Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Spring Live Active Run 2014 - Report

Third edition sees 3,200 runners participate

Spring Live Active Run 2012 is where my love affair with running began. It was a mere 5km for me but I had trained like it was a full marathon. I remember running the entire route time and again as I had absolutely no confidence in myself. I was over-weight and lacked stamina even for such a short distance.  Since that run, which turned out to be much easier than I had thought, I have gone on from strength to strength.  Last year (click here to learn more) I managed to get my PB of 2:30 there. I make no secret that I train for the full marathon, so it was a pleasant surprise to run faster than I usually do. This year I had no plans to PB since all my training runs have been for endurance. However since I did follow the wonderful pacers from the Hornbill Pacesetters Running Club, I managed to go at a considerably faster pace for the first 17km. My plan was to start slowing down at km14. I followed and chatted with George Chapman (Malaysia's newest Marathon Maniac. Click here to lean more) and Justin Yeo, the 2:45 pacers. Then I caught up with the 2:30 pacers and chatted with Shannon Bala (another Marathon Maniac, click here to learn more) and Desmond Sahathevan.

My first official run

Skipped 10km for the second edition
Our pacers from the Hornbill Pacesetters Running Club

This year I was early for the run and was able to snap away. The loud music and funfare of last year's event seemed to be missing. Even the crowd that gathered seemed to be more sedate. I took this as nerves for when the show of hands came for first time 21km  runners many hands shot up, including yours truly, who got catcalls for it too. Several runners came up to me to say they read my blog. Thank you to the female Ekiden runner who shouted, "I am from KL. I read your blog," along Jalan Astana, that helped more than any energy gel could. By the way I only took one gel at km10. Since I wasn't going all out didn't feel it was necessary to take more. I ran with two hydration bottles out of habit more than anything else. These were filled with Gatorade, since I prefer that to the carbonated isotonic drinks provided. I must say the early going was great. The weather was nice and a cool breeze blew throughout. In fact it was ideal conditions for a fast run. It was nice seeing so many familiar faces. Where I got the chance I chatted with a couple. Nice to see how well some of them did too.

There was no untoward incidents when I ran. The pacers did a fine job in keeping the runners around them informed of the conditions ahead. In fact at times I thought they did a better job than the other personnel on the road. Things always gets interesting when the 10km runners converge with the 21km at the Old Court House area. That is when we are faced with the 'bouncy' runners and the walkers. My favourite are those who dash off and walk and then dash off again. Well it's all in the spirit of fun. They too are enjoying themselves. When we hit Sekama Road we met up with the 5km runners. So the road does get a bit crowded with runners and walkers. Half the road is closed along this stretch. I usually like to make a great finish for the cameramen. Luckily for me a nice action shot was captured. My thanks to Hobart Kho for that. I have posted lots of pics belong. Most of which are from my camera. The rest are from my friends: Azizul "Selfie King" Razak, Teresa Attley and Olivia Jikus. I will add more pictures when available. 

Oops! I ran it again.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulation Chong Kir Jui, one of our Kuching runners who ran his first ultra at the Back 2 Endurance Ultra on the same day. Kir Jui ran 71.3km in 11 hours 44 minutes. In fact he went on to finish 16th! That is a wonderful achievement for someone doing a 12 hour run which involves 2.3km loops. I would have gone loopy if I had done so. Hopefully many more Kuching runners will join more such runs in the future and bring home the knowledge gained to help our other homegrown talent. The Kuching Marathon will be held on 17th August, so many of the runners running the Spring Live Active Run will be participating in our newest event in the city too. Hopefully the lessons learned during this run will help them run that race too.  For those who still have the running bug, there will be the Momentum Run Series 4 on 12th July. It will be a night run. The distance will be 25km. There will also be a special finisher t-shirt for those who complete that run.

Chong Kir Jui holding up his silver trophy

Now we get to the Spring pics...

Running couple - Wong Mei Foong and Johil James Marop

Mike Cheng, Wilson Ng and Gabriel Frank

Mike, Gabriel, Muhammad Ariff and Nasa Zaidul

Chan Thian Siang and Mary Anne Hendroff-Chapman

Alexis Ngui and his son Adam

Marie Albert and me

Anthony Huang and me

Daljit Singh, me and Arturo Rangel

Arturo and Alana with Azizul

Ready to run

Azizul Razak and me

Happy faces galore!

John Lonhienne (open mouth) part of Ekiden winning team

Teresa Attley and Donna Drury Wee

Snack time!

Julia Kew, teacher and mother of four, makes top 50!

Many happy runners...

Teresa Attley with Nasa

Nasa finishing with Banu Taz

This is a very interesting pic...

Am not going to name names here. Just too many!

They said they read my blog

Race Director of KM: Philip Chua
Evelin Ruman with her daughter Jasmine, and Nasa

Lina Khoo ran her first 5km at Spring

Beauties who run!

Even the youngest join in too!

Olivia Jikus collects another top 50 finisher

Nasa with Cornelia Tan

Daljit with his lady

A jubilant Julia with Nasa and Reuben Su

Me with Alexis Ngui

Alana Radford wins the women's 5km. DBKU Mayor in pic too

Leo Bean goes by many names. His team won the Ekiden relay

Me with Chen, my favourite running docter

Nasa reunited with her gang who ran at BIM FM

Liked the cute cat ears!

