Great Eastern Live Great Run – November 09, 2014

This is a good race event taking place every year at MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur. The location is within “running” distance to my house, as such I try to participate whenever I can. First time I ran this race was in 2012.

The route was changed in 2013, not leading through Sri Hartamas anymore but through Bukit Tunku now. Both routes are nice but must say I prefer the one through Sri Hartamas, as I feel it is hillier and a bit more interesting – just a matter of taste.

Referring to my body composition and size I occassionally sign up for races asking to print “Gajah Putih” on the race bib. This was actually a race when I did that and also run it. Other races I signed up as “White Elephant” in Bahasa Melayu I did not start due to various reason. So happy to eventually have made it.

2014 has been a bit difficult for me as far as running is concerned. Work related I trained rather unstructured and as a consequence lost considerable on running performance. However I decided to make 2015 my best running year so far and push back following a training plan. In view of this plan I started days before this race with a tiring training regime. Logically I went rather tired into this race. My only expectation from this run was to make it a fun training session.

Leveraging on the close proximity to my house I used the run to the venue as warm up. The setup of the event village was nice as usual and popular radio DJs led through the morning. The portable toilets were a bit short in numbers but daring as I am sometimes I sneaked into the MATRADE building using one of the decently clean toilets there. You can make runners really happy by giving them a clean toilet complete with toilet paper just before the race – that’s how simple and humble runners are ­čśë

Once that important ToDo before the race was checked I completed my warm up with a few strides. I then made my way to the starting area to find it already rather crowded. I made my way closer towards the starting line and I am always grateful when runners let me pass. I know, some think I am jumping queue but it helps me a lot to take up my running pace as early as possible when not being slowed down by human traffic.

Rather punctual then at 7am the race was flagged off. Upon leaving the MATRADE campus the route led left towards Jalan Duta with a U-turn leading to Langgak Tunku, a popular stretch constituting km36 of the KL Marathon till 2013. After leaving the hills of Bukit Tunku behind some obstacles had to be passed, the only ones in this run. The obstacles a kinda a signature feature for the event, they are a few barriers that you are required to climb of jump over.

Before those obstacles a water station was placed but a bit unfortunate the marshalls did not ensure that the runners are passing that close enough to notice. The volunteers manning the water station helped themselves and the runners by carrying the table and water closer to the runners – problem solved and great initiative by the volunteers.

The run continued on Lebuhraya Mahameru towads Jalan Kuching. I paced nicely within my abilities. Despite having fun I actually pushed myself as much as possible to maximize the training effect.

Road safety and marshalling were decent along the route. I continued to pass other runners and being passed. Quite happening to run in the midfield, rather than in front when it can become boring at times without competitors around. However, the quality of runners increased considerably compared to only one year ago. Young and fast runners are popping up suddenly everywhere. Also the quality of female runners increased considerably, first of all the Puma Running Club and the LYN Runners┬áhave a number of strong female runners under their respective “flag”.

The last 3km or so before the finish line were hilly again after the relatively flat highway. I lost a bit of pace, leading to a number of runners taking me over. I eventually finished 15th in my category “12km Men’s Junior Veteran”.

With water at the finish line the race ended as it should be. After spending a bit of time in the event village and after some photos I went home, taking a cool down run, spending the rest of the day with my family – A good race is a great start into the day!

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