Monday, January 19, 2009

Pacesetters GE30km 2009

Team FatBird & Frenz @ Finish Point


This was to be my 3rd Pacesetters GE30km race, and I have participated since the inaugural one in 2007. There have been rumours of a more challenging route this year, and I spent some time allaying the fears of those first-time 30km runners whom I have jio-ed for this run. A group of FatBirds have been preparing themselves for this run a few months back.

I arranged to drive up to KL with the SAFRA MF gang. Learning from our experience last year where we traveled at night, this year we decided to leave early Saturday morning instead. Adam with Alber, PS and Yean in one car, Eddie and family with Sumiko and bf and Karen in another, while me, Bev and DO followed in a 3rd car. The journey was smooth and we arrived at Hotel Coronade at 10.50am Saturday. After checking in, we immediately headed to Jalan Imbi for delicious Bak-Kut-Teh and Fish-head.

Since we were early, we went for some walking about the nearby shopping area, ate nice egg-tarts, before proceeding back to the Hotel to meet the FatBirds and SAFRA group for dinner at Jalan Alor. We had a sumptuous tze-char dinner at the usual stall, and met up with Alan Chao and a whole bunch of MF Runners. The Rainbow LOLO stall had unfortunately closed, and we could not satisfy our craving. We went on to San Francisco Cafe for our coffee, and some nice chats. IMD had kindly collected our race pack and had them delivered to the Hotel, and paid for our deposit for the Championchip....what a swell chap!

There was supposed to be a Championchip mat at the start point, but we did not see any. Instead, it was a late start at 6.15am, and soon we came up close with the initial slopes. I had told Bev, Terry and the rest to take a conservative approach at first. My tummy was still stuffed with all the good food from the previous day, and I could hardly wait to 'lose' them on the hills and slopes. The first 10km was pleasantly 'not-that-hilly' as I settled into a 5:18min/km pace. I traded places with a few familiar faces, notably Julie, before being overtaken by her....she was blazing away.

I felt good, and was busy watching my legs on the numerous down-slopes....too many of them, and some were steep. As the sky brightened, I plodded along at the constant pace. The distance markers were clearly missing, and I was fortunate to have my Garmin 405 to inform of the distance and pace. As I entered Sri Hartamas, I kept to a cautious stance. It was pretty smooth for me that morning as I meandered along the rolling slopes. I could see the Kenyans blazing in the reverse, and a distance away, spotted Tobias running back. I focused on moving forward, and did not wave to too many people as I wanted to conserve myself. By the 16km mark, I was overtaking some of the tiring runners.

On the way out, I felt much stronger, and relished the slight down slopes. Finally spotted Beverly and we waved to one another with encouraging claps. I increased the pace after 20km, and overtook a lot more runners. I went by Julie, Rhoda, and finally Prata at the last 5km. I felt good aerobically, but I was a little concerned about my legs getting bashed by the down slopes. I maintained a reasonably safe pace, and completed the 30km run in 2hr35min. Checking back, that is a good 11min better than my 2008 timing....not bad, considering that I felt much better this time too :) After collecting the very nice finisher's medal, and dri-fit finisher's T, I went for the chendol first. It was refreshing and yummy. I went back to the end point to welcome the rest of the runners in.

Cheerful FatBirds @ GE30km

A lot of the SAFRA and i-Runners also improved their timings. Leslie came in first in the Women's Open, Julie second, and Colleen came in fifth. YN was in 6th, just a minute 'sayang'. Benny did a respectable 3hr03min, Terry came in, and Beverly conquered her maiden 30km in 3hr22min....outstanding performances by FatBirds. The other SAFRA Runners did very well too.

The TRYathletes

I went for more food and iced-milo. Lots of chats and photos followed, before we proceeded back to Hotel for a good wash-up, and then for very shiok Jln Alor Char-Siew noodles. The drive back to Singapore was relaxing, and we even had time for a mid-stop for ice-cream waffle. Overall a very nice trip and run, and I look forward to the next Pacesetters GE30km. The extra 1kg from all the food had stayed with me till now....haiz :(

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