The Shape Night Run is back! I remember running the Shape/Men’s Health Night run way back in 2010! I was still new to running, jogging maybe, and it was probably the second or third run that I took part in.
I didn’t have plans to join this particular race (you know how I like to procrastinate till the very last minute!), so when Michelle asked to join her team, I agreed.
Somewhere towards the end of last year, this team was born – The Experience and Youth. That was the best team name that we (or rather, Jeff) could come up with!
We hadn’t met up as a team before the race itself. Everything was done and settled “online” (except the running). The onus was on us to make sure that we prepared well for the big day. That’s the beauty of a team event! Whether you like it or not, everyone is depending on each other. So, you have to pull your weight and play your part.
I was doing okay in terms of running and fitness throughout the past few months until after the Malaysia Women’s Marathon (MWM) in March. I had missed 2 races between MWM and Shape Night Run. One (TARC Run) was because my alarm decided to fail on me on the morning of the race (AGAIN!!!!!!!!) and the other (Possible Run) was because my stomach wasn’t feeling too good. I was also busy running around (not actual running) and settling some personal stuff. Safe to say that running and training were not among my top priorities. But I did make it a point to put in 2 quality runs each week.
Racing is all about getting used to that feeling. As I was out from racing for more than a month, I was VERY nervous for this team event. The worst part is that if you don’t feel good, YOU CANNOT BACK OUT. I have never given up on a race before but this wild card option is always available. Sadly, this wild card does NOT exist in a team event.
The week preceding race day was good. In terms of running, I completed most of the quality runs and workouts that I had planned (probably went a little overboard). I had a full day of REST on Friday.
The day was a typical family day spent chilling out and getting errands done. I managed to collect my Puma Ignite shoes at the store, just in time for the race. YES, I know, nothing new on race day right? This was how much confidence I had in them (and they did NOT fail me!).
The sun was scorching hot (as usual) and I was feeling a little miserable. By 4-ish, the sun was still shining. Judging from past weather trends, it usually means heavy downpour in the evening. I checked the weather app on my phone and it indicated 100% rain at 8pm!
Picked Michelle up at 5.50pm and we headed straight for Putrajaya. After having raced around that area a number of times, we got there without any hiccups.
Met up with the team (Mark and Jeff) at the starting area. We hung around the area for a bit, discussing “race tactics” and such.
Bumped into Jing Jing!
When it was close to 7pm, we headed off for our warm up. The sky was looking a bit sad and gloomy but we remained optimistic. We ran all the way down to the lake before stopping for a light stretch.
The sky was getting darker by the minute. Mark decided that we should look for cover. Good call because as soon as we found shelter, the rain came crashing down. We thought that it’d be a light shower with a little lightning and thunder. We were wrong, so wrong. It kept going……and going. So there, the 4 of us and one other race volunteer, stranded under the shelter of the public toilet. We wondered if the race would be cancelled or delayed.
It was around 7.15pm at that time. Oh well, it looked like our warm up came to nothing and we spent the next 45 minutes waiting it out. There was nothing much we could do except gaze out and watch God do His thing. The wait certainly calmed the nerves but it also sucked the adrenaline and excitement out of me.
At about 7.45pm, Mark decided that we should make a run for it back to the starting area. The rain had not subsided and we splashed through wet roads and flooded pavements. I was completely DRENCHED! My shoes, socks and clothes were soaked. And with the wind and rain against us, my contact lenses started swimming around in my eye. We stopped at one of the buildings. Michelle and I got our caps from Kevin (our stuff keeper for the day) to protect our eyes from the rain.
We ran across to the main stage area and continued to wait. Snacked on a packet of Meiji biscuits because I was feeling SO HUNGRY. Finally, the organizers announced that the race would be delayed till 8.30pm but will be called off if lightning and thunder persisted. The LAST thing I wanted was this race to be cancelled. I wasn’t going to miss a race because of bad weather! I was feeling fresh and ready to run.
As 8.30pm approached, the weather was looking good with occasional flashes of lightning. We decided to head towards the starting pen. The mood was there, runners were pumped and the crowd roared when they blasted the music through the speakers. The marshals opened up the barriers and we made our way to the starting line. At 8.45pm, there was the countdown and we were off (finally!)! We had a good start! After the first KM marker, I realised that I didn’t start the timer on my watch. Bummer!
It was still drizzling and the roads were wet. I always thought that I liked running in the rain (and I do!) except for the fact that the roads were so slippery. My shoes had no traction and it felt like I was not moving forward with every stride. Michelle and I paced each other until the 4-5th KM. After that, I gave her the sign to go ahead without me. I had a side stitch and I guess my head was all over the place. I was struggling to keep it together. Everything else was a blur.
The guys giving it all they’ve got towards the finish line.
Michelle totally killed it! So proud of her. 🙂
The girls… we were a bit more smiley. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t push as hard! We just know when to smile. 😉
At the U-turn, Jeff called out to me to PUSH! Thanks for that. That was the only thing that kept me running – THE TEAM! From there, it was just a long stretch back home. In a team event, you have to push as hard as possible. You’re not there to secure your position; it all comes down to time.
Couldn’t be happier to cross that finish line. It was a tough one.
It was also my first time wearing a cap to run! I have never worn a cap to run, not even during my training. New shoes, new cap, new top…hmmmm! Kids, do NOT try this ‘at home’.
We managed to catch up with some friends, hang around the booths that were set up and take a few photos. Kudos to Angel who ran even though she was SICK! We were still unsure of our position at that time but we had a good feeling about it. Our hearts sunk when we heard that we came in second. Oh well, at least it was better than nothing.
I completely lost track of time but we hung around the winner’s tent.
Photobombed by Mark’s little cutie.
Finally, the marshal walked over to announce that we were the Team CHAMPIONS! We screamed and gave each other high-5s. It was a new high because we had already settled for second place.
YEAH! CHINA BABEH (1st prize includes Tickets to China)!
And you know what, we won by 12 SECONDS! That is 3 seconds each of slack time. If Mark had taken an extra sip of water or if Jeff had cheered me on a little harder or if Michelle kept looking back or if I had fallen down…… that’s 12 seconds gone. So glad the team managed to pull this off! Phew!
Went back with a big box of goodies.
RM6000 worth of goodies… so they say.
So, there you go! The end of our rather dramatic night! I must say that it was a pretty amazing experience! Thanks Team Experience and Youth for having me. It was a lot of fun!
Also, many thanks to the race organizers for keeping it together and making this run possible despite the weather! Volunteers were energetic and road marshals were sufficient.
Great event! Till next time!
Keep Running! 🙂