Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Momentum Run Series 4 (25km) - Report

Four runs, four medals, four run t-shirts and a finisher t-shirt

300 Strong

We in Kuching are so lucky to have had the four Momentum Runs. The distance being 15km, 18km, 21km and 25km. No such collective run event has ever happened before in our city. This is all in preparation for the upcoming Kuching Marathon on 17th August 2014. Three hundred runners braved the night and ran into the kampung not once, but twice, since it was a 12.5km loop. Since it was the fasting month the village was filled with people going to and from the suraus and also eating at the roadside warungs. In fact the eating never seemed to stop. Everything from burgers to sotong bakar were sold along the route. Kids would dash out to high five runners and ask for our glow-in-the-dark bracelets. One even asked me for my strobe light to which I had to literally put my foot down. The old folks looked at us in amusement, since am sure no such event has been staged in the kampung at night. Come August our runners will run part of that route again for the 42.195km.

Was not 100% fit for this run as was still recovering from my injuries sustained during a training run accident. However my left foot was fully taped and I had taken a painkiller just in case. Started at a walking pace with Anthony Lau, who had only planned to do one loop, as he too lacked training. So off we went very briskly. Nasa Zaidul was with us to make sure I didn't do something stupid and re-injure myself. We reached the first half of the loop in good time. That was when I felt that I could go faster and Nasa and I pulled away from Anthony who had linked up with Eileen Kong along the route. Nasa and I did a run, walk, run routine. Some stretches were darker. However the road was extremely good, having been re-surfaced recently. Only through the main kampung road at Jalan Ajibah Abol was it slightly tough going due to the many cars. We saw the faster runners past and it was great that we could support them.

We reached the second loop in good time too. Stickers were put on our bib when we we made the loops. There would be four check points. My foot seemed to be responding very well. We caught up with Donna Shui, one of several runners who made the trip from Kota Kinabalu, to run with us. I thought this was really a true show of One Borneo spirit. Her hubby Jason Ku did great on the run. All of them will be back to run in the Kuching Marathon. Donna had problems a foot sprain. That slowed us down a bit since we wanted to make sure she was all right. Some 100 Plus from the 21-hour store helped. So we ran ahead but always kept an eye out for her. She would later meet up with another Sabahan lady and keep pace with her. My left foot started acting up a bit. Luckily at the halfway point of the second loop was able to get it sprayed good. This helped me a lot. Since we were at the tail end of the runners it became a rather lonely run for us. 

Not once did I plan to give up. It was nice having marshals asking how we were. With Nasa for company the going was never really bad. We did however notice several runners taking short cuts, which was sad, since this race was more of a training race, than anything else. We were later told that some runners chose to board the sweeper van  after check point 3 and then disembark before check point 4, and then run to the finish. If they want to cheat than they are only cheating themselves. However they cannot hope to do the same during the Kuching Marathon as there will be timing chips and timing mats. Hopefully they will train harder so that they do not feel the need to take anymore short cuts. However to all those who finished long after the cut off, I salute you for your grit and determination. Know how hard it is to run during the fasting month, and to see Muslim ladies make it back still running was a wonderful sight.

Know for many this was their first time running event beyond 21km. So what they all did was a big achievement indeed. Now they have the medals and the finisher t-shirt to remember it by. For many too this would be their first finisher t-shirt. I don't as a rule run with my finisher t-shirt on. I store them away to be used whenever the mood strikes me. My first one, which I gained at the Penang Bridge International Marathon in 2012, is seldom used. They are all hanging on a rack covered in plastic. So this could just be the start of other runners' collections, with the Kuching Marathon finisher t-shirt coming up next. I so look forward to that one, since I never expected to run a full marathon in the city I was born in.  The fact that our local runners joined the four Momentum Runs showed how much the running culture in Kuching is growing. Hopefully this will spur others to organize runs that go beyond the fun run distances of 5km or even 10km.

CJC Charity Night Run

What so impressed me that night was the fact that the City Jogger's Club had also organized a Charity Night Run. This was to help amputees who needed prosthetic limbs. Since the times clashed, I wasn't able join in that 5km run, though I did sign up for it. However many of my friends did. Some also came from as far as Sabah! All told 2,000 runners supported the run so that amputees might be able to walk like you and me. Know we have seen shining examples of amputees with special blades complete a full marathon. We have a great example in Singapore, who I am proud to know, and to have run with. Am sure a lot of good will come from this sort of runs. Prosthetic legs wear out too like shoes and need to be replaced. Have heard of cases where they have had trouble getting replacements. Now hopefully the new limbs will find a deserved home, all thanks to those runners who supported this night run. The fact that a small running club could organize such an event impressed me so much.

Runners gathering for Thursday Night Run

Loading up on bananas

Agu taking pics

Bananas and watermelon

Iced cordials

Ready to sign up?

Desmond, our CJC run photographer

Looking at the run route

Even a cute Afghan wanted to join in!

CJC running t-shirt

A couple running together during the Thursday night run

Thursday Night Run treats

Pics taken by Kerrilee Barrett during CJC Charity Run warm up...

I am a keen supporter of the City Jogger's Club having participated in their Thursday night runs three times. This weekly training event is to encourage those who don't normally run in a group to do so. The event starts at 7pm in front of the MBKS building. Runners pay a fee of RM2 to join. They will be given refreshments of water and cordial drinks, and fruits, bubur, cakes and even noodles upon finishing. For the Full Moon Run last week they had the usual bananas and huge slices of watermelon. Plus at the finish there were paper cups filled with green bean bubur and paper bowls filled with vegetarian mee hoon goreng. Who doesn't want to make it to the finish line for such treats? Plus I noticed that the runners would get together with their running buddies to chat up a storm. Anyone who participates in the night run five times can become a CJC member and wear their bright orange running t-shirts with pride. The running spirit is alive and well in Kuching.

Jason Ku from Sabah

Yours truly flanked by cuties from Sabah

Me and Banu Taz

Erin doing the zumba

Donna getting into the groove

Jenny warming up to the beat

Nasa Zaidul and Elizabeth Eng

Nasa with the Sabah contingent

These ladies look hot!

Kerrilee Barrett and Karen MacLeod, teachers based in Sabah

More hotties!

Post run recovery chat

Just realized the camera was on them

Eldon Chuo

Icing my foot

The Sabah contingent with their medals

Reuben Su with Adrienne Liaw

These two never gave up

Anthony and Eileen happy to finish

My favourite Kong Sisters sandwiched

Truly One Borneo

My friends from Sabah: Donna, Jason and Erin wearing their finisher t-shirts

Pics below are all from the camera of Shamsuri Sahari (012-8897708). Those wanting better quality pics can contact him

My swag!

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