Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Ipoh International Run 2007

There we were, 3 cars and having groups of 4 each, taking a nice leisurely drive of about 8hrs up to Ipoh. Picked up my party of DO, Derrick and Karen by 6.30am, RV with Adam and Ironman Chua's cars, and we had such a great time along the way, and had so much nice food to eat in Ipoh that I'll just leave the pics (DO's Slideshow) to speak for themselves.

Race Day
We reported to the start area, and were tagged. Waited till 6.30am before we were let out to proceed to the start line. There were many Kenyans and good runners, presumably there for the rather attractive prize money. We were flagged off by 6.45am, along with the 10km runners, and immediately there was a mini jam of sorts. Took me a couple of minutes of slow running to get sorted, and soon I was running along some main road. After 2km, I was at 10min+...bad, over 5min/km pace. DO was running alongside, and there was a minor incident where a car came so close to DO that it almost hit him...what a near miss...phew!

At the 4km mark, I recovered a little to 19min+, back to just sub 5min/km pace. DO moved slightly ahead, and I was running together with a few veteran runners, as evident in their C bibs.
There were not many familiar faces along the way. Spotted Sumiko at about the 6km mark, and we ran at a pace quite close to hers. By the 8km mark, it was 39min flat, definitely out of the range of a 4:40min/km pace required for a sub 1:40 mark for my PB. The sun was rearing a little, and coupled with the increasing traffic, I was finding it quite difficult to go any faster. I moved up ahead of Sumiko, and told her to keep up the good pace. DO followed suit, and told Sumiko to run together at around the same pace. I hit the 10km mark in 49min+.

I maintained speed for the next 6-7km, and did overtake a few more people. By the 16km mark, I was getting tired. I was well aware I could not go any faster, and was content to maintain the 5min pace. I tagged along a young gal, and a more senior man, and tried as I could, i could not narrow the gap. There was a guy in white top who was keeping close to me from the 15km mark, and I could feel him wanting to overtake me. My legs got a little cramping sensation at the 17km mark....I slowed a little during the drink transitions to keep the legs in a 'cooler' state. The cramps came and went 2-3 times more, and with 3km to go, I made my move to close the gaps.
I increased pace slightly and depite feeling rather tired, I finally saw the 20km mark. My watch showed 1:38min. I pushed ahead, and closed to gap, before overtaking 3 runners at the final 500m stretch.

Finished with my arms raised in 1hr43min. I was glad to achieve that timing, although I did not better my PB. I felt it was a hard run for me. Received a nimber of 40position, and went on to collect a nice finisher's medal. As the 100plus queue was so long, I went for a cool-down walk, and did some stretches. DO came in just 50m behind me, got 43pos, and together we went ahead to chear for our SAFRA team-mates. Lai Chee, Sok Hwa and Julie did very well in the ladies open to get into prize standings. Derrick did a very good timing of 1hr37min, and he was beaming non stop. Uncle Lim, who just celebrated his 61st birthday, did his PB. Adam did very well to better his last year's timing. The rest of the team did good, and more importantly, everyone enjoyed the race thouroughly, in spite of a few small hiccups.

Distance: 21.1km__Time:1hr43min__Pace: 4:54min/km


The highlights of this entire trip were the pre and post-race makan, 'talk-kock' sessions, jokes and group bonding, that made this whole trip so enjoyable and 'happening' for all. The food sessions, everyone of them were simply memorable. We proceeded to drive up 'cool, temperate' Cameron Highlands, and had a wonderful night over at The Strawberry Park Resort. I slept like a baby that night, and had another 8hr drive back to Singapore the next day....and completed witha sumptious meal of seafood and durian at the popular Gelang Patah resaurant. A very nice trip for me...Ipoh and Cameron Highlands had definitely left a great impression in my mind....I will surely plan to visit them in the not too distant future.

Ipoh Trip Memories

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