Sunday, September 03, 2006

An energy-sapping run

The SgRunners Gang at the start line

Picked up DO and Teck Heng and proceeded to MacRitchie at 6.35am for the MR25 30Km Progressive Run. There was a hive of activity already at MR, with a stage set up and lovely singers crooning love ballads and mice songs :). There was a big sports event lined up. We approached the MR25 registration table and spotted Ultraman, RealRunner, Bug, Alvo, and a few other familiar faces. I registered and got a nice bib number - 2255...joked with Vincent that nice bib numbers always returned not too stellar timings. Goola and Ah Leng registered for the run too. Loneshark, Roonz, Freddy, Renohtaram, Meteor were already there, waiting for Brokie and Vincent to arrive.

With a brief of the route by Vincent, the rather large group of about 30 runners set off. I ran an easy pace for a start, and was following Ronnie and RR up Northern Route. I had to take it easy, since this 30km is a tough route, and I had to reserve energy for the later 'siong' part at Rifle Range. I had a breakfast of cereal and a banana, and that should give me sufficient reserves to last, I hoped. I reached the end of Northern trail in about 20min, and proceeded up the 'Chunky Hill' slopes cautiously. Spotted DO in front, took a drink at the water point (to Rifle Range) and ran nicely along the Golf Course. When we reached the turn to air-cond road, I was surprised to see the group running straight ahead, without turning in. I just followed, since I wasn't quite sure of the route too. Navigated the slopes along UPR and at the Main Gate to OUTR, we realized that our group had missed air-cond road. We decided to cover it on the return, and proceeded to run back UPR and turned into air-cond road. We saw Brokie, Vincent, and the rest of the group, and explained a little about how we missed air-cond road earlier. They planned to do about 25km. As I ran out air-cond road, I saw babumouse and renoh running ahead and stopping at the UPR toilet area to wait for the rest.

I ran on back along the Golf Course, and reached the entrance into Rifle Range trail in about 1hr+. I took my choco Powergel which I brought along, and downed it with water provided at the water point. DO came along too for his water. The slopes at the pipeline leading to Rifle Range is always a challenge, and takes a lot out of me. I had hope the Powergel will give me the energy required to push on. Spotted the 'SCSM 06 model' guy running in front...he is 54, runs a mean pace, and has a 6P body that will put many younger folks to shame. When we reached Rifle Range Road finally, he broke away.... as I moved along, I noticed the many steep downslopes which we would have to manage on the return leg *shudder*. Saw Ultra running ahead of Bug and RR, and looking very strong...he even spoke about the steep slopes, quite rare...his QL level must be really high then *wow*. I was cautious at that point, and feeling the strain. The winding and slopey road seemed endless. I finally reached the U-turn and water point. I ran ahead to 'release' in the bushes, the excess water I had been holding on for a bit..wah, relief :). DO and the ang-moh arrived too. Took some water, and pushed on. The road back was hilly, and I was tired out by the many slopes. Waah....this part reminded me of Phuket Marathon, and the slopes here were even more winding and challenging. Don't know how I finally managed to reach back to the trail, and the ang-moh was sprinting down the slopes to overtake me...waah!

Once onto the trails, I followed the ang-moh. About 500m ahead, I bumped into Brokie, Vincent, Renoh and the rest...they were about reaching the 25km U-turn point....very good that they made the x-country slopes. This stretch back was really killing, and I almost had to walk up the final few slopes. The ang-moh was telling me to be careful of the slopes as they were bad for the ankles. We were running together for a bit, and by the time we reached the Chunky Hill area and final water point, I was drained. I knew there was about 7km left to go, and the journey back would not be easy as well. Walked for just a bit while drinking, and ran up 2-3 more slopes to reach the Ranger Station, and Sime Trail. While running along Sime Trail, I nearly twisted my ankle because of the undulating terrain of pebbles and rocks. With a few twists of the ankle, I had initial cramps at the left shin...shucks, bad..I never had cramps at the shin before. I slowed down more, and eventually got through to Jelutong Tower and then the wooden planks. My calves were threatening to cramp up at that point too...hmm, must be the hard work done at the numerous slopes.

The Finish @ 30km

After 30km, a tired but satisfied lot

When I reached the Golf Course area, the time was about 2hr30min. I knew then that I could do it within 3hours, and decided to slow down to ease the cramps and also planned to walk at the 'tree-roots' area. Finally reached the exercise area, and with 2.5km more, I did not have any reserves to push the pace. I just chugged along, and walked for a second time when I was near the top of the 2nd slope... I needed the break to do a final push for the finish. The ang-moh went ahead in the final stretch, and I was contented to just follow him to the finish, amidst the large crowd of walkers who had just finished their walk-jog event. I completed the 30km in 2hr49min, and was totally exhausted. Ultra did a fast time of 2:44, Bug 2:43, RR in 2:47, DO in 2:51. Ronnie did a respectable, very good for a newbie. I enjoyed the 100plus, iced-cold milo from the milo truck (courtesy of the walking event) and Brokie's Barley. I drank lots, and the group gathered for a nice chat. We were the last to leave the place...haha...and proceeded to Adam Road Food Centre for the famous Prawn Noodles and Nasi Lemak.

Distance Ran: 30km__Time Taken: 2hr49min__Pace: 5:38min/km

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