Initially I thought I have to give this event a miss as my ship was scheduled to come back Lumut on the 7th of June. I checked out the website knowing that I had to collect my race kit in Penang on the 31st, which is impossible for me because I was in the middle of the sea participating in a joint nation military exercise. I immediately contacted my 2ndskin teammate Annie Yee, and without hesitation she agreed to help me with it. Obviously, my mileage says I’m not gonna be a competitive racer this time. My working environment this time just doesn’t allow me to run around the ship, we had jets flying over our ships simulating air attack, helicopters ready on the helo deck for anti submarine operations, loaded canon for firing practice and so on. It was an intense joint military exercise and I can’t be running around with all this hazards around me. However, I’m a strong believer that I could do something about it. Every day I’ll be spending total of 40 minutes doing strength training whenever I can squeeze in sometime to work on core muscles. I use a lung trainer to improve my breathing and started packing my race kits when I was at sea, I needed every single advantage to cover up on my lack of mileage.
Upon my arrival at Lumut Naval Base, I settled all my taskings and pushed off to Penang in the evening. Met up with Michael’s family, had good Penang food and settled myself down after getting all my race kits ready. Team2ndskin vapor skin super lightweight racing tee, kraftfit ultralight compression wear, Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps to keep my sore muscles aside, and not forgetting my superfast Skechers Limited Edition GoSpeed. Everything checked! To get rid of my pre race jitters, I had two bowls of sup kambing and chapati, nasi kandar sotong and kuah kambing, mango lassi and durian. My eyelids were really heavy after the awesome carboloading, I felt so sleepy that it overcame my jittery feelings. I had a really good sleep. I have finally found a good method to solve my nervousness.
This is a bottleneck race where everyone gotta sprint 2km and then squeeze into the narrow staircase of Komtar Tower to climb our way up to 58th floor. Bumped into many familiar faces, chit chat while warming up, choke in 2 gels and Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps, I was ready for it. My game plan was easy, ran as hard as possible to place myself in the front pack so that I won’t be blocked by other racers before climbing. First loop for the run, Ong Wei Xiang and I were in front tailing the Kenyans. Although it feels great running below 4mins/km, I didn’t know what was happening behind us. 500m before entering the tower, Calvin Boon came passed me with 4 other runners and he yelled my name “Hey Chan!”, he made it look so easy. I think they were flying at 3.30mins/km.
The position of front pack doesn’t change much once we entered the stairs, that’s why I wanted to squeeze into the stairs as fast as possible. Overtaking in such narrow and stuffy place can take bigger effort than overtaking on the road. First 20 floors I was running up the stairs, then the sufferfest starts at 30th floor. I kept asking the volunteers how many floors to go despite I was aware that I have to go all the way up to 58th floor. Hahaha. I started panting like an 80 years old man, my muscles was screaming in agony while I silently said Shut Up Legs! =p Anyway, this race is not as stuffy as KL Towerthon, the stairs are wider and higher, I had to run with “bigger gear”.
By the time I reached 40th floor, I was overtaken and overtaking a few runners, I wasn’t sure what was my position, but I’m damn sure top 10 in hand already. I believe my pia face must be looking really ugly at the 50th floor. Hahaha! Picking Skechers Limited Edition Go Speed was an aweome choice, I didn’t want too much cushion to slow me down every stride I make. GoSpeed is stiff and responsive, ultra lightweight and very breathable, the carbon plate under the sole kept flexing and bounce back to help me run at higher pace. It’s the best shoes I can ever ask for! In my training I normally alternate Skechers GoBionicRide and Skechers GoSpeed, so that I could get my running techniques right and test my top speed. Despite my horrible training mileage, I managed to score 16 mins and got 8th placing in men open category, one place behind my long time rival Ong Wei Xiang. I consider this as a competitive performance, not too bad! =)
Overall the race organizing was average, traffic control was average due to cars coming into our race course, drinks were adequate, marshals and volunteers were sufficient, splitting the racers into two waves and two different staircase for each wave was a great idea, staircase was very well ventilated, and I like the prize giving area inside the dome that kept all of us away from the sun. Gonna get some rest and prepare for my Penang Urban Triathlon next weekend, hopefully I can settle all my taskings on my ship and put myself on the starting line next week.