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Thursday, 30 June 2011

kl marathon 2011 – 26 June 2011

Finally a latest addition to my list of marathons. And this was a BIG one! Happy This year’s event was held in the wee hours of Sunday, 26 June 2011. Flag-off location? As usual, Dataran Merdeka. I registered for 2 prior editions of KL Marathons before (2009, 2010) for 10km runs, but I gave both events the pass, as that time, sleeping was of the higher priority. But this year, being now familiar with the ever growing running community, I was already hyped-up to join, as it will be my debut in the country’s premier running event. KL Marathon was my 4th full marathon which I’ve registered for this year, after ENR, BIM and Sundown Singapore. Missing Sundown made me more determined not to miss this one.

The irony of it, running KL Marathon in a Sundown Singapore running vest! :)

The Full Marathoners were scheduled to flag-off at 5 am. I was there at 4 am, and as usual with other race events, the place was buzzing with the hustles and bustles of other runners excited to burn the roads for a good 6-7 hours. My body was feeling good, and after 2 marathon experiences, I felt that mentally I was ready this time. ENR was a nightmare, BIM was okay until the final 10km, I didn’t even start in Sundown, so I will try to make it up this time. My personal best was achieved during BIM where I clocked 5:07, just short of a sub-5 timing. I remembered a discussion with Shanaz, Azu and Nana, target 4:45 to dip below 5 hours, a sub-4:30 would be a bonus. Little did I know what was to transpire in 5 hours’ time. Big Grin For the record, to get a 4:45 timing, my average pace had to be 6:45 mins/km.

With some of the runner friends before flag-off (L-R): Meor, Mawar, KayDee, Azhar, KC, Ena, Dzul, Yani, Me

The minutes leading up to the flag-off was filled with some light warm-ups and stretching, clowning around and sometimes some photographic sessions. Butterflies were still rampant during this time, but I tried to calm myself by looking up familiar faces, and not letting the occasion get the better of me. Vivid thoughts of another disastrous marathon came about occasionally, but the smiles and laughter from my running buddies at least eliminated all doubts.

Clowning around with Saiful and Fazli

All anticipation and the wait ended the moment the gun sounded at 5 am sharp. I was just next to Erwan during this time, but he was gone after 2 minutes! Tongue So I started my 42.195km journey at my own pace. Not like BIM, I kept myself light this time, not even my fuel bottles to accompany me. I was so sure that this will be a well organized race, with water stations available as duly promised. Winking The only problem was without any belts, there was no place to hold my packets of GU Gels and ORS. I slipped them in between the waist of my shorts, knowing the risks of chaffing later.

With Erwan near the starting line

The first 10km, which was just after passing the Sungai Besi Airport, going into Jalan Istana, went really well in my reckoning. My Garmin showed that I was slightly below an hour (00:58). The mind was playing around to get me go faster, but I just calmed down and kept the focus. “Izuan, your target is a sub-5, so this pace is good enough…” I gulped down my first GU Gel, as I was taught by Irwan to be disciplined when running a marathon, and that was just what I was going to do. Gels every 10km. By the time I reached 20km, my legs were still strong, lungs were okay, and my Garmin showed 1:58, and I had my second GU Gel. My half-marathon time was 2:03, which in it’s right was my PB for the distance. Never had I thought that I would dip below 2 hours in my first 20km. I was elated! But focus was still the name of the game, as I knew the next 22km would be the hardest to come by.

The next 10km was still good, but I could feel that the legs were already tiring. The Bukit Bintang-KLCC route provided good distractions. There were plenty of support around this area; cheer leading teams, volunteers, members of the public. While the Tun Razak route was full of music when impatient drivers were honking towards the runners. Well done to the traffic police and DBKL, for their good job prevented unnecessary incidents from happening. At 25-26km, I saw a fellow Sabahan, Jiki, and we paced together for a good 3-4km. This was also the time when I saw Dzul. To my surprise he was walking, so I gave him all the motivation I could, and I believe it had a great effect on him, because he finished ahead of me at the finishing line. Darn you Dzul! HAHAHA!! Tongue At 30km, I downed my now routine third GU Gel, and when I looked down my Garmin, it showed exactly 3 hours! Surprise With 2 hours to go, a sub-5 is a definite bet now with 12km remaining, but question at this point of time was, can I go below 4.5 hours?

It’s all about mental strength now, and to my delight, 6km later, I was approaching the familiar Bukit Tunku route. This was also where Kak June’s ‘Kedai Runcit’ was stationed. I grabbed a Snickers bar (by the way Kak June, that was the best Snickers ever! HAHAHA!), chatted for a while, shared a few hugs, and continued running. Thank you so much to Kak June, Nik and Maya for the support. Although the Bukit Tunku route was all so familiar, a hilly route at the end of a 42km run was a killer. At this point fatigue was already filling up in the legs, my only worry were if cramps came creeping up hence I downed the ORS to neutralize the lactics. I was already doing a run-walk-run this time, but was still determine to try beat 4:30 hours.

