow cotton t-shirt who looked like he could be a poster boy for my blog. Didn't know they made t-shirts that big. I tip my hat of to you for hanging in there. You have more guts than all those who stayed in bed instead of joining the 380 runners who actually took part. In fact everyone who ran that morning is a winner in my book.
This is a small event. In fact only 500 slots were available. The response was so over-whelming that there were all filled in FIVE days. Being a wonderful lot, the organisers opened up 40 more slots. So after the final tally, we now know that 160 runners didn't start. I know this is a four run series. The next one will be held on 16th February 2014 covering 18km. Lets hope that those who didn't run yesterday morning will do so then. By the way, for those who don't already know, the t-shirt for Series 2 will be yellow in colour, to match the yellow medal. I already signed up for that one. There's no way I was going to delay it. All I know is that the people who organise this race really managed to keep the registration fees super low. Imagine paying RM30 and getting a Brooks t-shirt, a medal (limited to the first 300, and with an option to buy, for the other finishers), and a certificate.
At the turning point we were given a red ribbon to signify that we had actually made it that far. Then after the toll there was a makeshift water station. Paper cups filled with water awaited us. I joked with the two personnel manning it that it was mixed with unicorn tears too. Am happy to note that many runners gave the used cups to the lady collecting them. For a non-competitive run of this distance it was adequate to have one water station. Besides the conditions being what there were we didn't really need much hydration. Those familiar with the route would have known that there were two petrol stations along the way to get refreshments from. It was drizzling on the way back. The road was still water logged in certain areas. Car drivers were being relatively civil. Marshalls were at ALL road intersections. This deserves praise. I have been in other charity runs where towards the end the marshalls had magically disappeared.
At the finishing line we were treated to Red Bull and more water. There was a lucky draw. I was told that an avid runner known only as Chong, donated RM4,000 for the cash prizes. Big on you mate! This run was made possible with the help of Mayor James Chan of MBKS, City Cat Joggers Club, GSK himself, and last but not least the Revolution Run Company. There were many volunteers too who helped make the run a success. Without them it would just have been a normal LSD run for all of us. Instead we all felt like we were in an actual race. Thanks to the gang from Hornbill Pacesetters Running Club I got my new running t-shirt. Also Christopher Sia got a surprise birthday cake in a most unlikely place. This was a fun event, highlighted by the fact that many new faces braved the rain to come out and run. The three big running clubs in Kuching also came out in full force. Hopefully the other runs in the Series will be as enjoyable too.