Puma Night Run Malaysia 2014 – October 25, 2014
One of the weak running events this year and for me personally the worst running experience I have had so far, as I got into trouble upon reaching the finish line but received no help from the race organizer.
My objective of this run was to race and push hard to gauge how effective my training, especially with focus on speed endurance, has been. It was a humid evening. Rain clouds were in the sky but what I hoped for didn’t happen, no rain.
The route was with 9.74km quite a bit under distance. Agreeing with the feedback from other runners after the run, the 3 water stations along the route were insufficient for the given humid conditions. A 4th one would have eased up things a lot.
When I reached the finish line I was pretty much wasted and urgently needed water. First I got the medal, I started to cough, was rather impatient to get to the water. There was a table a few meters behind the finish line, thought with water but only got bananas. I asked for water and was told that I can get it a bit further. However there was no water at the finish line at all! Water and isotonic drinks were available only a few hundred meters away in the event area. Bad news, my coughing got stronger, still I thought I could make it. After a few meters I couldn’t take it anymore, I coughed so hard that I had difficulties to breath, I panicked! I had to lay down next to the pavement, no official help, no medic nearby.
Worried runners said they will get the medics. I was coughing hard. A man who happened to be close working at a food/drink stall by the roadside gave me a large bottle of water – my life saver! With the water I managed to cool down and ease the coughing. That whole drama took a few minutes but no medics or anybody from the race officials came to help!?
A bit later I was able to get up. I wanted to give the man helping me with the water some money for the damage I caused him but he refused. I made my way to the event area. The runners that helped me earlier were approaching me, they got me some water. Good to see helping people when I was in serious trouble and the organizer messed it up, not offering adequate support to runners. I continued to drink and was fine. It really makes me mad that some race organizers do not provide water close to the finish line. Anyway, a BIG thank you to everybody helping me.
As you may guess, the above described experience made this event fail badly in my eyes. I could have gotten in some very serious trouble not being able to breath. All unnoticed by the organizer. I wonder, who is organizing such events and what is the actual focus on runners well being?
A curiosity and first time I encountered something like that was that you had to pay for drinks at the event area. 1 cup of isotonic drink, was RM1, a bottle RM2.5. What a nonsense to charge runners for drinks at a running event! Well, I went back into the Setia City Mall and got a bottle of mineral water for 65 cents. This applied for drinks before the run, after the run provided drinks were offered for free.
Another disappointment was the route with 2 U-turns, kinda dull to run. It was also not flat like I would have expected for that area and distance. However, road safety was decent with clear direction given at most turns along the route. Dark patches of road with no or not working lamp posts were illuminated by mobile flood lights powered by small Diesel generators. That was really good and appreciated.
Impressive was the event area, or as Puma called it the “Village Area”. Rather big with a number of canopies. All was decorated in a uniform red/white coloured theme. At one canopy you could get the Puma logo air brushed on your skin. Just awesome were 2 or 3 machines placed at some corners of the area that created small “cloud like” Puma logos that flew up in the air, like helium balloons – really cool to see those cute “clouds” in the shape of a jumping cougar fly off. Very good also the pacers starting with 50 minutes up to I think 80 minutes.
My run itself went quite well. I could hold a good position throughout the run. At the end I was overtaken by 2 runners I think. One of them was Chooi Fern, the later winner of the women’s category. I heard her approaching and tried to fight back increasing my pace but she was too strong. I eventually gave her support by saying something like “Go go, I slowed down already, you can finish strong, …” Can’t really remember what I said exactly, I really wanted to motivate her but guess it didn’t help much when I said that I slowed down with her struggling to overtake me at that very moment. Got to improve my motivational phrases for running races I guess 😉 She then overtook me a bit later and even some more guys ahead of me – impressive and strong finish, a powerful runner! Can see the hand writing of the Dirigo running team coach 😉
I finished 8th in a field of 1,557 runners in the Men Open category. My official timing of 42min:15sec, leading to an average pace of 4min:20sec for the self measured 9.74km. This is my 7th best and also my 4th worst performance in a 10km race so far.
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