Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Powerman Malaysia 2012

The night before

My cyclist informed me a week before that the runner for the first leg was pulling out due to lack of training as she was recovering from flu. Did I have any other girl in mind?

The ones I knew weren't available or were taking part in the event itself. So worst case scenario, I'd have to run both legs.

Eventually I was told that his friend managed to secure him another female substitute and I was relieved. I was also glad to be given the first leg and the sub to run the second leg instead.

My happiness was shortlived as the night before, he told me that the sub needed the first leg as she needed to rush off. Oh, and her name is Karen Loh, a sub-4 marathoner (she says she's still aiming for it), and asked if I knew her.


I literally jumped out of my seat and exclaimed aloud,


I texted my reply and said yes, I know her, and did I feel pressured being on the same team as her!

My cyclist replied that he was now stressed too.

Good grief!

My team was not targeting for the top podium finish but to have Karen as our sub was another thing. Eeks.

Sunday, 4th November 2012

S picked me up at 5.30am and we arrived at Precinct 3, Putrajaya at about 615am. The place was already festive and it was really exciting to see runners and cyclists preparing their bikes, chatting to friends, etc ... you should have been there!

You could hear everyone's excited chatter as the emcees kept the energy going. Everyone was greeting every familiar face they saw!

We found our spot almost near the back of the transition area, closer to the exit.

The flag off was at 7.05am and S and I were starting to get frantic by the time the clock showed 645am.

Karen was nowhere to be seen, and with her mobile switched off, we were left waiting and wondering whether she would eventually turned up.

I gulped, and got ready, just in case I had to run the first leg as well. Stressed!

Suddenly, I heard my name called out by the emcees. I rushed off with the bib and transition tag to hand it over to Karen who was waiting by the PA system. Thank goodness she came!

Now only two three people know the stressful bit which transpired right after that.

S had forgotten to pass along the timing chip as well and as soon as he realised, we both ran back to our bags in the transition area and I ran out of it to look out for Karen.


How could we have forgotten the timing chip?

Running around frantic was mentally exhausting that eventually I had to stand still, albeit restlessly, until the first wave of runners (for the sprint category) cleared off at 7am before I could spot Karen. (Thanks for helping me look out for her, Jamie.)

*insert exhausted look here*

As the runners for the relay category headed off, I took the opportunity to whip out the dslr and waited for the runners to pass by.

The elites from various countries.

A happy runner posing for his friend.

So sweet, and hilarious at the same time. Six pack!

We estimated that Karen would finish her 11.4km run (two loops of 5.7km) within an hour and true enough, she arrived slightly past the hour.

And to think she ran 30km the day before, she still could complete 11.4km in an hour is just ridiculously beyond me!

We had a bit of trouble untangling the checkpoint ribbons from the bib's safety pin but eventually it came untangled and off he went.

S told me to give him about 2 hours.

What do I do for 2 hours?
Go to the loo, check.
Look out for friends to chat with, check.
Take a few more photos, check.
Sit down and relax, check.
Eat something, check.
Stretch, check.


(photo credit to Amelia Ang)

It was kinda lonely not to have anyone to talk to at times. ;)

Half an hour before S was due to return, I consumed a power gel and continued to wait. Joline's cyclist had returned and she shot off.

 I was hoping I could race with her.

The rest of the 2nd leg runners who were still waiting were anxious for their cyclists' return. Runners and supporters alike were pacing up and down.

The skies turned cloudy and eventually released a splatter of rain.
Oh crap.

Then it stopped.

It was ten minutes past 2 hours before S eventually returned. Nervous, I prayed that the skies would continue to hold its water and the clouds would continue to watch over us.

The first km was a challenge for me to go slow. I had to keep holding myself back and reminding myself that I am not running 5km, and a sub-5 pace was not required.

It must have been the adrenaline from waiting so long. ;)

The 2 - 3rd km was still OK, but I didn't enjoy the scenery as there wasn't much to look at in the first place.

