Pretty in Print
The above pic was the first time I ever ran a full marathon wearing my Marathon Maniac running vest. It was exactly a year after my first Penang Bridge International Marathon, which started my long distance running journey. Why am I highlighting this picture? Well this morning I appeared in not one but two local dailies in Sarawak. The newspapers being The New Sarawak Tribune and the See Hua Daily News. Not to long ago the wonderful people from The Spring, who for the third year running are giving us runners The Spring Live Active Run (held this Sunday - 15th June 2014). interviewed me about my running. I emailed back my reply to them and lo and behold a couple of weeks later I am in the papers. It's a surprising change for someone who feels he exists only in the realms of cyberspace to see that I am also in physical print. I now know that my running buddies do actually go through the papers. Friends greeted me like I was a celebrity of sorts. For a guy who has yet to run that many marathons it was a pleasant surprise.
I know people might not believe this, and I know Mohan Marathon will fall off his chair laughing when he reads this, and so too would Peter Yap, but I am actually a shy guy. Running and then blogging has made it seem that I am this out-going person. In fact I am not. I like to keep to myself whenever possible. I even run alone or with MBF most of the time. It's not an ego thing. Well maybe it's a slow pace thing. However I am most comfortable running on my own. Maybe that's why I like running full marathons because I am the most alone then. However now so many people know me as "Fat Old Man Running" that I have to acknowledge them. In fact at some runs in the peninsula I am surprised by how well-known I am more through my blogging than my running. I run slower than most runners I know. That fact has never stopped me from running or affected my running in anyway. If it weren't for running I most probably would be a couch potato weighing 10 kilos more than I do now.
The article in The New Sarawak Tribune (click here for the link) flatters me. In fact someone must have made a guesstimate on my age. I am not 48. I am in fact 50 going on 51. I hope to run my first 84km days before I turn 51, that being in the Starlight Ultra on 23rd August 2014. I know it is a big ask for my legs, but if I don't do it now, when am I going to do it? I am no spring chicken, and sooner or later age will catch up with me. If all goes well after that I will do what I think will be the craziest thing I have ever done in my life (so far) and that is run both full marathons at the BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon (11th October 2014) and the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (12th October 2014). If I succeed, it will be the biggest accomplishment of my running life. After that I intend to treat myself to my first 100km at the Putrajaya Ultramarathon.
I don't think I am much worse than my friends. I have friends who run races every week. Some of them run more marathons than me. However this blogging thing has put me in the limelight. So I have a responsibility to my constant runners which I try to uphold the best I can. My running is still a journey that hopefully never ends. I have learned so much. I have made new friends. Some of them are the most incredible people ever. However I wish I can spend more time with them. The things many of them have unknowingly taught me. In my own way I hope to spread the running message. Basically it is if I can do it so can you. It's easy to make excuses. It's tough to be out there in the night running when all your friends are still in bed. However that is what running long is all about. Nobody sees you do what you do. Once in awhile you will come across another solitary figure coming in the opposite direction. You high five them and on you run.
I thank everyone who has made my journey possible. My father actually thinks I run a marathon every week. He tells everyone willing to listen that his son runs marathons. Those in a town in another division might think I am running only 5km. It's a mean joke I know, but that's how it is till now in Sarawak. Even last week someone asked me when I say a marathon how many kilometers do I mean. I cannot be where I am today without the support of my friends and family, that much I know. I so look forward to meet up with my constant runners in any race I join. Please do come up to me. I am most probably shyer than you! It's nice to know that many runners do read my blog. Hopefully the more I run and write the more runners I get to meet. It is from you runners that I get the energy to continue running and blogging. Thank you everyone for your support. We live to run. Run happy always everyone!