Mr Wong Chen Yi (KMA President) and Mike Cheng with me

The Kong sisters sandwich!
Ekiden 3rd: Carolyin, Lei Pang, Fizaly and Saurubi from KL

Seldom use anything but my name... So this is rare

Three years worth of Top 50 finishers - Olivia Jikus
The selected pics below are from the collection of photographer Shamsuri Sahari. Those interested in getting higher resolution pics can email him at shamsurisahari@gmail.com


  1. hi Yahya;
    great to finally able to meet you that morning before the race, i really enjoyed the race last sunday, and i managed to PB my HM again thanks to the nice cooling weather that day. the event was quite well organised, although i do notice it's ain't perfect, my friend who ran in 10km told me that there were people shortcutting the route, i'm not sure since i didn't saw it myself, and also they said most water station ran out of water and 100plus for those slower runners. The only complaint i got i guess it's more like a suggestion rather then complaint, I saw they gave away 500ml water bottle at quite a few water station for 21km runners, and most of them who took the bottle just drank a little bit and then throw the whole bottle to the side of the road, which is very wasteful, i would rather that they gave out the 500ml water bottle to all the finisher together with the can of 100plus at the finishing line then wasting it on the side of the road, maybe you could suggest this to the organiser committe for the next year?

    ps: btw, where can i find those finisher photos like the one u posted here? :p

  2. The pics with the watermarks are from Shamsuri Sahari. I have provided his email address. You can also look for him on Facebook. He is friends with me. Thank you so much for your comments. I always like to meet my constant runners. I know others are shy to do so, but like my late mom always used to remind me, "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  3. Thanks Yahya for the info, will try to look at Shamsuri Sahari's FB tonight... and thanks for adding me to your FB too...:D it's always nice to have a celebrity in my FB friends.. lol As you mostly run in FM distance so it was quite difficult for us to meet in person especially here in KK's BIM, i still haven't decided yet what am i going to do next, i know your answer will be to go for the FM next year.. i'll think about it...:p

  4. Fame is fleeting. Finisher medals and t-shirts last a lifetime. Will not force anyone to run an FM until they are ready. Happy running always!

  5. Hi En Yahya, Im glad to have met you personally during LAR. This event has indeed given me and my other team mates a wonderful experience which made us feel traveling from KL to Kuching was worthwhile. The arrangement of transporting Ekiden runners was commendable and it was done based on the schedule given. This showed the organizer took punctuality seriously. Besides, other than just the runners standing n waiting in the dark, there was also a personnel at each station and that made me feel secured.
    As we were not familiar with the roads in Kuching, we depended on the information given in the LAR's website and we were all well-informed that each runner would be running around 5km (21km to be completed among 4members). Therefore we have arranged our team mates accordingly. But to our great surprise, our 1st runner ran 4km+, 2nd runner about 7.2km, 3rd runner less than 3km and last runner was about 6.3km. I saw few other disappointed 3rd runners as we didnt expect to have such a short run and of course our 2nd runner was also clueless about having a route longer than what we expected. It was of course not a huge problem but the difference in distance should be clarified in the first place.
    To add to the disappointment, all Ekiden runners were transported to various points before 6am and as 3rd and 4th runners have to wait at least an hour or more before team mates arrive, the needs of going to the washroom would definitely arise. No portable toilets were available and at 3rd point, there was no nearby petrol station nor shops. I had to run with a full bladder.(Luckily it was shorter than 5km) Once i passed the sash to my last runner, i had to run to the nearest Petronas station. It was quite uncomfortable but nevertheless I enjoyed the event very much including the friendly marshals and how prompt they were in addressing any situations. 2 marshals even waited for me near the Petronas station to ensure my safety. We would definitely take part again in this event and looking forward to positive improvements. Cheers!

  6. I did the 5km run and was a little disappointed. I felt initially that everything was well organised. I read the booklet and was reassured when I read that there would be a water station on the route and we would get water at the end so I decided not to bring a bottle with me, but rather drank before leaving my hotel. There was also a note about limited bag space so I decided I would not leave it for the end of the race. However, on reaching the water station, I found there was only a pile of cups, no actual water. I managed somehow to make it until the end, although walked more than usual as I am used to having at least some water along the way. I got to the end, and was given nothing (sad that we 5km runners did the same amount as Ekiden runners but did not get a medal). I then queued for almost 10 minutes to get my can of 100 plus. I wanted to stay and soak up the atmosphere post-race but sadly I had to return to the hotel to get some water as there was none available after the event. Surely when registration closes a while before an event, organisers should know how many to expect and plan accordingly? Don’t publish water stations and the fact you will get water after the event if it possibly won’t happen! I wanted to do the 10km but my friend booked me on the wrong race and I was unable to change. However, it would have been impossible to do 10km in these conditions. I look forward to a better race next year.

  7. Many thanks to Carolyin and Kerrilee for your comments. SLAR is in her 3rd edition. There is always room for improvement. Am sure the problems you both encountered will be addressed and rectified in future runs. I too will discuss with the event organisers about this and other aspects pertaining to the run. It is my fervent hope that the Spring run will grow from strength to strength and attract more runners from outside Sarawak in years to come.

  8. Thank you. I will still be living in Malaysia next year so look forward to it!

  9. It was great to be a part of the spring live active run. For ekiden all the things are arranged properly.But as mentioned above I too was disappointed with the water station at the finishing line because after running a relay for almost 6.3 km anyone will be looking for water at the finishing line. but to great surprise there was no water station except the 100 plus counter where I need to wait in the que for almost 15 mins..I really look forward to next SLAR and hope dis time it will be properly arranged. Though I am quite happy with the other arrangements like transportation and timing for the ekiden relay...Hope they continue the ekiden relay and dis time more participants take part ..good luck !!

  10. hey that's me on the first photo by shamsuri sahari!