I stopped at every water station, just to take a sip of water and pour the rest over my shoulders. Thought I'd better keep myself cool under the heat, just in case!

A few guys took turns to overtake me and when I eventually caught up with either one of them, they sped up a wee bit and tried not to glare at me. It was so funny!

I noticed a girl/woman who was quite strong and determined, always ahead of me by a few steps as I'd stop at the water station to hydrate. As soon as I'd overtake her, she'd speed up. That was just the encouragement I needed, I didn't want to finish behind her.

At 4km onwards (or so), I think I spotted the Petronas station which Karen had preempted there would be an incline.

I must say, I was quite surprised that everyone was wary about it. I don't mean to be a snob!

I was expecting a HUGE slope, like double hills in Bukit Tunku, perhaps (I know,  I know, I sound so arrogant!) so I was quite disappointed when I was able to tackle the incline.

Right after that slope, it was downhill and towards the checkpoint.

(photo credit to Saleem)

I don't blame you for not recognising me in a cap. Sigh.
I was honestly contemplating my bandanna and a sunburned face as a result!

The results showed that I took about 30mins to complete the first lap (right from the exit of the transition to the checkpoint) which was more or less my target. I think managed to average my pace out to about 5:20 - 5:35 min/km.

Things got a bit harder for the second lap.

I was starting to feel the heat. My socks and shoes were squelchy from both my sweat and water that my feet were starting to get uncomfortable.

I passed by SCK who was starting his first lap. He was still looking bright and shiny!

Not sure why some men just glow in their element.

I was averaging 5:30 up to 9km where I began to slow down, looking for excuses to walk.

Oh hey, that car needs to cross the road. I'll just walk.
Oh hey, the water station is just up ahead. I'll slow down here now.

My 10th km took 6:14 which was my slowest.
Didn't think I was going to finish my run an hour then.

As I drew near the slight incline again, I had to shake myself out of reverie. (But it was hot! My feet were getting lazy! Damn the 6.5km hills I ran the day before, I shouldn't have!)

I love the timing belt!
It made me feel like a prisoner attached to a ball and chain. :D

I wasn't sure whether I had to run past the checkpoint again before entering the finish area (which is isolated and quiet and you do not get a rouse of applause once you cross the finish line) but thought I'd better just run past it, anyway.

As I crossed the finish line, I was given a cold bottle of water wrapped in a cold towel and 3 medals. The cold towel was great!

Time check, 1:03.

OK la. I'll take it!
I gave myself a 1:05 target in view of the heat so, whatever!

My socks are no longer pink.

I have to say that the Skechers Gobionic are really not too bad. I don't see myself running a half marathon in them (yet) but they were great for the 11km run.

Claimed my free ice-cream and a bottle of Gatorade too. 

The skies opened up as we drove home and I think we were relieved it didn't occur during the event. Phew!

Relay events can be quite stressful at times but if everyone knows their teammates well, there should not be any pressure or anxiety. Sometimes, however, the anxiety is self-inflicted as we just want to be able to do our best.

Having a substitute at the eleventh hour is sometimes necessary and can contribute to the stress. :) [Thankfully our substitute is a good runner!]

Finishing at #9 was a bonus as we didn't really expect much in the first place.

The route is doable!
The heat isn't. :D

Powerman Malaysia 1st Leg photos are here.

It was very disturbing for me to watch the men shower openly at the designated area. I know it's no biggie but I just felt uncomfortable when they'd put their hands into their pants to wash there

Like, so openly!! 

I'm such a prude. :D


  1. great blog, didn't know Karen was your team mate...

    your run was pretty fast.....

  2. haha! I'm sure nobody knew. :)

    of course my run was fast ... I wasn't a powerman like you, doing everything right from the first run to the bike to the second run what. congrats, by the way! hope you managed to grab that Strongbow you were thinking of. :)

  3. Congrats on your 9th placing! The color runs on the GObionic doesn't it? All my white socks are now grey ... hahaha! Happy Feet