After all the inclines and declines of Bukit Tunku, I finally reached the 40th kilometer near Bank Negara. I quickly downed my last GU Gel, and started preparing myself mentally for the finishing line. I had 18 minutes to complete the last 2.195km. Barring any unfortunate incidents, I would be able to achieve a sub-4.5 marathon. I kept my composure, kept the focus, kept pushing, and by the time I turned into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, I knew I would beg a good timing if I pushed harder. With 800 meters to go, I dashed my way as quick as I could. I remember the last time I looked up on the time counter, it showed 4:28:33. No one could ever describe the feeling, when I passed the finishing line. A Personal Best, way above my expectation, and to do it in such short time, I feel was quite an achievement. When the official results were out, the net time read 4:27:51, ranked 197. I’ve shaved about 40 minutes of my previous Personal Best! WOOHOO!! Big Grin

SCKLM 2011 Official Result

Huge gratitude I believe are overdue to my friends, their support and advice were so useful. Strategy, technique and discipline are very important aspects when running long distances. Hours spent training and running with them, ‘mamak’ing, chatting, gossiping, talking about running, definitely made everything a lot better. A million hugs goes to each one of them. Big Hug I know this is not as if I have qualified for an Olympic, it was not even a sub-4, or a sub-3! But doing something you love since you were a little kid, this was a huge achievement for me.  Star

Congratulations also to everyone who made Standard Chartered KL Marathon a success. Organizers, sponsors, sanctioning bodies, local authorities, police, medics, volunteers, runners, the people, all contributed to a race event worthy of its publicities. To all runners; Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5km, Kids Dash, Ekiden, kudos to all of them! To Mr. Rainer Biemans, Congratulations once again!

I believe, with more consistent and discipline training, plus passion, I will be able to do much better in the many more races to come. Maybe a sub-4? But right now, at this moment, I would like myself to be soaked in my achievement, even if it has to take a week to die down!


The Route

Yeay!A PB! :)

With fellow Sabahan Runners
Fellow Sabahan Runner Friends (L-R): Ajan, Erwan, Yatim, Me, Zairol, Fabian, Joe, Kicie

The Running Away From Skool Girls (L-R): Selly, Nana, Marlin, Shanaz, Azu

Just a glimpse of the running community
Standing (L-R): Azu, Marlin, Selly, Johan, Azhar, KC, Nana, Ena, Shanaz
Sitting (L-R): Meor, Me, Fiki, Karen, Dzul


  1. Very well done bro! Awesome timing. I think sub-4 is within your reach but don't put too much pressure on yourself in achieving it, continue with your hardwork in trainings and it will come eventually. Now, running 42KM seems to be easy peasy, joms 100KM! hahaha

  2. Woot woot .. Great one Izuan :) congrats and it's a pleasure having u at our stop !!

  3. awesome report. well done and congrats on ur pee-bee dude. bila nak celebrate ni?

  4. Deo: thanks bro..ultra?ermmmm..kne kumpul kekuatan mental jgk nih! HAHAHA!!

    Kak June: hehehe..the snickers kak june..smpi tutup2 mate blari..

    Aini: ko rupenyeeeee..aku igt sape la..hehheh..thanks babe..ko pon PB jgk kannnn..yeay!!

  5. Yayyyy!!! Congrats again!!! *hugsssss* am so happy for you :D pinjam kaki boleh...? ;)

  6. Congratttttssss Izuan,

    tak sia-sia train dgn Avatar, abes lah semua makan asap lepas ni.

    Great performance, take supplements and take good care of those legs, u in this for the long run i bet.

  7. Bro Ray..thanks bro! yeah, i believe this will be for a long run..smua tu nasihat2 korg jugak.. :)

  8. makan asap la kita nanti silap, aku sorang la makan asap..Ray dah power dah..

    Congrats izuan..kau memang power!!..aku nak kejar kau, rasa dgn tulang osteoporosis aku ni agak sukar sikit..kah, kah..

  9. hahahhaha..tengkiu bro..osteo amende pulok ko ni jammmm.. :P

  10. Woohoo!!!!!
    Sorry lambat wish but.... woohoo!! Tahniah bra! You did superbly well, aku tak larat nak tgk masa kau! Sangat laju ok! Congrats!

  11. zack..alaa..sume berkat nasihat korg jgk..thanks bro..thanks all! :D

  12. Congratulations!!! Run more! LOL Kidding :)

  13. (aku ketinggalan zaman)

    Blardy awesome, mate! Well done! Gambar finishing pun ganas! Jom sambung treneng


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