Monday, 3 March 2014

Turbo Snail Run 1.0 - Report

First Training Run for the Snails

The main objective of the first Turbo Snail Run was too gather slow runners together or those who had not run long before. My MBF had wanted to do a long run in preparation for Malaysian Women Marathon. So yours truly thought it would be nice to invite others to join. Many of the speedsters had gone to Singapore to run in the 2XU Marathon. What was left behind were essentially the snails. I posted the event in my blog. The plan was to run 20km. On the actual morning itself a total of nine runners showed up. Lightning did light up the sky, but it was so far off that we didn't even hear the thunder. Two of the runners were late in arriving, but they had informed us. So we waited as long as we could. The first group consisting of Olivia, Anthony, Nasa, Arturo and Alana, went off first. I waited for the remaining two. Azizul and Julia arrived about 15 minutes later. So when they were both ready we ran off together, with Julia taking the lead. I ran with Azizul who was doing his first LSD run. Julia too had not run longer than the Momentum Run Series 2 (18km).

We ran off from Penview Hotel to the new bridge. We ran pass BCCK in high spirits. Azizul's mobile phone telling us the distance and pace as we went. Ran past the new, but yet to be opened, 24-hour Petronas station. That would be an ideal water station and toilet stop for the future. It was only at the barrage bridge that we walked up it. Big trucks did drive pass. I made sure we ran against traffic and I also had my trusty Nathan strobe light blinking away. We all carried our own water supply, and even gels. I told Azizul to take his at 6km and 12km. Might as well, since he brought them with him. Nasa called to ask where we were. She was just a bit ahead of us and trailing the others. The stretch towards the Bako traffic light is rather dark. Julia was happy to stay in the lead. As long as she was within sight it was okay by me. Then we headed left. At the bund bridge we bunched together. Nasa was still ahead of us. Azizul and I took our gels. I was carrying two bottles filled with 100 Plus.

We were on this long stretch of road. Still I couldn't see Nasa ahead. Called her, and she informed us that she had just passed the former Chief Minister's residence. Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud had just been sworn in as the Governor of Sarawak. Those running the Kuching Marathon in August will run past his residence too. It is just that we were running it anti-clockwise, while the marathon runners will be running in a clockwise direction. At the roundabout we passed Kuching's very first 24-hour drive-thru KFC. Now this also would be an ideal pitstop. After that we headed in the direction of the State Library. Just at the roundabout we meet up with Ismail. Ismail was dressed as batman during the Road Share Run. Azizul had gone dressed as Ironman. Julia and I had gone as ourselves. Stopped to take pics. After that we headed towards the roundabout that would lead us to Wisma Bapa Malaysia. Again we stopped to take pics. This time Azizul ran ahead with Ismail and I ran with Julia.

There was no plan for me to push myself as I wanted to save my legs for next's Sunday's Brooks Half Marathon. It would be the second year in a row I was running it. Then a week after that I would be Nasa's 42km pacer at Malaysian Women Marathon. The things I would do for a finisher skirt! Nasa informed me that she was still way ahead and that Arturo was running back to check on her and the others. Arturo hailed from Mexico, and his wife Alana, was from Australia. He was most definitely not a snail, or even a turbo snail. Azizul and Ismail disappeared into the distance as we headed towards the toll bridge. I was content to take things easy with Julia. By then I had run out of water. Even though we passed another Petronas station, I had no need to stop for hydration as the finish line was very near and there was more 100 Plus waiting for me in the car. Julia and I ran towards the imaginary finish line. She proved to me she had the legs if she wanted to go for it.

Arturo and Alana had to leave early. Anthony was happy with his brand new Kayano 20. I had used my Kayano 19 instead of my usual training run shoes. Olivia was using her Nathan hydration belt for the first time. She was training for her first FM at MWM too. Ismail had joined us at the 12.7km mark so he was the most energetic. All told we ran 19.3km. The pace was slow. The company was great. There was really no need to push myself, though I did run in short bursts at a faster clip to see how my shin held up. Am happy that all was well with my legs. We took more photos. The gang had to rush off. Some had to feed their pets. Others had to go to church. One had to meet up with her kids. We ended up having a big American breakfast at an eatery nearby. In fact it was too much breakfast for what we had burned during the training run. All told it was a successful outing for all of us. Plans are afoot to increase the distance to 21km for the next run. Turbo Snail Run 2.0 might not happen in March though as there are just too many runs during that month.

What this run shows is that a group of like-minded runners can get together for a long run. We are lucky in Kuching that we have several running clubs. Runners can run with any of them during the whole week. Some of them offer morning runs while some offer night runs. The distance varies. What is assured is that the runners will run in a group. Safety is the utmost concern. This sort of runs are ideal for women who otherwise might not dare run alone in the early mornings or at night. The men outnumber the women in such runs and there will always be men at the back of the pack to keep an eye out for everyone. That said, it is hoped that many more runners take this opportunity to join the various running clubs in Kuching. Just go to Facebook and you can find them. At this moment in time the biggest running clubs are: The Hornbill Pacesetters Running Club, the Reservoir Park Running Club, the City Cat Joggers Club, the O-Run-Utans Running Club, and the Swinburne Sarawak Running Club.

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